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From Potters Bar to Hollywood for film director Tony Kaye
Tony Kaye, who grew up in Tiverton Road, Potters Bar, moved far away from his suburban England childhood home to forge a career in one of the toughest industries in the world when he left Mount Grace School in 1969.
But the 62-year-old is hoping current pupils at his old school will be inspired by his new movie and give something back to the community.
He told the Times Series: “I believe we have to give back to the world and do things and I do what I can as an artist.”
Despite being a Grammy-award winning director, he still fondly recalls his time growing up in Potters Bar.
He said: “I recall walking through Oakmere Park one day, dreaming on my way to Mount Grace. Back then I wanted to go into Walt Disney which is a lot different to what I am doing now!”
The maverick director behind American History X remembers his upbringing in Potters Bar with nostalgia.
He said: “I grew up in a Jewish home and I remember at the time there was no synagogue so the services were held in the local golf club!”
Asked about his experiences at Mount Grace, one amusing anecdote has stuck firmly in Kaye's memory.
He said an irate French teacher once threw a blackboard rubber at him before exclaiming: “I don’t know what you’re going to do when you’re older, unless you can make a living staring at things!”
The unconventional director’s latest film Detachment is a drama about the American high school education system and looks at three weeks in the lives of several teachers through the eyes of a supply teacher.
The film features Tony Kaye’s daughter Betty Kaye and is supported by an all star cast which includes Adrien Brody and Lucy Liu.
Kaye said: “With Detachment, I tried to capture emotion and feeling rather than pinpointing social problems within the educational system.”
Detachment is rated certificate 15 and is now out in cinemas.