Pistol director Danny Boyle says punk-rock encouraged him to do 'whatever the f---' he wanted
Sun's out, fun's out! EW's 2022 Summer Preview has dozens of exclusive looks at the most anticipated TV shows, movies, books, and music of entertainment's hottest season. Continue to visit ew.com throughout the week for more previews of what you'll be watching, reading, and listening to in the months to come.
"I was twenty in 1976, so I was absolutely in the right spot," the Brit tells EW. "I never had the [courage] to pierce anything or paint my hair, but I did as much as I could. The punk philosophy liberated a whole society. In the '70s [in Britain] it was just appalling. You were young, and then you were old, and there didn't seem to be anything in between. The Pistols said, that life is yours, you can do whatever the f--- you want with it. It was incredibly liberating. Doing this series made me realize I've benefitted from it my whole life."
That show is FX's Pistol, which premieres on Hulu May 31. The six-part limited series tracks the formation, rise, and disintegration of the Sex Pistols, who entranced some and appalled others with tracks like "Pretty Vacant" and "God Save the Queen" as well as their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. The show is based on the 2017 memoir Lonely Boy by Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, who is played on the series by Toby Wallace.
"He was a bit of an outcast, he didn't have much growing up, he was a bit of a street guy," Wallace says of Jones. "He was pretty naughty. He'd go round stealing cars and, well, stealing pretty much anything and everything really. He started a band called Swankers with his friend Paul Cook, who was a drummer, and slowly and surely that was molded into the Pistols."
The Pistol cast also includes Anson Boon as Sex Pistol's frontman John Lydon, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as the band's manager Malcolm McLaren, and Talulah Riley as fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Maisie Williams, meanwhile, portrays punk scenester and style icon Pamela Rooke (AKA "Jordan"), who passed away earlier this year.
"She was the equivalent of Oscar Wilde, this extraordinary embodiment of a philosophy," Boyle says of Rooke. "Maisie's got a lot of fans because of Game of Thrones, and they will be introduced to somebody completely unique."
While Boyle is a huge fan of the Sex Pistols, he is an even greater admirer of another legendary punk band, as he felt obliged to inform Steve Jones when he spoke to the guitarist in the course of making the show.
"I said, 'To be honest, Steve, I'm more of a Clash fan than a Sex Pistols fan,'" Boyle recalls. "He said, 'I understand, so am I.'"
Never mind the bollocks, see an exclusive image from Pistol above.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.
- Dave reacts to Jinkx Monsoon's Judy Garland Snatch Game on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7
- Drag Race winners dish on All Stars 7 rule change and 'people secretly stabbing you in the back'
- The Bachelorette first look: Gabby and Rachel go shopping for a husband in Mean Girls–inspired tease
- RuPaul joins Disney's Zombies 3 movie as the mother of all alien spaceships