How We Made looks at the inauspicious production of My Beautiful Laundrette

We hadn’t stumbled across it until now, but since 2012, The Guardian has been publishing “How We Made,” a weekly column that invites creative types to talk about the history of their works, including films and television shows. This leads to all sorts of great anecdotes, often about the emotional, personal side of production.

This week, The Guardian rounded up the director and co-star of My Beautiful Laundrette, a groundbreaking romance story that tackled the class, race, and gender identity climate of 1980s England. The filmmaker and actor reveal tidbits about the budget and filming process, but most interestingly, they both admit that they never expected the film to find much success or audience. Director Stephen Frears assumed the film would go direct to television because “Who in their right mind,” he recalls, “was going to go to the cinema to see a film about a gay Pakistani running a launderette?”

The film went on to be a classic, and the fact that no one would even bat an eye at My Beautiful Laundrette‘s themes or political humor today speaks to its importance. We always enjoy hearing human element stories like these, and if you do too, consider adding “How We Made” to your regular reading rotation.

My Beautiful Laundrette is frequently reserved for class use, but given its popularity, we have a copy you can always take out of the library (HU DVD 3451*).

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