10 things we learned from ‘The Imitation Game’ cast Q&A

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Earlier this week CultBox attended the press conference for The Imitation Game, which premiered on the opening night of the London Film Festival 2014.

Out in UK cinemas on 14 November, The Imitation Game is a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing (pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.

The all-star cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley (Atonement) as close friend and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, alongside Matthew Goode (A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education).

Taking place in the very elegant surroundings of the Corinthia Hotel in London, the press conference was attended by Cumberbatch and Knightley, with writer Graham Moore and director Morton Tyldum. Naturally, most of the questions were directed at Benedict Cumberbatch, and of course someone got a Sherlock question in.


Here are 10 things we learned from the Q&A session…


Benedict said playing Alan Turing was ‘a huge weight, but a blank canvas to an extent.’


Writer Graham Moore said that he had always wanted to see a film about Alan Turing, and that it was ‘insane’ that a film about his life hadn’t been made already.


Keira Knightley, on her character Joan Clark reflecting modern feminism, said: ‘She was breaking boundaries in her own life, but she didn’t go about it like a bull in a china shop.’


Director Tyldum said holding the film’s premiere in London was ‘a bit like coming home’. He added: ‘It’s fulfilling to come here.’


He also described The Imitation Game as ‘an important, beautiful story of a man who achieved so much. He was a man with layers and layers of secrets.’


Benedict welcomed the early Oscars buzz: ‘If it gets people to see the film then that’s really all I care about. It’s a long way off but it’s flattering.’


…and he loved working with Norwegian Tyldum: ‘I knew from the first meeting it was going to be a riot to work with him!’


Moore explained that he didn’t write Turing as autistic: ‘It wouldn’t have existed in his time, and in general diagnosing someone after the fact is a little bit dangerous. It was not a word that was ever used on set or in rehearsals. He’s an outsider. He’s not like the people around him. He was separated from the people around him because he was a genius, because he was gay, because the government were after him to keep all these secrets. He’s the outsider’s outsider. 


Tyldum also warned audiences off labelling Turing as autistic: ‘We didn’t want to put him in a box. To put a label on someone is the opposite of what this film is about.’


Benedict said Turing was similar to Sherlock in the sense that they are both ‘uncompromising.’


Watch the trailer…

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