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Why Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott were cast in 1917

 

It’s only one week into 2020, but it feels like 1917 will take some topping when it comes to the best cast of the year.

Speaking to Digital Spy, co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns revealed that the movie’s all-star cast was down to director Sam Mendes: “I think once you make a movie with Sam Mendes, you get – basically, the A-Team Assembles.”

1917 acts as a Sherlock reunion (of sorts) with Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott both appearing, and Wilson-Cairns revealed that it was only Scott’s character who was written with the actor in mind.

1917, film stills, Eone

E one Entertainment

“I think everyone involved in this film was incredible. I think so highly of Andrew. I think he’s one of the best actors of his generation. I think he’s absolutely incredible. He’s so dynamic, so watchable… and he is mindblowingly good,” she noted.

Related: Is 1917 based on a true story?

“And when I found out that he was going to play Lieutenant Leslie, I remember kind of being like, ‘Ooh, yeah’. I was like, ‘OK, this scene’s going to have some crazy shit in it’.

“Because I know that he can make that feel real. Which, as a writer, you know, working with actors, the dream is that you have someone who takes your words and makes them 10 times better.”

(And that scene ended up featuring an unexpected nod to Fleabag‘s Hot Priest.)

1917, film stills, Eone

E one Entertainment

As for Cumberbatch, Wilson-Cairns added that there was one clear reason that made him ideal for the role of Colonel Mackenzie, the person who Schofield and Blake are trying to get to in order to stop the doomed attack on the German army.

“I think the thing is if you get to Colonel Mackenzie, you need someone who’s an absolute powerhouse in that to really anchor that scene in reality. And he does,” she explained.

1917 is out now in the US and is released in UK cinemas on January 10.


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