Interview: The Score’s writer/director, Malachi Smyth, on making a crime musical

With an extensive portfolio of screenplays behind him, Malachi Smyth was looking for something distinctive for his debut as a director. The germ of an idea – a couple of small time crooks tangled up in what for them was a big deal – was all it took, but the resulting film, The Score, grew into something more. A musical.

It stars Johnny Flynn and Will Poulter as the two criminals who choose a shabby roadside café as the location for a transaction that will change their lives. But the wait for the people who will make it all happen drags, phone calls don’t speed up their arrival and then Troy (Poulter) has a more personal experience. He starts to question his life choices and falls in love with the café’s waitress, Gloria (Naomi Ackie).

In the interview below, Smyth describes how he hadn’t planned for the film to be a musical and how listening to Johnny Flynn’s songs while he was writing changed all that. He also admits that it “complicated” things, because the production needed a bigger budget, more time and both Poulter and Ackie had to learn to sing in front of the camera. He describes working alongside Flynn who, as well as playing one of the lead roles and composing the songs, doubled as a musical director and was also an executive producer.


The Score is released in cinemas on Friday, 9th September | Read our review of the film.