Rose McIver as Rose
Leaving her dying father’s bedside, singer Maisie rushes to perform at an indie music gig in town. But as she sings the opening song, it’s hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she’s just been told – the story of how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart. As the night goes on, we see the love story of Eric and Rose through Maisie’s eyes. From the time they meet in Hamilton in 1966 to their separation in the 1980s, we follow the bittersweet nuances of a couple’s life, expressed with contemporary re-imaginings of the iconic New Zealand hit songs of artists such as Crowded House, Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn. (flicks.co.nz)
Genres: Drama with songs. Musical Movie. Feature Film.
Release Date: March 21, 2019
Country: New Zealand
Filming Locations: Wellington, New Zealand
Directed by: David Stubbs
Produced by: Richard Fletcher
Written by: Rochelle Bright
Music Director: Stephanie Brown, Fen Ikner
Casting: Rose McIver, George Mason, Kimbra.
January 2016 – Bullet Heart Club, one of New Zealand’s newest independent theatre companies, have reported that their debut stage show Daffodils (inspired by true events) is set to be developed into a feature film. Daffodils’ playwright Rochelle Bright and music collaborator LIPS (Stephanie Brown & Fen Ikner) have signed on to write the screenplay with film director/producer David Stubbs (KHF Media) set to direct. The team will begin working on the script early March 2016.
November 2017 – Daffodils will start production in February 2018 and will be released in New Zealand and Australia by Transmission Films in 2019.
Early 2018 – Rose McIver announced that she was in Wellington to work for the great New Zealander director David Stubbs. She also did an interview where she said “I’m coming home for two and a half months to do a film called Daffodils.”
February 21, 2018 – Bullet Heart Club announced on their twitter page: ‘Daffodils the film is officially in production and we are thrilled to reveal our incredible lead cast Kimbra, Rose McIver and George Mason.’
Thanks to Rose McIver‘s NZ Management, we know she will play the lead role, Rose.
April 14, 2018 – Rose McIver wrapped Daffodils filming.
October, 2018 – We got the first teaser/trailer for ‘Daffodils‘ (ckeck the related tab). The movie will be coming to cinemas on March 21, 2019.
In addition to her acting, in this film, Rose is also lending her voice to her character of the same name for 9 songs (full list below).
DRIVE | Written by B Runga – Featuring Rose McIver
The first single on Bic Runga’s 1987 debut album. The album went platinum seven times and won the New Zealand Music Award for Album of the Year.
ANCHOR ME | Written by D McGlashan – Featuring Rose McIver
Released by the Mutton Birds in 1994. The song was on the top single charts for 9 weeks peaking at number 10. It then went on to win Don McGlashan the 1994 APRA Silver Scroll Song writing Award.
COUNTING THE BEAT | Written by M Hough, P Judd & W Stevens – Featuring George Mason & Rose McIver
Released in 1981 by The Swingers, it quickly becoming a number 1 hit in both Australia & New Zealand. Since its release it has been voted the fourth best New Zealand song of all time by APRA, and was awarded a Silver Scroll retroactively in 2015.
TALLY HO | Written by The Clean – Featuring Rose McIver & Kimbra
The Clean’s 1981 debut single was the second release on the infamous Flying Nun Records label. The track reached number 19 on the New Zealand Singles Charts, giving the fledgling label its first hit.
THERE’S NO DEPRESSION IN NZ | Written by D McGlashan & R Von Strurmer – Featuring George Mason, Rose McIver & Kimbra
Released in 1981 by Blam Blam Blam. The track’s satirical lyrics struck a chord with many political activists.
JESUS I WAS EVIL | Written by D Bolton – Featuring George Mason, Rose McIver & Kimbra
Originally recorded on a four-track recorder by singer-songwriter Darcy Clay. Despite it’s lo-fi sound the song became BFM radio’s most played song of all time.
FALL AT YOUR FEET | Written by N Finn – Featuring George Mason & Rose McIver
A 1991 song by Crowded House, from their 1991 album “Woodface”. It peaked at number 17 in the UK.
SILENT TREATMENT | Written by S Brown & F Ikner – Featuring Rose McIver & George Mason
Written specifically for the film by Steph Brown and Fen Ikner of LIPS, as a distillation of the growing alienation felt by the protagonists. The arpeggio figure from the chorus appears as a major theme throughout the film.
I’LL SAY GOODBYE EVEN THOUGH I’M BLUE | Written by J Luck – Featuring George Mason, Rose McIver & Kimbra
The song has been taken up by generations of New Zealanders and going to Exponents/Jordan Luck concerts and singing along is a rite of passage for New Zealand’s youth.
See the captures
- “For the character of Rose, although we did audition, David always had Rose McIver in mind for the role but it came down to timing, and thankfully the timing worked for us.”
- “In terms of the on-screen chemistry between George and Rose, our casting directors, Miranda and Tina, had seen them together in a screen-test for a TV show in roles that, ironically, they didn’t get. But they were aware they had chemistry and we knew before they got together on set that it would likely work, however Rose and George certainly exceeded expectations in terms of how it turned out on screen.”
Q&A with Rose McIver
Tell us about your character in DAFFODILS
When we meet Rose she is a frustrated teenager who is living in quite a conservative family. She wants to go and explore the big smoke of Hamilton. She meets Eric fairly early on in the film – as it happens she is staggering, slightly intoxicated, through this patch of daffodils and Eric very kindly gives her a ride home. That marks the beginning of a long and complicated relationship and throughout the film we watch their relationship grow and change.
Did you do any preparation for this film?
The real preparation for me was the singing. I worked with Steph and Fenn, as well as Sarah who was our vocal coach and Chris who was our engineer. It was a new experience for me. I have sung quite a bit over the years, but I’d never recorded so it was really a matter of getting comfortable working in the studio and thinking about how we’re trying to integrate the songs with very naturalistic scenes, and how that affects your voice.
You’ve been living and working abroad for a number of years, was shooting Daffodils like a coming home, of sorts?
There’s never been a disconnect for me, living abroad, and my feelings about New Zealand. I’ve always been so grateful to be from New Zealand and I’ve known that I want to end up spending most of my time in this country. It’s been a really exciting, wonderful past eight years that I’ve lived away, where I have been able to meet all different kinds of people, and go through all sort of life stages in new environments. I think it’s great to shake up where you’re from and what you’re about and be able to thread different ideas through the characters that you play and the stories that you tell. So in that sense, living abroad has been really useful, and America, despite a lot of its problems, has been really welcoming to me and I’ve had some incredibly fortunate experiences. But it’s so nice to be home, and the people that we worked with on this job – everybody’s cut from the same cloth, its the same spirit and hard-working energy that I grew up around. I’ve been so grateful that DAFFODILS has been the project to come home for, and I look forward to doing more work back here on other really exciting New Zealand stories.
DAFFODILS features a re-imagining of some of New Zealand’s most iconic songs – how did you approach the musical aspect of the film?
I’m such a huge fan of literally every single song in this film. I grew up listening to them on CDs and cassettes. Songs like Bic Runga’s “Drive” I listened to obsessively as a teenager and “Anchor Me” is another real favourite of mine. So there’s a huge responsibility to do the best I can do, to try to re-imagine some of the work of some of my favourite musicians. Steph, Fen and David4 all really helped me think about ways to work with these songs that I had loved for so long. I didn’t have to try to mimic anybody else’s performance and we were able to think of ways to make the songs my own, because I don’t have Bic’s voice, I don’t have Don [McGlashan]’s voice but I could just find a new way to inhabit them and make those songs my own.
What do you hope audiences will get from this film?
I hope that audiences’ are reminded of how much musical talent there is in this country. It’s unbelievable when you look back through this rolodex of the artists that we have in this country. So, for starters I hope that’s acknowledged and all these artists are really celebrated and people get those records back out. And on a story note, I hope that this film makes the audience think about the way that they communicate with the people that they love. Somebody recently said to me that ‘expression’ is the opposite of ‘depression’ and that really stood out to me: the idea without an outlet of energy and emotions, it really does limit your ability to feel, and it numbs you a little bit. So I hope that if people slightly more mindful of that aspect of their lives after seeing this film, at the same time as being entertained, we will have done something pretty special.