Rosamund Pike: ‘Starring in A Private War sometimes felt too big a responsibility’

Rosamund Pike sometimes worried she was taking on a job “too big” when she was preparing to play late journalist Marie Colvin in A Private War.In the drama, the Gone Girl actress plays American journalist Colvin, who worked as a foreign affairs corresp…

Rosamund Pike sometimes worried she was taking on a job “too big” when she was preparing to play late journalist Marie Colvin in A Private War.

In the drama, the Gone Girl actress plays American journalist Colvin, who worked as a foreign affairs correspondent for The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death in 2012, while she was covering the siege in Syria.

Rosamund had to change a lot about herself to transform into Colvin, and she admitted to Marie Claire magazine that she was daunted by the enormous responsibility of the role as she was preparing for the shoot.

“At the end of film, Marie says, ‘Fear comes later when it’s all over.’ And now I’ve done it, sometimes I think, ‘How did I have the audacity?'” Rosamund said. “There were definitely times I felt at a loss in the preparation; that it was too big, that there was too much to change. The voice, the smoking, the head gestures, her laugh, her walk, her brain… everything, really.”

The British actress had plenty of insight from people who knew Colvin well, such as photographer Paul Conroy, who joined her in warzones, to journalist Rosie Boycott and politician Jane Bonham-Carter.

Rosamund explained that her and director Matthew Heineman gradually won people over by proving that they were staying true to Colvin’s story.

“There’s a horrible fear that you’ve dared to tread in their dear friend’s shoes, and that can make you feel quite apologetic at times, although in this case, I’m not apologetic because we’ve made the film with the fiercest integrity,” she continued. “Gradually, people trusted that Matt and I were committed to depicting their friend truthfully and not for any Hollywood-isation.”

The actress has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in A Private War, but will face stiff competition from Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Glenn Close and Nicole Kidman for the best dramatic actress in a film prize.

A Private War, which also stars Jamie Dornan as Conroy, hits U.K. cinemas from 1 February (19).

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Rosamund Pike worked with real refugees in A Private War

Rosamund Pike has opened up about the emotional impact of working with real refugees in new film A Private War.The British actress portrays Marie Colvin, a journalist who worked as a foreign affairs correspondent for British newspaper The Sunday Times …

Rosamund Pike has opened up about the emotional impact of working with real refugees in new film A Private War.

The British actress portrays Marie Colvin, a journalist who worked as a foreign affairs correspondent for British newspaper The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death in 2012, in the biographical drama directed by Matthew Heineman.

Much of the movie was shot in Jordan, with Rosamund now sharing how she was able to meet with Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans and Sri Lankans who had fled to the nation during wartime and how their stories deeply influenced her performance.

“(For one scene set) in the besieged city of Homs (in western Syria) there was one basement where all the women and children who were sheltering from gunfire were huddling together, and we recreated that basement in our set in Jordan,” she recalled during an interview with Collider. “And I walked into it and Matt said, ‘Ninety per cent of these women are from Homs, for 90 per cent of them, this was their truth.’ And (he) pointed out certain women that were prepared to tell their story and what I got was their truth and so the emotional impact of that was huge. It was a very, very blurred line between fiction and reality.”

Rosamund went on to describe how she experienced many “confusing” emotions while speaking with the refugees and appreciated how Matthew, who is known for his documentary films like City of Ghosts, spent so much time talking to the locals.

“It changed the energy so much, because Matthew, coming from a documentary background, literally interviewed hundreds of people who were displaced, people from various parts of the conflict region we were covering,” the 39-year-old said. “It was exciting, it was moving, I had so many confusing emotions during that, that it was quite troubling. And that happened again and again.”

A Private War, which also stars Tom Hollander, Jamie Dornan, and Stanley Tucci, is now showing at U.S. cinemas. It is due to open in the U.K. on 1 February 2019.

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