Now playing in limited release and expanding into more cities this weekend is the fantastic true-story drama A Private War. Based on the life of celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin, the film stars Rosamund Pike as the real-life hero and chronicles the physical and psychological effects of covering war up close. The film does an incredible job of showing her career from a life-changing moment in the jungles of Sri Lanka through the war in Iraq and the Arab Spring in Libya to being under siege in Homs. The film also stars Jamie Dornan as renowned war photographer Paul Conroy, who worked with Colvin.
Helmed by Matthew Heineman, making his narrative debut after directing the tremendous documentaries Cartel Land and City of Ghosts, the gifted filmmaker brings the same intimate realism and unflinching depictions of life in the heart of conflict to his narrative debut.
With journalism under fire around the world, A Private War is a powerful reminder of what some brave individuals are willing to do to ensure that important stories get told. If it’s playing near you, I strongly suggest buying a ticket. Scripted by Arash Amel, the film also stars Stanley Tucci, and Tom Hollander. You can watch the trailer here.
When I sat down with Jamie Dornan and Paul Conroy to talk about the film, they shared what it was like working with nonprofessional actors and real Syrian refugees on set, how the film is coming out at a critical time with the way journalists are being attacked, how they first met and if a pub was involved, and a lot more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis. Finally, if you missed my interview with Rosamund Pike, click here to watch.
Jamie Dornan and Paul Conroy:
- How the film is coming out at a critical time with the way journalists are being attacked.
- How the war is still raging in Syria.
- How they cast nonprofessional actors and real Syrian refugees and how that changed the energy on set.
How did they first meet and was there a pub involved?
- What did Jamie notice about Paul when they met and did he incorporate anything from the meeting?
Here’s the official synopsis for A Private War:
In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she’s witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her — along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) — to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin, A PRIVATE WAR is brought to the screen by Academy Award nominee and critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman in his pulse-pounding narrative feature debut.