‘Ironbark’s Rachel Brosnahan, Merab Ninidze, and Director Dominic Cooke on Their Cold War Thriller

     February 10, 2020

One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Dominic Cooke’s Ironbark. The film tells the true story of British businessman Greville Wynne (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who helped the CIA penetrate the Soviet nuclear program during the Cold War. Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky (codenamed Ironbark and played by Merab Ninidze), formed an unlikely partnership that helped to diffuse the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s. Ironbark also stars Rachel Brosnahan as a CIA agent and Jessie Buckley as Cumberbatch’s wife (Sheila Wynne). For more on Ironbark, read Adam Chitwood’s review.

Shortly after seeing the film I got to sit down with Brosnahan, Ninidze, and  Cooke at the Collider Studio at Sundance. They talked about what it was like premiering the film in front of a thousand people, the incredible true story, how the film doesn’t rely on action or big car chases to sell the drama, balancing fact and fiction, what they were nervous to pull off with the time and budget, and a lot more.

kia-supper-suite-marbl-toronto-logo-sundance-2020Finally, we have to thank our presenting partner, the Kia Telluride SUV, which was recently named the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. Additional thanks to support sponsors Glenfiddich Scotch, Peroni Beer, Marbl Toronto, mou footwear, ic! Berlin sunglasses and clothing lines, Laundry by Sheli Segal and Orginal Penguin.

Check out what they had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about.

Rachel Brosnahan, Merab Ninidze, and Dominic Cooke:

  • What is it like to premiere a film in front of 1,000 people?
  • What is the film about?
  • How the film doesn’t rely on action or big car chases to sell the drama.
  • Balancing fact and fiction in the film.
  • What was Cooke nervous about pulling off with the time and budget he had to work with?
  • How many takes do each of them like to do?
ironbark-image-benedict-cumberbatch

Image via Sundance

ironbark-benedict-cumberbatch

Image via FilmNation/Sundance

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