In a new interview with the Guardian, the actor also said he’d concluded that the late impresario was a complex character of extremes.
Asked what he’d like to say to McLaren if he could, Brodie-Sangster light-heartedly responded: “Where’s the money?” He continued on a more serious note: “I’d ask him about his background and his childhood. What led him to want to wake England up, to destroy things to get a reaction? And I’d want to know how he felt about the boys? How much he felt he needed to look after them or whether that was all an act?”
He admitted he was unsure whether McLaren would have offered any straight answers. “I’d say he was a real genius – and perhaps a bit of an arsehole,” he added. “I watched videos of him: sometimes he would sound American, sometimes he had this very proper British accent and other times he sounded quite London. There were lots of mannerisms as well, and how he held his mouth. His pitch would go all over the place; his hands would come out quite a lot. There were all these details.”
Brodie-Sangster reported that director Danny Boyle added a “weirdness” to Pistol that works even though many thought it wouldn’t. “There’s a scene where Jonesy [Steve Jones] and Chrissie Hynde sing David Bowie’s ‘Starman,’ and then suddenly a mirror ball comes down. You think: ‘Is that gonna be a bit cheesy?’ But actually we enter their vision of what they want from stardom, and it’s brilliant.”
Asked what he’d learned about the Sex Pistols themselves, he said: “You realize that they’re just lost little boys. They’re young and angry, and you understand where that hurt comes from, why they’re screaming. It’s like John Lennon or Kurt Cobain… I think Danny wanted to show the fragility of these angry, strong spit-in-your-face guys, a fragility to their outlandish masculinity.”
Pistol premieres on FX tomorrow (May 31).