© Apple Corps Ltd.The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years, the new Ron Howard-directed documentary centering on the Fab Four’s career as live performers, premieres in select theaters this Thursday, September 15. In advance of the film’s arrival, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Howard, chatted about the flick with Billboard.

McCartney told the magazine that watching the movie gave him an interesting perspective on his old band, as well as a new appreciation for the group.

“One of the things was seeing yourself as The Beatles. In the end you kind of become a fan — ‘Bloody hell, they’re great!'” explains Sir Paul. “Then you sit back and realize that’s you. It’s hard to take in.”

As for how the film affected Starr, Ringo said, “Well, you’re looking at a movie, aren’t you? A movie of the life we led. It’s great to look at it because you can relax now. There’s a lot of life gone by and a lot of memories.”

Meanwhile, Howard noted that in putting the documentary together, he began to draw parallels between The Beatles’ experiences during their touring years and another historical incident that was the topic of a movie he once directed.

“I began to see this time frame was a brilliant idea: It could be an adventure-ensemble survival story,” he explained Howard. “I could put my Apollo 13 narrative mind-set to work.”

Following its limited September 15 opening, Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years opens wide across the globe the next day, and gets its television premiere on September 17 on Hulu.

Meanwhile, you can check out a new clip from the film featuring footage of The Beatles’ performing “Boys” at the Hollywood Bowl at the band’s official VEVO YouTube channel.

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