Steven Knight had an idea. The writer/director, best known in the U.S. for scripting David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, wanted to tell a story in real time of a man driving home from work. There would be no high-speed chases or car-crashes. There would be no flashbacks to help explain his predicament and motivations. Instead, his one and only onscreen character would calmly engage in phone conversations with a multitude of people who were depending on him for something important: his wife, his kids, his boss, his friends. Through those increasingly tense chats, clues would trickle out, and the audience would begin to understand who he was and where he was going.
Knight recruited Tom Hardy to play his driver, an ordinary man named Ivan Locke. Their movie, Locke, is one of 2014’s overlooked gems. EW chatted with Knight to learn how he made an 85-minute car ride into one of the year’s most powerful cinematic experiences.