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For a very British film opening a very British film festival, some very British rain lashed down on the (very British) cast of The Imitation Game at the opening of the BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were the — rather soggy — stars of the show at the U.K. capital’s Leicester Square, where despite Mother Nature’s onslaught hundreds still lined up to meet their idols.
The main topic of conversation at the event was The Imitation Game’s lead character, the U.K. mathematician, father of modern computing and World War II code breaker Alan Turing. He committed suicide in the 1950s, after being prosecuted for homosexuality. Only recently has he come to be recognized for his extraordinary achievements.
“He was such an unsung hero who achieved so much, he was ahead of his time, outside his time and carrying all these secrets, a true English hero,” said Cumberbatch of his lead role. “His algorithms which were used to break the Nazi’s Enigma code are now used in search engines. But if you search for his name, I come up. I’m flattered by that, but I’m not sure he would be.”
Speaking of the film’s early Academy Award buzz, the actor said if it gets people to see the film, that is all he cares about.
“It’s very early on. It’s very flattering of course, but there are a lot of other extraordinary films and performances that people haven’t seen yet, so it’s a far way off. But if it creates an interest for people to see this film and what the fuss is about, then that’s fantastic. Having had some experience with this extraordinary man, I want his story to be known as broadly as possible and our film to be a launching point for more interest and understanding of him and also a celebration of Alan Turing, so from that point it’s good.”
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