Dexter Fletcher made his film debut when he was 9 years old, co-starring alongside Jodie Foster and Scott Baio as part of Alan Parker's ensemble of child actors playing adult roles in 1976's Bugsy Malone. In the years since he played Baby Face, Fletcher has built a C.V. for himself as one of the UK's finest character actors, appearing in David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980), Roger Donaldson's The Bounty (1984), and Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).
In 2011, Fletcher made his directorial debut with the crime drama, Wild Bill. He's since helmed the underdog sports movie, Eddie the Eagle (2015), taken over directing duties on 2018's Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody, and directed his own musical biopic, 2019's Rocketman, which won Elton John and Bernie Taupin an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Fletcher's eclectic resume is what made him "just wonky enough" for his newest movie, Ghosted, which is equal parts romantic comedy and full-on action movie.
"I'd yet to tackle a film of that size," says the director. "Rocketman's budget was nowhere near this in comparison, but it's not always necessarily about how much money you have to spend. It's what kind of vision you can bring to the screen. This film has a bit of a spin on a genre, and I think they thought I would just be different enough but interesting enough to do it."
Below, Fletcher shares with A.frame five of the movies he loves the most, which in turn, have informed the type of movies he wants to make.
Directed by: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly | Written by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Singin' in the Rain is filled with the joy of filmmaking, as well as the joy of life. It celebrates the art form, and it celebrates the people in it, and the ridiculousness of it, and the transient nature of what makes people important or seemingly desirable in a moment that can so easily just move on. Life changes, everything changes. Good times or bad, it always changes. Not to get too heavy about it. And I think that's just a film that I loved watching with my dad when I was a kid, that he loved. The humor in it as well. I like my films to try and have that energy and that drive. Singin' in the Rain is something that clips along at a pace, and there's fantastic joy in it, so that I love very much.
Written and Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Hard Eight is a fantastic, brilliant character study about darkness, and isolation, and loneliness in a world that looks glamorous and welcoming, but in fact is not. Not only does the camera move beautifully and explore that city, Vegas, at night, but also when you get a really beautiful, simple shot of Gwyneth Paltrow sitting on a bed, picking at a hole in her stocking. That is the power of moviemaking for me. That talks more about her character, and where she's at, and the isolation and the loneliness than any long dialogue might possibly be able to communicate. And Paul is a master of that. I'm always looking for those moments myself of character and truth.
Written and Directed by: Brad Bird
I love The Incredibles, because it's just so funny. I think Brad Bird's a genius, and that film speaks to all of his genius ideas. It's stylistically absolutely stunning too. I love Edna Mode. She's the funniest character in cartoon history.
Directed by: Emir Kusturica | Written by: Gordan Mihic
Black Cat, White Cat is about a life or a world or a culture that I've never really seen before. It gives you a window to see into that world. Because these people are 'gypsies,' and it's about being able to see the power and the intellect and joy in life that this community has. He did another film called The Time on the Gypsies, as well, which is particularly brilliant. But it's that ability of film to open us up to people and a world that maybe we've not taken the time to look at or consider about before.
That's what happens when you watch films from other countries. You go, 'Oh, of course. They're just like us. Why am I denying myself that?' I love that very much, and there's a real joy in that as well. There's real joy but pain in it as well, which I like that.
Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner | Written by: Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr.
I love Papillon. It's about friendship, and endurance, and the triumph of the human spirit, and will over those external forces that do everything they can to crush you. Same with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I mean, look, this is an endless conversation! How do you choose just five?!