Let’s be honest, Helen brings an incredible strength and power to this role and the ability to play those still moments. So, I fell in love with the script, and I thought of Helen, and I called the writer, and I said, “Guy, I love it, but I have one question.” In fairness to Guy, he hesitated only for a few moments, because as a writer, he’d been doing this, and now this director is going to change it. The subject matter was serious and threw up a conversation that I think we all need to be having.
The film stars Helen Mirren as a British military officer in charge of a high level drone operation targeting terrorists in Kenya.I really thought it was one of the most exciting scripts I’d read in a long time.Can you talk a little bit about any research that you did ahead of the film? We had a British military man who was on set all the time. I had long conversations with him about who Colonel Powell might be.The other characters that he played so brilliantly in the , and those sorts of things, he was a wonderful actor, so he always gave an incredible performance, but I think the Alan that we see on screen in this movie is very close to the real Alan.I also feel that the inner soul of the film is very much something that Alan would have identified with and would have been very proud to be a part of.One reads many scripts, and some of them are good and some of them are not, but every now and then, one really grabs you. That sounds like a cliché, but if you’ve seen the film, I hope that it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Helen and I, this is our first time sitting in a conference together, so this is kind of fun to be able to tell her this. I kept thinking I’ve got to have an actor who’s steely, determined, intelligent, has a real presence and the ability to look…HOOD: That too. And especially because the wardrobe is so appealing. But I also confess that I thought to myself when I got to the end that this is a subject that should be talked about by as many people as possible and that women should not be excluded from this conversation by having a male-dominated cast that makes it look like a Boy’s Own war movie, because it’s so much more than that. I received the script, and like Gavin, I had exactly the same response to it.For some reason, I kept thinking, “Helen Mirren, Helen Mirren.” You may not know this, but the character was not written for a woman. I mean, I really need someone who can pull off the wardrobe. So, not only was I fortunate enough to get the best actor for the role, but I also got a great actress, if I may, who I hope appeals to men and women, especially because she’s sexy. It was an absolute page-turner, but I thought much more than that.He was great in helping me, giving me guiding points about what he felt that sort of woman would be.And then, he was very, very valuable in terms of literally physical things, about the way you wear your uniform and the way in which the behavior is.HOOD: Obviously, when I’d read Guy’s script, I was somewhat intimidated, because there’s a tremendous amount of research that he’d already done and I needed to catch up. I started on the internet and then I called some friends that I have in the military.I know a Colonel who’s in the Air Force who knows Colonels who know other Colonels.