Mr. Malcolm’s List stars Freida Pinto & Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù talk about the journey to their new film and share what would be on their lists.
Mr. Malcolm’s Listcurrently in theaters, is taking a page out of Bridgerton‘s book and exploring the Regency era through a modern lens. Directed by Emma Holly Jones and written by original author Suzanne Allain, the film begins with Julia Thistlewaite’s (Zawe Ashton) latest unsuccessful season on the marriage market and follows her plan to get back at Jeremiah Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) for rejecting her by roping in her friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto).
The title of the movie, Mr. Malcolm’s List, refers to the reason Julia does not spark Jeremiah’s interest. He has a very exacting list of qualifications for a suitable bride, which Julia plans to make Selina fulfill to a T before in turn rejecting him. Of course, in classic romantic fashion, things do not go according to plan for anyone involved – and everyone has an important lesson to learn about love, friendship, and the rules of society.
Screen Rant spoke to Pinto and Dìrísù about how they took Mr. Malcolm’s List from YouTube short to feature film, why Jeremy is so drawn to Selina, and what would be on their own lists.
Screen Rant: Before seeing this film, which I loved, I previously loved the YouTube short that you guys did way back when. What’s it like to be part of this trajectory for longer than normal?
Freida Pinto: A little bit of a dream come true, because when we made the short film, it was four years before we made the feature film. And every year we thought we’d be shooting the feature film, and then another year went by and another year went by. You’re like, “Are we ever going to make this? Or is this just going to remain one of those distant dreams; something that never ended up happening?”
But I do not really remember feeling totally disheartened. Because somewhere in there, I just knew that we were onto something beautiful and onto something magical, and that it was going to happen. And then seeing the commitment of Emma Holly Jones and the producers, and all the actors who stayed committed to the project for years – and everyone had their other projects going on and other busy schedules. We all made it work, and that’s a testament to [the film].
How everyone is feeling about this film is a testament to the energy that we all put into it as well. It was very sincere and very passionate.
I love that. Now, Mr. Malcolm is very picky, and yet from the moment that he meets Selina, it seems that he is charmed by her. What is it that you think brings his walls down with her?
Ẹ́pẹ́ Dìrísù: Her authenticity. I think one of the things he’s most scared of is that someone’s going to pretend to be wonderful. They’re going to put on airs and graces, as is done at that period of history where everyone’s putting on their best wig or their best corset – this, that, and the other – and he’s just finding a true heart to connect with.
She comes with her heart first. She is unashamedly who she is, and that that’s so charming and disarming.
Obviously, the lesson is probably not have a list. But if you did have a list, what is one thing that would be on it?
Freida Pinto: Someone who just appreciates my culture, [who] is able to stay curious and embrace it and enjoy it as much as I do. One of the simplest things for me in my mind was if I ever had a kid, I want my kid to be raised not just my culture, but my partner’s culture as well. And for that, it would require both partners to appreciate and respect each other’s cultures. So, that would be something that would be on my list.
Ẹ́pẹ́ Dìrísù: Ambition and curiosity. Wanting more for either themselves or the world, and constantly being interested in continuing to learn or in how things work. Just never being intellectually or mentally or emotionally, in their soul, still. Never thinking that this is over, this is this where it ends, so that we can continue to discover new things together.
Mr. Malcolm’s List Synopsis
In 19th-century England, a wealthy, young lady named Julia engages in courtship with Mr. Malcolm, a mysterious, wealthy suitor, unaware that he has a list of qualities required of a future wife.
Check out our other interview with Mr. Malcolm’s List director Emma Holly Jones as well.
More: Mr. Malcolm’s List’s Regency Era Has 1 Big Bridgerton & Austen Difference
Mr. Malcolm’s List is currently in theaters.
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