Weekend Q&A: Director and screenwriter Adam Patterson

Adam Patterson (39) is, with Declan Lawn, half of one of the brightest scriptwriting teams about. They won an IFTA for Rough, a short feature, and have just directed their first full length film, Freegard, with James Norton and Gemma Arterton.

Adam Patterson
Jane Hardy

How do you unwind at the weekend?

I live with my wife Babita and two-year-old daughter Mia in Richmond and at weekends I spend time with them. I also like playing tennis but my exercise regime has suffered. Filming Freegard during lockdown has been a real odyssey. But although we've been tested all the time for Covid and the actors have worn plastic shields in rehearsal, it's been a life-affirming 29 days as well as a bit of a marathon. We cook at weekends. My wife's parents are from India and I really miss going to her mother's house for lunch – maybe curry – on Sunday.

What do you recall most about weekends growing up?

A large part of my weekends when young was spent out of doors, often fishing. I grew up in Dromore, Co Down and we fished in the Bann and Lagan. The biggest fish I ever landed was a 16lb pike. I remember the first time I landed a salmon without my father's help; I was a teenager and it was like a rite of passage. We also spent a lot of weekends in Donegal where we had a caravan.

Friday night or Saturday night?

When I was a teenager, it was Friday night, and you hoped for success (with girls...). I went to the Coach Bar in Banbridge from the age of 16 and got in with a bus pass. Now it's Saturday and a nice meal with the family,

Do you have a must-listen weekend radio show or podcast?

I do like to listen to Dermot O'Leary. He's got a great handle on people, a lovely demeanour and does classic rock. Working on Freegard, which is a period film, we've used a lot of music by The Cure who produced perfect, yet punk, pop songs.

What is your favourite weekend TV show/box set?

The Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet is very good. Declan is my viewing guide and I know if I don't watch something he's mentioned, he'll go on about it forever.

Do you have a favourite eatery or is it a takeaway?

There's a great Italian place across from us that uses fresh buffalo mozzarella. Plus an amazing Indian which has been certified acceptable by my wife.

Is Sunday still special?

I was brought up Church of Ireland and we always went to church but not now. It's a day that's all about family before work takes hold, when it's important to get together with those you love.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

I was never very good at my homework so did have that 'Have I done the maths?' feeling on Sunday night. Declan and I usually check in and run through what we'll be doing. I am very lucky in the work I do and we're on a bit of a roll. We wrote and directed Rough, a comic take on the Troubles which aimed to put the lens back on home. You're hearing the bands - what date is it? Oh yeah, the Twelfth. That's what happens when you move away - the conflict leaves you.

Freegard is due for release next year.

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