While Gary Barlow has joked it was a “blunder” by producers not to test out his acting chops in Take That’s new film, in all seriousness the singer hopes Greatest Days’ cinematic success will be in “turning a mirror” on their fans.
Speaking to Sky News, with faux upset, he joked that not casting himself as a leading man was “a huge blunder, in my opinion, but there you go – we go on, we go on!”
“We’ve got this brilliant audience and, you know, the one thing for us that was so important with [first] the musical, and the movie, was to turn a mirror on the audience and make it about them and how important they are within what we do.”
Directed by Coky Giedroyc with Tim Firth adapting his own stage show, comedian Aisling Bea leads the cast with the story focusing on a die-hard Take That fan who – 25 years on from her teenage crush – has to round up her old school friends after winning the chance to see the band in concert in Athens.
Think nineties nostalgia meets Mama Mia-esque jukebox musical.
While the cast clearly had a blast breaking into song, Bea maintains it was a gruelling shoot.
“On Never Forget we did the conga 30 times down the road,” she explains. “That scene took two or three days of rehearsals… We hope it looks easy, but it never actually is behind the scenes.
“That I still feel emotionally connected to that song, I feel, is a testament to their writing, and their music.”
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How was it to be the lusted-after famous one?
From fantasies of marrying the boys through to the ritual recording of Top of the Pops, while – for fans – the film offers flashbacks to when following the band was for many an all-consuming teenage obsession, how was it to be the lusted-after famous one looking down from the bedroom poster?
“Honestly? It was absolutely terrific,” Barlow admits.
“They were great years…we were going on this incredible journey as five strangers really.
“We were put together by a manager, off we went into the world, and within a year we were travelling around to all these crazy countries just having the time of our lives. And that’s how it felt.
“That’s how I remember the nineties being, you know – noise, chaos, screaming and it was just terrific.”
Greatest Days is out in cinemas on 16 June.