Circuit Breaker Interview: Hans Zimmer Discusses ‘Widows,’ Steve McQueen, and Failed Piano Lessons

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer has worked in film and television since the early 1980s. He has worked with Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Christopher Nolan, and many more of the best-known directors in Hollywood.

Zimmer won an Academy Award for his original score on the beloved Disney classic “The Lion King” in 1994. Disney tapped him again to work on the live-action adaptation due next year. He also earned nominations for “Rain Man,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “Gladiator,” and last year’s “Dunkirk.”

He has also scored video games, commercials, and recently worked on the documentary series “Blue Planet II.”

In 2013, he joined forces with Steve McQueen on “12 Years a Slave,” which would go on to win Best Picture that year. They worked so well together that they reunited for “Widows,” adapted from Lynda LaPlante’s groundbreaking miniseries.

“Widows” stars Viola Davis as Veronica Rawlings, a wealthy Chicago woman whose world collapses after her criminal husband (Liam Neeson) is killed in a standoff with police. It seems her husband stole money from some very bad people who want it back. So Ronnie gathers together the other widows of her husband’s gang to pull off the heist they couldn’t.

The film also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, and Brian Tyree Henry.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Zimmer about his work on “Widows,” and his collaboration with Steve McQueen. We also talked about why this film is sure to resonate with audiences, and I learned some surprising details about his early life and career.

We hope you’ll enjoy this conversation with Hans Zimmer.

Widows” is distributed by 20th Century Fox and is in theaters now.

Be sure to check out our Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where “Widows” ranks among the contenders!