The New Hollywood North: Thyrone Tommy

The New Hollywood North: Thyrone Tommy

The Mariner director on his big break, his favourite films and what movie he’d make with $1 billion

Known for: Mariner, a short film about a marine navigation student

First filmmaking experience: “In 2014, I directed my first short film, Avalanche, about a boy who fears growing up to be like his dad.”

Why you decided to become a director: “I studied marine navigation at Georgian College. But, in 2011, I realized I was more passionate about filmmaking than I was about sailing, so I dropped out.”

Something every young director should know: “Repetition is important. You’re going to have to explain yourself a few times to convey your ideas. Prepare for that.”

Desert island movie: “Something long, like Goodfellas. It would keep my attention and make me laugh.”

Movie you’ve watched the most times: “I’ve watched Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski more times than any person should. I just love it.”

Favourite director: “Sidney Lumet. He wrote a book called Making Movies, which I reread every time I’m about to shoot something.”

Hollywood star you most want to work with: “Daniel Kaluuya. He’s got a great presence on screen.”

Most memorable celebrity interaction: “I hung out with NBA players Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine when I filmed behind-the-scenes footage of the dunk contest in 2016.”

Favourite cinema snack: “Almond M&Ms.”

Toughest part about directing: “You never have enough time.”

One simple fix that would improve the film industry in Canada: “More resources.”

Someone gives you a $1-billion budget. What movie do you make? “I’d make a couple of movies, a Black cowboy western and a Korean War love story.”

Would you rather win an Oscar for best director or direct the highest grossing film of all time? “An Oscar, because no Black director has ever won one.”

Your next project:Ideally, that Black cowboy western. But I probably won’t get $1 billion for it.”

The New Hollywood North