Film director Jeremy Saulnier admits it was like “winning the lottery” to work with Sir Patrick Stewart.
The Mirfield-born Hollywood star is to appear in horror thriller Green Room, due for release soon in the UK.
A punk ban are forced to defend their lives against neo-Nazi thugs.
And Saulnier says it was terrific to see the theatrical knight take on the challenge of playing an out and out villain.
Saulnier said: “The cast was amazing. Everything was riding on them to pull this off. We needed grounded performances that would be true to the world and we needed full emotional and physical commitment.
“The band is largely confined to a single room for much of the movie. For that to work we had to be utterly engaged with each one of them for the entire time. We worked with casting director Avy Kaufman and saw a multitude of amazing actors. One of the hardest parts of this was not being able to cast some of the incredible talents we got to meet with.
“It’s a tricky thing, to solve the chemistry of such an ensemble. But in the end we knew we had the perfect version of The Ain’t Rights and the perfect version of the neo-Nazis —both as individual actors and as components of their respective groups.
“As far as Sir Patrick, who plays an especially cruel man named Darcy Banker, the lead villain, we flat-out got lucky. Like winning-the-lottery lucky.
“Scheduling the film was proving to be extremely difficult, with so many moving parts to get into place, each hinging on the other. We were getting very close to our start date and still did not have our Darcy. And then, by chance, someone at my management company pointed out that Patrick had recently joined with them.
“At first I kind of furrowed my brow at the idea because Patrick is so dignified, and so well-loved all over the world, and such an obviously lovely man, while Darcy is an absolute evil bastard. But then it occurred to me: That’s exactly why he’s perfect for this!
“And then we learned that, in fact, Patrick was actually specifically interested in playing a villain right now. He watched my earlier movie, we spoke on the phone, the stars aligned, and about two weeks later he was on set barking orders to his henchmen. (In character, as Darcy, I should point out.)
“It was incredible and I can safely say that you’ve never seen Patrick Stewart like you’ll see him in this movie.”
The UK release for Green Room has now been moved to May 13 - ironically a Friday.