Interview: Jonny Greenwood

‘It’s a real partnership, it’s like being in a band with somebody,’ says Jonny Greenwood of his collaborative relationship with director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Yesterday (Thursday) the Radiohead guitarist picked up the gong for Best Original Film Score at the 2019 edition of The Ivors, which took place at London’s Grosvenor House.

He was honoured for his work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2017 period drama Phantom Thread, which marks Greenwood’s fourth score for the American director.

Greenwood first branched out into film composing with the 2003 documentary film Bodysong and has since become one of the most respected film composers of recent years.

His next soundtrack marked his first collaboration with Anderson for the 2007 film There Will Be Blood, and he has since scored The Master, Inherent Vice and, most recently, Phantom Thread for the director.

Greenwood has also twice collaborated with the Scottish film director Lynne Ramsay on the 2011 film We Need to Talk About Kevin and You Were Never Really There, which was released in 2017.

He beat off competition from Anne Nikitin for, American Animals, and Daniel Pemberton, for Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, to take home the award in a year that also saw his band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We had a chat with the composer straight after he collected his award to get his reaction to the honour, some insight into his score writing process, and how his film work informs what he does with Radiohead and vice versa…