Greg Wise accuses both sides in EU debate of 'scaremongering'


Actor Greg Wise has spoken out about the European Union referendum debate, criticising both sides for "scaremongering".

The 49-year-old husband of actress Emma Thompson was speaking during filming for After Louise, his latest movie due for release in 2017.

Wise, who recently made a documentary called How The Rich Avoid Tax for Channel 4's Dispatches strand, said Britain is facing bigger issues than the EU.

"I think we should just ignore all of this, we should forget about all of this," he told the Press Association.

"There are so many more important and pressing things that we should be spending our time talking about and concentrating on than some nebulous decision that no-one knows what will happen either way."

He added: "It's all pure speculation and scaremongering and I just think it is so petty and childish from both sides. We've got huge problems in our country and I don't the EU is one of them, I really don't."

Northumberland-born Wise rose to fame as John Willoughby in the acclaimed 1995 version of Jane Austen's Sense And Sensibility.

Thompson not only headlined the cast, she also wrote the Oscar-winning script.

Following the success of the film, Wise took his career in an unconventional direction, which perhaps explains why After Louise is his first lead role in a feature film.

"I made a conscious decision when I was younger that I didn't want to go down the mainstream route," Wise said.

"After Sense And Sensibility came out, I sort of gently committed suicide in the head of Sony's office in Hollywood saying 'I don't want to work in America'. That was a very short meeting. I came back to England and worked as a builder."

He added: "We are completely, undeniably in the pocket of the American studio system in terms of our cinemas. That's all we get given.

"There are so few independent cinemas that will be brave enough to put on a little independent piece of work so it's almost impossible as a low budget film-maker."

In After Louise, from British production company Scoop Films, Wise plays a reclusive gardener called Bob, with post traumatic stress disorder.

Bride-to-be Kath (Alice Sykes from Peter Kay sitcom Cradle To Grave) realises she has made a mistake and drives off - accidentally kidnapping Bob in the process.

Wise, recently seen on the small screen in Netflix's The Crown and BBC One's The Outcast, praised the script of After Louise.

"It's a very interesting, very different piece of writing with characters that I hadn't seen before thrown together," he said.

"For me, it always has to be based on the writing. You can't make a good film with a bad script. You can still make a bad film with a good script, obviously, but not the other way around. All I can ever do is try and remember how I felt the first time I read a script."

After Louise is due for release in the same year as blockbusters like Star Wars: Episode VIII and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Wise is well aware of what it is up against.

He said: "This is a tiny film that hasn't got distribution, that maybe will never been seen by anyone, but that doesn't matter for me because I wanted to make it."