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Krysty Wilson-Cairns first heard the idea for Last Night in Soho — the horror thriller that stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie — from director Edgar Wright while dining at a sleazy basement bar in London’s Soho neighborhood.
“[Wright] had never been out in the dingy part of London, and I had belonged to that part,” Wilson-Cairns told a screenwriters panel alongside Sterlin Harjo during the Toronto Film Festival on Friday. Wilson-Cairns, having penned 1917 for Sam Mendes, was introduced by the Hollywood director to Wright, who recommended they dine in the hip London district of Soho.
“I was a big fan of [Wright’s] films, and we were talking about that, and he said ‘You used to live around here?'” the Scottish screenwriter recalled. Wilson-Cairns had lived above a strip club in Dean Street in Soho, where she worked as a bartender amid the predominantly red neon glow thrown off by nearby brothels.
“The bar where I worked had a dominatrix working opposite the door, and so I would sit and watch her clients go in and out and then she would come and tell me about each of her clients and I would give her a lot of vodka,” she recounted.
“I was very much in that seedy world, although not stripping, because I have no rhythm, sadly,” Wilson-Cairns added. It was months later that Wright and Wilson-Cairns decided to co-write Last Night in Soho, which is now due for release by Focus Features in late October after being delayed several times due to the pandemic.
Working Title, which backed Wright’s Baby Driver, produced the project.
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