The bond between Edgar Wright and Diana Rigg was forged over over drinks of Campari and soda. Rigg, who passed away September 10 at age 82, will appear in Wright’s upcoming psychological thriller “Last Night in Soho” in what is now her final movie role. In a heartfelt tribute to the late actress published by The Guardian, Wright remembers his first meeting with Rigg at London’s Berners Tavern, where the actress asked him if he would join her in drinking Campari and soda. The drink would prove to be an emotional bookend to their relationship.
Wright shot the majority of “Last Night in Soho” in summer 2019, but a few pick-up shots needed to be filmed this summer once it became safe to resume production amid the pandemic. Rigg’s declining health meant she would not be able to return to set, so Wright proposed figuring out a way for the actress to finish her role by recording ADR dialogue for her character.
“A month ago, Diana’s daughter, Rachael, called to say she wanted to do her final ADR for the movie but we would need to come to her and have to do it soon,” Wright writes. “I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew what that meant. This led to a quickly-arranged trip to her bedside the following week where myself and my dialogue editor Dan were to record her final lines.”
Wright brought a bottle of Campari with him to the ADR recording session. The director writes, “I was anxious about going, not least in the time of Covid, but also worried about tiring her out. As Dan and I came up the stairs to see Diana, I heard her cry out ‘I know that voice!’ and was already glad I came. When I saw her, infirm in bed, I said: ‘Dame D, I’ve been so bold as to bring some Campari.’ She replied, sippy cup in hand, ‘Darling, I’m having one right now. Will you have one?’ I said: ‘It would be rude not to.’ She shouted to her daughter, ‘Rachie, could you make two Campari and sodas for Edgar and his friend?'”
The three collaborators recorded her dialogue over drinks of Campari and soda, and Wright even showed Rigg a first look at the official “Last Night in Soho” trailer. Cut to a few days later and Wright realized while listening back to the recording that he needed Rigg to say one more word for her ADR to be perfect. The final word was recorded by Rigg’s daughter and son-in-law, who called Wright so that he could talk to Rigg one last time.
“I could tell she was tired, so I simply said, not wanting to say goodbye for good, I couldn’t wait for her to see the finished film,” Wright writes. “She replied, ‘I had such a lovely time making your film. I wish you all the luck in the world with it.’ Then a final ‘Bye-sy, bye.’ The line went dead. I started crying. When I stepped back into the office, my colleagues asked ‘What’s wrong?’ I replied: ‘I think Diana just said goodbye.’ It was indeed the last time we spoke. Just two weeks ago. I miss her so much already.”
Read Wright’s tribute to Rigg in its entirety on The Guardian’s website. Focus Features is set to open “Last Night in Soho” in theaters April 23, 2021.