'A Private War' Star Jamie Dornan on How the Real Paul Conroy Helped His Performance

Dornan and Conroy discussed their collaboration on set in a featurette for the war drama.

For A Private War star Jamie Dornan, portraying photojournalist Paul Conroy didn't require too much imagination, thanks to the real Conroy's presence on set.

"I had the person I'm portraying there with us for the entirety of the shoot, so I had so much to go on," Dornan said in a featurette for the war drama.

A Private War centers on famed war journalist Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) and Conroy as they team up to cover international conflicts. Unlimited access to Conroy's memories was crucial to Dornan's performance. 

"There's so many times when we're trying to depict something as truthfully as we could, and there's times where the only person who really knew what it was like in that exact situation was Paul, and he's standing right there," Dornan said.

Conroy, who joined Dornan for the conversation, also discussed his experience working as a consultant during production, where he watched some of the most traumatic moments from his and Colvin's past reenacted.

"It wasn't painful," Conroy said. "It was saddening, at times, because I miss her. But she was back for a while."

For Dornan, the friendship between the two journalists was at the core of the story and therefore a priority for him.

"Ros and I both felt it was important to get across the sincerity of their bond that they had," he said.

A Private War is now in theaters.