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Just minutes after the Academy’s Governors Awards came to an end a little over a week ago, I rushed across town to the Linwood Dunn Theater to moderate a Q&A with the principal talent behind the Oscar-contending drama The Imitation Game — director Morten Tyldum and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley — who are rarely all in the same place at the same time.
Over the course of our time together, we talked in detail about the making and social significance of the $15 million Alan Turing biopic that has won 13 audience awards thus far (including those given at the Toronto and Hamptons film festivals) and individual prizes for all three of them at last Friday’s Hollywood Film Awards — and that looks like a slam dunk to land a number of major Oscar nominations come January.
As you can see by checking out the video at the top of this post, the topics that we covered included: (a) how Tyldum’s Norwegian hit Headhunters led him to the The Imitation Game script, which had topped the 2011 Black List of best unproduced scripts; (b) what Cumberbatch knew about Turing before becoming involved with the project; (c) how Knightley’s years-old wish to be a part of a Turing project came true; (d) why Tyldum was so set on Cumberbatch and Knightley for the main roles; (e) how the challenges of playing Turing compared with the challenges of playing other real people for Cumberbatch; (f) how Knightley learned about the less famous and less documented character that she plays; (g) Knightley’s reaction upon seeing the finished film for the first time; (h) Cumberbatch’s reaction to the film’s tremendous popularity on the festival circuit; (i) how everyone in the company rose to the occasion, in Tyldum’s view, because of the importance of the project; and (j) what each panelist hopes audiences will leave the film thinking or doing differently than they were thinking or doing before they saw it.
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