Paul McCartney’s Daughter Mary On Feeling Awkward About Interviewing Her Father

In ‘If The Walls Could Sing,’ which premiered on September 3, we follow the history of Abbey Road, which has become one of the most emblematic places in rock history. Director Mary McCartney presents an incredibly intimate historiographical account of the studio, interwoven with archival photographs and personal narratives. One of the people she interviewed for the film was her father, and in her recent conversation with Jimmy Fallon, she described her feelings during the process.

“My dad included, they all kind of came [to the studios],” recalled Mary before explaining how the interviews were arranged and why she tried to bring everyone to the Abbey Road studios. “A lot of them I interviewed in Abbey Road, in the studio. So they felt the feeling.”

She continued, “It’s like this feeling of warmth and inspiration when you go in there. So they all brought their game. But there was a cute moment when I was sitting with dad, and I was, like, talking up, really well-researched, and being really professional. He kind of glazed over, and he was like, ‘That’s my daughter. You’re like a female director directing me.’ And I was like, ‘Get back to work.’”

The initial idea for this documentary came from oscar-winning director John Battsek. For directing, he had Mary McCartney, who was doing photography at the time, in mind. He asked if she wanted to make a documentary about Abbey Road’s story, and McCartney readily accepted the offer. She had said that directing was the natural point her career brought her.

The director described the reason for wanting to do this as a ‘funny’ one. A photograph she saw in Abbey Road’s book actually started everything. In the photo she refers to, her father and mother were captured as they were crossing the famous Abbey road with a pony named ‘Jet’ with them.

Paul and Linda McCartney crossing Abbey Road with Jet. MPL Communications Ltd.

The documentary tries to look at Abbey Road beyond the Beatles, even though the Beatles and their famous album covers became prominent figures in the studio’s history. The director, in particular, tried to make sure it wasn’t all about her father and the Beatles. Although the documentary isn’t just about the Beatles, with Paul McCartney, we will also listen to unheard stories about the band.

In addition to Paul, Elton John, Liam Gallagher, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, John Williams, and Noel Gallagher are also in the casting of the documentary. So it will be like watching a mythical-rockers parade simultaneously. It is not surprising though, considering the legendary bands and names the studio hosted. The documentary will be available on Disney Plus on December 16.