Interview with The Railway Man screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce

Colin Firth plays World War II survivor Eric Lomax in biographical drama The Railway Man. Not only does the film have a prestigious cast – it's written by award-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions; A Cock and Bull Story). He's been talking about bringing Lomax' story to the screen.

"My getting out The Railway Man script and tinkering with it seemed a never-ending annual ritual," says Boyce, who in fact began work on the script 15 years ago.

The film explores Lomax' horrific experiences whilst working on the Thai-Burma Railway, and the confrontation that ensues years later when the older Lomax vows to track down the man responsible for torturing him.

"He built a radio and when this was discovered by his Japanese captors he was tortured by water-boarding, which involves being repeatedly nearly drowned," explains Boyce. "So he decided to track down his Japanese torturer with the intention of killing him.

He found this former officer, who apologised straight away for what he’d done… So instead of Eric killing him, they became best friends. It’s about a journey from hatred to reconciliation."

The Railway Man is out on 1 January 2014.