Photos/Interview: Time Out
admin • Oct 7th, 2023 • Interviews - Photos - Projects

The stars of the most London movie of the year on genius directors, smelly sets and prawn toast

‘Were you in the Olivier, darling?’ ‘Yet to play the Olivier, darling.’

Hayley Squires and Joseph Quinn have gone all mock-thespy to compare notes on their experiences at the National Theatre. The ‘Hoard’ co-stars, it turns out, have both played the Dorfman Theatre, but not yet The Big One (‘Okay, we’re on an equal footing,’ laughs Squires). He trod the National’s boards in 2017’s ‘Mosquitoes’; she’s there right now, starring in ‘Death of England: Closing Time’.

In ‘Hoard’ – a coming-of-age fantasia with the jolting energy of popping candy and a heart the size of Greenwich Park – the pair are separated by two timelines. Squires is in the first act, set in 1985, as Cynthia, a whirligig of a mum to young Maria (Lily-Beau Leach), who fills their house with piles of ‘treasures’ and expresses her love through bits and bobs fished from bins. Fast forward ten years to the mid-1990s of ‘Blue Peter’ and Baby D and Quinn enters as Michael, a mysterious twentysomething former foster kid who sparks a feral bond with the now-older, fostered Maria (Saura Lightfoot Leon).

Squires made her big-screen breakthrough in Ken Loach’s 2016’s Palme d’Or winner ‘I, Daniel Blake’; Quinn, of course, has gone stratospheric as the shaggy, loveable metalhead Eddie Munson in ‘Stranger Things’. Next up he’s playing Emperor Caracalla in Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’ sequel. Because of the ongoing Hollywood strikes, the Upside Down and ancient Rome are both off-limits topics for Quinn, but there’s a tonne of juice to get on one of the most singular films of the year.

Not just the London-est film at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, ‘Hoard’ is also the south-Londonest. Both actors hail from south of the Thames, as does Lewisham-born director Luna Carmoon. Only 26, she’s a meteor – and her actors love her. ‘It’s so exciting because “Hoard” comes from a place of humanity,’ says Squires. Adds Quinn: ‘It takes bravery to take big swings in this business and Luna has come out with this momentous swing. You can’t fake that.’ 

What does it mean to have ‘Hoard’ at the London Film Festival?

Joseph Quinn It’s extraordinary. It was the most ownership I’ve had over a project in my life. There are people in the crew that I went to school with. 

Hayley Squires When I found out about the LFF I spoke to Luna and she was like: ‘Hometown!’ Where Luna grew up isn’t far from where I grew up, and she has the south London essence through and through.

How much do you want people to connect with the issues tackled in Hoard? Mental illness, grief, unaddressed trauma…

JQ People will take away from it what they will. You can watch films that tell you how to feel, but Luna leaves it pretty wide open. If it’s affecting in whatever way, we will have done our job. 

HS Luna reminds me of the first time I listened to Amy Winehouse, because she has an ability to tap into those things that you haven’t confessed out loud. Some people might find elements of it disturbing, but everything is based on real emotions and experiences. If you look at it from a mental health perspective and the madness this film descends into, it’s relatable: grief felt like that for me, but I couldn’t say it [did]. But Luna’s able to. 

JQ It’s not a film about foster care, it’s not about mental health, it’s not about grief – it’s a film about these characters who encounter these things. 

HS It’s not agenda-driven and that’s how you know it’s good!

‘Hoard’ feels like it’s part of a lineage of new London films, all directed by women: ‘Rocks’, ‘Scrapper’, ‘Rye Lane’. Does it feel like an exciting time for female filmmakers? Is there real change?

HS I hope so, but I don’t think the job’s ever done. Maybe I shouldn’t say this but I don’t think anyone will watch ‘Hoard’ and say: “Oh, and she’s a woman?” The quality of the work speaks for itself. If someone’s good at what they’re doing, give them the money and let them make the film.

JQ It takes bravery to make big swings in this business and Luna has come out with this momentous swing, which is so exciting.

Luna has talked about how she sprayed the set with a scent made from sperm, milk, sweat and blood that she sprayed around on set without telling you. What was that like from your perspective?

HS (To Quinn) Did you know about this?

JQ I did. It’s not every day a director is squirting sperm on you during filming (laughs).

HS You would hope!

JQ And nor was she doing that, but she was spraying the scent around. Smell is the hardest to convey through the screen and to try to lean into that avenue of filmmaking was fucking bold.

What did it smell like?

JQ It smelt like all of those things (laughs). Michael and Maria smell this familiar pheromone on each other that’s traumatic, and it’s like two animals meeting each other. You’re watching these two broken people trying to fix each other. In my experience no one’s going to fix your problems – it’s impossible – and you watch his despair that she can’t save him.

The film’s about hoarding. Are you collectors of career keepsakes?  

JQ I don’t want to keep too much stuff but it’s nice to keep little bits and bobs. Luna gave me a lovely memento of this film: a little gold ball. I keep the odd script, too.

HS I don’t tend to keep scripts, but only because I’m very tidy. It was stressful being on that set! It was kind of my worst nightmare. I’ve got the smaller clapperboard from ‘I, Daniel Blake’ and a pair of the big heels I wore in ‘Adult Material’.

The National Theatre has played a part of both your careers. Is it a rite of passage for a London actor?

JQ You’re definitely aware of the heritage of that building. What’s lovely is that you’ve got three companies on at the same time. There’s a courtyard at the back of the National where everyone’s dressing rooms are and there’s this tradition on opening night that everyone bangs on the windows. 

HS It sounds like thunder.

JQ Experiencing that for the first time was a pinch-me, shivers, beyond-my-wildest-dreams kind of situation. It’s magical. 

HS The National was always a dream for me, I didn’t know I was ever going to do it. It feels like they finally let me in the building. And now I’m not leaving (laughs).

Which actors did you look up to when you were starting out?

HS I worship Gary Oldman. And although I never get to do comedy – it’s always me crying over something – I watched a lot of it growing up and it was people like Kathy Burke and Victoria Wood for me. It was where they came from and what they were talking about, as well as their acting.

JQ For me, Gary Oldman as well. I loved him in ‘The Fifth Element’. Phil Hoffman made every single film he was in better. In ‘Boogie Nights’ he got every bit of juice out of every single moment. Benicio Del Toro is another big one for me, and Joaquin Phoenix.

You’ve both been on foodie podcasts. Where do you go in London for comfort food?

JQ I’ve got a few spots. Mountain is fucking brilliant. It’s quite decadent to say that it would be my comforting place, it’s a bit of a treat.

HS (To Quinn) You’ve changed!

JQ Yeah: ‘The sea bream there is very comforting’ (laughs). No, that’s a treat spot for me. The prawn and raw cheese on toast will blow your mind.

HS Norma, an Italian place on Charlotte Street. I have the pasta alla norma, their signature dish.

So is Italian your death row meal? 

HS If it’s not my best mate Bill’s roast dinner, it’d be Italian. Oh god, I’m so English!

JQ No, you’re not! Italian’s the right answer. Death row’s got to be Italian. 

Do you have a favourite London cinema?

JQ I went to watch the Scorsese film ‘After Hours’ at the Prince Charles recently and it blew my mind. We’re very lucky to have an independent cinema right next to Leicester Square that can put on old films like that.

HS When I lived in Streatham I used to go to The Ritzy in Brixton on Sunday mornings. I loved that place. Or the Prince Charles. And I’m not going to lie, I do like an Odeon or a Vue.

JQ The Peckhamplex as well. 

Is there a film that says London more than any other to you?

JQ ‘Love Actually’.

HS We’re not supposed to say it, but it’s true.

JQ In that kind of dream, not-real-London space…

HS Like, if you lived in a Richard Curtis film, Joe, eh? 

JQ Maybe I’ve got a vested interest. But there’s such a range of Londons in films, from Richard Curtis to ‘Nil By Mouth”. 

Where do you stand on the whole north/south divide?

JQ Wherever you come from is the best bit, it’s so subjective. It’s such an enormous, sprawling city, you’ve got to compartmentalise it. [Although] I will never live north of the river and that’s just the way it is. 

HS I’m the same. It’s south. But like Joe says, everyone says their bit is the best. But I moved out – I needed to buy a place and I couldn’t do it here – but I always lived in south. My main thing, without getting political about it, is that whatever area you’ve from, the bones of it need to be maintained before everyone gets priced out of it. And it depends what football team you support. I couldn’t live in north London because there’s too many Tottenham and Arsenal fans. I’m Chelsea. 

Do you have a team, Joe?

JQ Not really. My mum’s a scouser, so I like it when Liverpool win.

Is there a dance floor or gig you’d go back to tonight?

HS If I could be back in my twenties with my mates on the dance floor, it would be downstairs at Freedom on a Wednesday night. It’s not particularly sophisticated but we were all students and had the best time. Or Two Brewers in Clapham.

JQ Two Brewers in Clapham!

HS What about you? I bet it’s something really cool.

JQ It’s not really. I went to see a lot of gigs in the Brixton Academy growing up – I remember seeing Foals there in my indie-boy phase. Bunker in Deptford is a grotty little sweaty institution. All my mates went to uni in that part of London – I did live north of the river briefly in Hammersmith when I went to drama school, but all of my mates went to Goldsmiths and I’d go out where they went out. I’d love to have another night there.

What’s it like travelling around London now? Can you still use the Tube?

JQ Yeah, of course. No one gives a fuck. It’s impossible to talk about this without sounding like a twat but it fluctuates. If you’re in people’s consciousness at that time, they’ll recognise you, and then people move on. It’s ever-changing. What about you?

HS Yeah, easy. Unless people think I’m Lily Allen, I’m alright.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current Projects
2024Joseph as Michael
It follows the close bond between a mother and daughter.
News Photos IMDb

Gladiator 2
2024Joseph as Unknown
Follows Lucius, the son of Maximus' love Lucilla, after Maximus' death.
News Photos IMDb

A Quiet Place: Day One
2024Joseph as Unknown
Plot under wraps.
News Photos IMDb
Stranger Family
Choice Affiliates
Site Information
Maintained by: Abel
Contact: here
Established on: July, 2022

Joseph Quinn Fan is a unofficial fansite made by fans for share the latest images, videos and news of Joseph Quinn, so we have no contact with Joseph or someone in his environment. The images, videos, news, etc, posted on the site belong to their respective owners, except for our graphics, desings, etc, that only belong to If you copy/take something ours, please give us credit.