Kenneth Branagh revealed that there was no sitting idle on the set of Dunkirk, and shockingly, no cups of tea, either. The British acting stalwart stars opposite Tom Hardy in the upcoming Christopher Nolan-directed Dunkirk. The movie follows the evacuation of British, Belgian, French, and Canadian soldiers from Dunkirk during WWII, when an army of regular sea trawlers and fishing boats sailed across the French channel in order to save hundreds of troops from the advancing German troops. The movie is told from three perspectives; soldiers on land, sailors at sea, and pilots in the air.
Branagh plays the role of Commander Bolton, the man tasked with organizing the safe evacuation of hundreds of young soldiers by sea. As one might expect with filming on location, Dunkirk was a tough shoot.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Branagh explained more about the conditions they faced. A new image of the movie has also been released and can be viewed below.
“In terms of film comforts, there were none. Once you put on the costume and went out there, that’s where you stayed. There’s no sitting about or checking out at all… I mean, Chris doesn’t sit down. Nobody else sits down. Nobody gets a cup of tea… He has a rather puritanical sort of determination to fight anything that brings a bit of movie softness to the experience.”
Branagh’s comments are in keeping with many reports of Nolan’s style of working; focused, determined and intense. That said, it’s also often reported that Nolan is a very relaxed director all the same, and never raises his voice. It is perhaps this approach, along with his vision, that has cemented him as one of the truly great auteurs of filmmaking.
Previously released trailers and TV spots for Dunkirk hint at an emotive, powerful story. Rooted in such an important part of history means that Nolan must keep faithful to that era and those events; something that shouldn’t be too difficult given that it’s such a dramatic moment in history. Marketed with the tagline “Survival is Victory,” the true heroism of Dunkirk really was based on how many lives were saved.
Dunkirk is rated PG-13; a big difference from the rating of many war movies. While it might lack bloodshed and horror, Dunkirk will instead be able to focus on the impact of the events on these characters, and the effect of war.