Director Mike Leigh was forced to relax his rules of total secrecy on all his films when he made abortion drama Vera Drake as he felt compelled to inform star Imelda Staunton of the sensitive subject matter. The British moviemaker has a strict policy of never letting his castmembers know the overview of the film - preferring them to only know their character's role in the picture. But Leigh was forced to relax his rules while making 2004 movie Vera Drake - the story of a backstreet abortionist in the 1950s - as he felt his leading lady Staunton needed to be comfortable with the theme before she agreed to get involved. He tells British magazine Empire, "When I get together with actors on the first day, the know they won't be told what the film's about until the process is over. They will never know anything other than what their characters know. "In the case of Vera Drake, I did tell Imelda Staunton that it was going to be about a backstreet abortionist, because I had to know she would be comfortable with that, just from a moral point of view. "But most of the people in the film didn't have any idea that's what the film was about - certainly not the actors playing the members of her family. They didn't know until we rehearsed the scene where the police knocked on their door and arrested her."