Brief mention in this interview about Film Nation at Sundance:
Last year, you secured $120 million in new financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Union Bank. How are you putting that money to use?
We’re working hard at investing that money. We’re financing the new Armando Iannucci film. We’re also financing “The Nest” [starring Jude Law] and the new film [“Ironbark”] by Dominic Cooke and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. So we are putting that money to work.
“He literally goes from being a rather charming businessman heading towards retirement, with a good sense of humor and a jolly manner, to being someone who is basically secreting Minox film cartridges about his case as he tos-and-fros to Moscow under the guise of being part of a British delegation of trade,” summarizes Cumberbatch, who also served as an executive producer on the film. “It’s a window into a world that’s not that far from our own, sadly, now, again, as far as how things heat up so quickly in politics and on the global stage,” he says of the story, which also serves as a reminder of the gravity of the Cuban Missile Crisis: “I think we forget how close we came to not existing anymore.”
The Doctor Strange star had previously been directed by Cooke in the BBC Two series The Hollow Crown as well as onstage in a production of Rhinoceros at the Royal Court Theatre. “He’s very much an actor’s director, as well as a brilliant stager,” says Cumberbatch. “I love his sensibility, and his take on character and relationship is key.” Once Cooke pitched Wynne’s extraordinary history for their next collaboration, the actor was on board.
But the shoot wasn’t without its challenges. In addition to mastering the accent, Cumberbatch also had to lose a great deal of weight in three months for just four scenes (rejecting suggestions that he Benjamin Button the rapid transformation) and a winter shoot in Prague, for which he had to be “semi-naked in real ex-prisons” that were well below freezing, making him terribly ill despite production’s efforts to keep him warm between takes. But the actor wouldn’t have had it any other way. “It’s nothing compared to what [Wynne] went through,” he says. “That’s the thing with these kinds of roles. People go, ‘Whoa, you did that?’ [But] you’re humbled by the reality, which is very far from what you have to do as an actor. And that helps you get there. That gives you all the motivation you need, frankly.”
Post by dreamsincolour on Dec 17, 2019 3:36:44 GMT
This is a film I'll certainly watch. It's a very interesting one! And a story that's rather forgotten now. As was intimated in that article, even the terrible Cuban Missile Crisis itself has faded from public consciousness to an extraordinary degree. Not something that should be forgotten, though. It needs to be remembered to serve as a warning for the future!
I don't usually pay that much attention to Sundance. But I'm very interested to see what reception it gets. I think Dominic Cooke is likely to have made a pretty good job of it!
I’m interested b/c of Dominic Cooke, seeing BC play a jovial sort of fellow, and the Cuban missile crisis plot. Should be very interesting, even if I’m not that much of a fan of spy stuff either, Susigo. Confession: I didn’t really understand TTSS very well. 😬
The most exciting movies of 2020 – biopics according to The Guardian.
David Calder and Peter Lindford have tackled the cold war spy Greville Wynne – whose intelligence helped end the Cuban missile crisis – for the BBC; now it’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s turn on the big screen, in this thriller directed by former Royal Court supremo Dominic Cooke (who made his film debut with On Chesil Beach in 2017). This version focuses on the contrast between Wynne’s mundane home life with his wife Sheila (Jessie Buckley) and his daring Soviet encounters with Russian source Oleg Penkovsky.