Glasgow Film Festival - Cashback - Sean Biggerstaff interview

  • The List
  • 30 January 2007

Money talks

Nocturnal romance Cashback opens this year’s Glasgow Film Festival. Paul Dale meets its rising Scottish star Sean Biggerstaff.


Sean Biggerstaff has just returned from the seventh annual British Film Festival in Israel where Cashback was screened simultaneously in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. But though the film was well received, Biggerstaff wasn’t around to witness it. ‘I believe the film went down well, I wouldn’t know because I spent the duration hugging a toilet due to a stomach bug.’

Cashback seems to have taken its toll on the usually healthy 23-year-old Glaswegian who describes how the all-night shooting schedule made him ‘really ill’.

Not that Biggerstaff (who starred in the first two Harry Potter films and the BBC TV series Charles II) isn’t up to a demanding schedule. In Cashback he is convincing as the lovesick insomniac who searches for some kind of redemption by taking night shift work in a 24-hour supermarket.

Cashback started life as a short film shot by director Sean Ellis in four days at a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Whitechapel in 2004. That film did enormously well at film festivals around the globe and scooped just about every short film prize going. Such was the acclaim that last year Ellis brought his cast back together to make a feature version.

Did that not cause continuity problems? ‘They got everyone together so Sean Ellis could get a look at us two years on and luckily we all looked pretty much the same apart from one guy who had been working out quite a lot. He got put on the salads.’

Biggerstaff has just bought the rights to Deke Leonard’s book, Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics, an autobiography of sorts detailing the wild years of Welsh rockband Man. Despite a relatively ordinary background - his father is a fire fighter and his mother a community educationalist - Biggerstaff always knew that he would act. ‘I’ve never wanted to do anything else. The attraction for me has always been about becoming someone else.’

Cashback opens the GFF at the GFT, Thu 15 Feb, 7.30pm; Cineworld, Renfrew Street, Fri 16 Feb, 6.30pm.