"After many debates, it was decided that Johansson would be filmed using miniature cameras, interacting with genuine, non-acting strangers wherever possible. Says [producer James] Wilson: ‘Jonathan always had a dream of driving around in a van with Scarlett, seeing if she could get a real person to get in. I’ll admit now that I never thought this would work. If you could drive around for a week, yes, but this was a low-budget, independent feature film, and we didn’t have the luxury of driving around for a week just to get one happy accident. But Jonathan stuck to his guns.’" - Film Nation Press Notes
"There were people in the film who were told they were in the film after we shot the footage, just members of the public. What I was very conscious of was making sure the texture was such that you wouldn’t be able to tell which was which, who was cast and who wasn’t. Sometimes with Scarlett, for instance, we’d pick up somebody who doesn’t know they’re being filmed, and they’d wonder why she’s driving this van around. ‘What’s a woman like you doing driving a white van around in Scotland with an English accent?’ and we would give her some key lines, like a spy with a cover story." - Jonathan Glazer, The Dissolve interview
"So I literally have half the crew in the back of this van that I’m driving down a street in Glasgow, and I have this earpiece in where Jonathan is saying "Pick up that guy, pick him up!" And I’m going no, I’m not going to pick him up, he’s clearly smoking crack on the corner! [Laughs] I mean, he’s directing me to every hardcore ruffian he sees. I have to decide in the moment whether I’m going to pull over and engage somebody or not while cameras are rolling. You asking yourself, is this person going to be a threat? Is this person going to engage you? Will we be able to get a usable scene out of this, or will they recognize me?" - Scarlett Johansson, Rolling Stone interview
"Always after you’d filmed something, there’d be this moment that production assistants would come out of doorways or from behind bins, with release forms. It was like an episode of Beadle’s About. And they’d go off around the corner and you’d sit there with your fingers crossed hoping that you’d get that permission, because what you just shot was great. Sometimes you got it and sometimes you didn’t.” - Jonathan Glazer, Esquire interview
"I probably used 15 percent of what I shot. There were people we shot that were fantastic interactions but I couldn’t use, because they didn’t give us permission to use the footage. That’s the game, you know. It’s a roll of the dice. I would still be shooting in that van, given the choice. I would be out there today, still filming Scotland, driving around. It was exhilarating. The footage was magnificent." - Jonathan Glazer, Random House interview
"A couple of people clued in [to Scarlett], absolutely. But she doesn’t really look that familiar. And also you’re in Glasgow and she’s driving a van. People just aren’t going to expect Scarlett Johansson to show up and ask for directions. A couple of people who were suspicious and there was one guy who said, “are you a movie star?” You know, in the nightclub scene was all hidden cameras as well. In the street when she falls down and people pick her up. No one ever knew they were being filmed or anything. It’s all about circumstance, I think." - Jonathan Glazer, Collider interview
“We were concerned about whether Scarlett would be recognised. If your cover’s blown then it all collapses. But we got away with it. The idea, really, is about surveillance: her being this kind of operative who is watching us undetected, and undetectable. It made perfect sense to film it that way – once we understood that then everything really served that objective.” - Jonathan Glazer, The Skinny interview
"To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires."