During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of "gross indecency", an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offence of homosexuality - little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, THE IMITATION GAME follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.
THE IMITATION GAME is a dramatic portrayal of the life and work of one of Britain's most extraordinary unsung heroes, Alan Turing. Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Fifth Estate", "Star Trek Into Darkness", and TV’s "Sherlock") and Keira Knightley (BAFTA nominee for “Atonement”, Oscar® nominee for "Pride and Prejudice") star as Turing and his ally and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top-notch cast, including Matthew Goode (“Stoker”, "A Single Man"), Mark Strong ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"), Rory Kinnear ("Skyfall"), Charles Dance ("Gosford Park", TV's "Game of Thrones"), Allen Leech (“In Fear”, TV’s "Downton Abbey") and Matthew Beard ("An Education").
Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum, 2012 BAFTA nominee for "Headhunters", directs from a screenplay by Graham Moore, based on the book "Alan Turing: The Enigma" by Andrew Hodges. Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman produces alongside Bristol Automotive’s Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, with Moore as executive producer and Peter Heslop (“The King’s Speech”) as co-producer. Behind-the-camera talent includes director of photography Óscar Faura (“The Impossible”), editor William Goldenberg (Oscar® winner for “Argo”), production designer Maria Djurkovic (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ ("Kick-Ass"), hair and make-up designer Ivana Primorac (“Anna Karenina”), casting director Nina Gold (“Les Miserables”) and composer Alexandre Desplat (Oscar® nominee for “Argo”).
The film was shot in England over eight weeks on locations in London, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset, including a Victorian mansion which was the former home of author and naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming, a disused RAF base, King's Cross station, Sherborne School, where the young Turing was educated and the Bletchley Park codebreaking centre itself, with some interiors filmed at HDS/CHAK89 Studios in Middlesex.
1927, Sherborne School, Dorset, England: 15-year-old Alan Turing is shy, awkward, solitary and bullied. Months of misery at this traditional boarding school stretch ahead, until a handsome 16-year old knight comes to his rescue. Christopher Morcom advises Turing to try to blend in, so as not to be picked on. As their close friendship develops, Christopher introduces him to the arcane art of cryptography, a concept which Turing embraces immediately. Both excelling at mathematics, the two boys become adept at communicating in code, allowing them to keep their mutual attraction concealed from the rest of the school. Christopher leaves for a holiday with his parents and Turing is confused when he fails to reappear at the beginning of the new term. The headmaster breaks the awful news: Christopher has died of bovine tuberculosis from drinking infected milk. Turing is left distraught and alone again.
1939, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, England: Turing arrives at the heavily fortified Victorian mansion for a meeting with the head of the top secret Government Code and Cypher School, naval Commander Alastair Denniston. The interview does not go well. Denniston finds the Cambridge mathematics graduate arrogant and obtuse and is about to show him the door when Alan mentions Enigma, the German military code machine. Denniston points out that Enigma is unbreakable, but Turing gleefully responds that he should be allowed to try.
Turing meets the other new recruits, including Hugh Alexander, man about town, chess champion and leader of the group; John Cairncross, Scottish and an inferior mathematician; Peter Hilton, a precocious Oxford undergraduate; and Furman and Richards, a couple of linguists. Denniston shows a captured Enigma machine to his protégés and when Turing makes it clear he is not a team player, the watching head of newly-created MI6, Stewart Menzies, quickly brings him into line, pointing out that men are dying while they are time-wasting.
Turing’s response is to write to Winston Churchill, expressing his dissatisfaction with the Bletchley set-up and suddenly finding himself in charge of the Enigma team, on the Prime Minster's orders. Furman and Richards fail to survive this change of regime and Turing suggests a crossword-solving contest with the help of MI6. To general embarrassment, the winner is a girl, Cambridge mathematics graduate Joan Clarke.
Turing secretly includes her in the Bletchley team, placing her in a hut full of Wrens, but he risks arrest by giving her Enigma messages to analyze. Meanwhile, he works obsessively on his own electro-mechanical code-breaking machine, which he calls Christopher, leaving his fellow team members increasingly impatient at their lack of results. Turing makes a gauche attempt at making friends, but possibly too late. Denniston wants to shut the machine down and Clarke is threatening to go home, so partly in desperation, Turing proposes marriage. She accepts, although she knows that Turing is gay and is genuinely disappointed when he later breaks it off, to save her from investigation over the "borrowed" Enigma intercepts.
Suddenly, there's a breakthrough. At a party, Clarke's friend Helen mentions that she has been intercepting numerous messages from the same German radio operator and there seem to be repeated words which could provide a key. Turing realizes that all messages contain the phrase "Heil Hitler!" Enigma can be broken!
Although the end is in sight, Turing points out that they must use their knowledge sparingly. Lives will continue to be lost, but the code-breakers must not disclose their success to the enemy, or Enigma will be replaced. Turing persuades Menzies to keep their secret from the British top brass, until the Allies' newfound advantage can be perfected.
Codenamed "Ultra", Bletchley Park becomes the biggest store of military intelligence in the world and the war is drastically shortened. Turing and the members of Hut 8 can finally take their secrets back to their civilian lives.
1952, Manchester, England: Police are called to the house of a university professor of mathematical biology, following reports of a burglary. Investigating Detective Robert Nock finds Professor Turing a curious "victim", who appears to be hiding something. Digging into his background he finds his war record has been erased. Nock sniffs espionage, but his investigation is derailed when Turing is arrested for "gross indecency". Nock interviews him, finding his true background a revelation and is sickened when the shy academic is convicted.
Clarke visits Turing and finds him a shambling shadow of his former self, his brain clouded by synthetic oestrogen – the “chemical cure” which he opted for as an alternative to prison. He is still trying to work on a newer model of Christopher, but is unable even to manage a crossword puzzle.
1954: Police are again in attendance at Turing's house. The troubled genius has committed suicide – a half-eaten apple dusted with cyanide is by his bed.
His machine was never perfected, though it generated a whole field of research into what became known as "Turing Machines". Today we call them "computers".
The incredibly true, yet largely unknown story of British cryptanalyst Alan Turing spread like wildfire among the Hollywood community in December of 2011. It was then that Graham Moore’s nascent screenplay illuminating Turing’s life, THE IMITATION GAME, placed first on the legendary Black List – Hollywood executives’ ranking of the most-liked yet still unproduced screenplays.
Teddy Schwarzman, head of film production and financing company Black Bear Pictures, was hooked at first read. "It was a real page-turner, but so dense, so rich with historical significance, with a riveting, misunderstood protagonist. It was a script where you very clearly saw the movie and it was written in a very intelligent way, with highly stylized dialogue, but never putting anything at the forefront other than the characters." Schwarzman knew it would fit perfectly into Black Bear’s canon: original, engaging and complex character-driven stories such as their recently acclaimed ALL IS LOST, starring Robert Redford.
The script’s inception had a richer history than many knew. In late 2009, Bristol Automotive producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky caught a news report of a speech by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, apologizing on behalf of the British Government for the treatment of Alan Turing after World War II. Not familiar with Turing’s story, they researched and discovered an extraordinary life unknown to most people, particularly in the US. They immediately optioned Andrew Hodges’ Turing biography and were discussing it a party, where the guests included Graham Moore. The young novelist professed his love for Turing and the trio hatched a plan for a script. The title of a post-war paper Turing wrote served as Moore’s inspiration. It detailed a method Turing invented to determine whether something is a machine or a real person. A test of sorts, but to Turing, a game – The Imitation Game.
The fall of 2012 found Grossman and Ostrowsky seeking a new home for the project after a possible studio collaboration. Amidst a pack of suitors, the team met Schwarzman and a partnership was expeditiously born. Schwarzman, Grossman, Ostrowsky and Moore found that they very much wanted to tell the same story the same way, paying homage to an extraordinary life while honoring the tale’s most challenging and unique elements.
"It's an amazing life story,” marvels Moore. “It's one of those which, if you'd made it up, wouldn't have been believable: that one person lived through so many dramatic things, that one person is a genius, a war hero, invented the computer, was prosecuted by the Government for homosexuality and committed suicide – it's all these movies in one. It's shocking that it's true. “
Despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Turing’s life, the team all identified a personal admiration for and connection to his story.
Schwarzman shares Moore's enthusiasm: "It's a story that the world needed to hear. The Poles and Brits had worked on breaking the code for years and hadn't made sufficient progress, so to have a professor walk into to Bletchley Park with no real training and find a way to solve an impossible problem, is just riveting. I wanted people to know what Turing had accomplished before, during and after his time at Bletchley Park. He was embraced for his uniqueness and in the process, saved countless lives.
From a thematic standpoint, Schwarzman also connected with the script. "I tend to appreciate the outsider, the thinker, who's doing things that others deem extraneous or superfluous or wrong and yet who, through his own sheer will, finds a way to make an impact. This is the story of one man who made something from nothing, profoundly influencing generations to come."
Moore was taken by Turing’s work – and the tremendous breadth of his devotees. He recalls, “When I was a teenager, I was massively into computer science. I went to computer camp. I was really into programming and, among computer science folks, Turing is this object of cult-like fascination. Because he was this unheralded early inventor of the computer, to whom history hadn't done justice, he was always talked about, from the Steve Jobs's and the Bill Gates's of this world, right down to little teenage me. I feel that this film is the most important thing I will ever be a part of. I don't know that I will get to do anything I love so much ever again, but I'm very glad I got to do it this time.”
With their vision in place, the producers set out to assemble an artistic team as passionate and impressive as the material itself. "We knew we had a script that was special, that combined a conventional biopic, a character study and a thriller, so we knew we wanted a director who wouldn't deliver the sort of biopic we've all seen before," notes Ostrowsky.
The search for the perfect fit was of great importance. The team knew it was a rare candidate that could synthesize all of the narrative elements at work with the scope and nuance necessary to give Turing’s story its due.
"There were a number of truly talented directors interested in making this film, and we were honored by their interest,” Schwarzman recalls. “The film had an American writer and American producers, so we knew right away that the film must be shot in the UK to ground it in its historical roots. “ But it was an unlikely choice that blindsided the team. “Ultimately it was a Norwegian who blew me away with his true understanding of the characters. Morten Tyldum knew what was driving everybody in the story and that it was a story of love and loss and triumph.”
Still a relative unknown in the U.S., Norwegian helmer Tyldum had directed several films in his native Norway, including the BAFTA-nominated HEADHUNTERS. "I just loved, loved, loved that film. If you take apart all the elements that were embodied in that film, they all translate to the individual aspects that are needed in ours. There is a sense of propulsion, a sense of tension, a race against time, a hunt that is happening. There is an unlikeable protagonist who we can't help but invest in. There is humor and levity at times, when it is very much needed. There's a sense of artistic mastery in the way that the film was shot where, if we had a director who did something of that much skill on that film and passionately enough to tell that story, I felt very confident that he could do something really special with ours."
Moore had a meeting with Tyldum and knew he was absolutely the man for the job: "I never dreamed that we would end up with a director with the level of skill and craft that Morten brings to this movie. From the first second I sat down with him – I left the meeting and called everyone else and said 'It has to be this guy. This is the director of the film. He just got it – and so instinctively.'"
Schwarzman emphasizes, "You need someone inspirational as your director, you need someone confident in their vision, but at the same time, collaborative in their process, with emotional sensitivity and who really understands what type of performance they're looking to put on the screen. And I left my two meetings in 48 hours with Morten, feeling completely confident in his vision for the film."
For Tyldum’s part, staying true to Alan’s iconoclastic roots was essential to bringing THE IMITATION GAME to the screen. "It's a very important story that’s a tribute to being different and how essential it is to have people who think differently, not following a norm, in society,” says Tyldum. “Turing faced a great injustice, but never compromised his ideals. And the world is better because of his bravery.”
Tyldum saw a bit of that outsider status in his own role and wanted to use his non-British heritage to the film’s advantage. "I think it's good to have an outside view of it, as it naturally leads to an emphasis on the universal elements of the story. This was a special time in British history, make no mistake. But these ideas of Alan’s, they were so much bigger than the time and the war. So, I think this movie is more than just a period drama. It's much bigger and much more important than that."
With Tyldum in place, attention turned to casting the role upon which the entire film rests. The film needed an actor that could synthesize Turing’s genius, his humanity and myriad complexities. "Even before I got this movie and even before he was established in the USA, I said Benedict Cumberbatch must play Alan Turing," remembers the director. “I think Benedict has that mix of sensitivity and strength and there are not too many people who can portray a genius and for it to become believable. There's so much inner life that he conveys. You really believe that Benedict becomes Alan Turing and you one hundred percent believe that this man is capable of generating these big ideas."
Moore recalls his excitement of finding the match for Alan. "Benedict coming on board felt like winning the lottery. He is in almost every frame of this movie. There are very few actors in the world who can handle a part like that. Turing is not only a genius, but he's gay. He's not only gay, but he's closeted. He's not only closeted, but he has to win the Second World War. Benedict doesn't just convey the intelligence of Alan Turing, he embodies it. His level of devotion to this character is a level of devotion that would rival Alan Turing himself."
"You have to believe the actor playing Alan is incredibly intelligent – and with Benedict that's never in question," echoes Ostrowsky. "You can see how sharp he is and how curious he is and also how mysterious and enigmatic he is." It was a unanimous sentiment.
The next challenge was finding the actress to play Joan Clarke, Alan’s sparring partner in both work and life, and a brilliant mathematician in her own right. A woman ahead of her time, Joan is a multi-faceted character that would require an actor of veteran skill. Enter Academy Award® nominee Keira Knightley. "I was thrilled that Keira wanted to play Joan," says Tyldum. "She brought so much power, but also vulnerability to the character. She steals the scenes she's in. She's marvelous and I think quite different from her performances in other period films. She is able to portray someone who is as capable and intelligent as Turing himself. And it is because she possesses all of these qualities that Alan does not, that she becomes so important in his life. There's such a great chemistry between them.”
The final piece of the atom in the Bletchley nucleus belonged to the role of Hugh Alexander. Another exceedingly accomplished man, Hugh possesses a winning charm and extreme good looks in addition to an exemplary affinity for numbers.
Building the ensemble led to an embarrassment of riches of British talent. "I have the perfect cast,” Tyldum says. “It’s impossible to look away from Mark Strong - in every scene he’s in. Charles Dance brings such authority to his role. He's born to be this military leader. Rory Kinnear gives such a layered performance as Nock. And the codebreakers – Allen and Matthew – I'm so lucky to have worked with this group of actors. I can't praise them enough."
While historical accuracy was paramount on the filmmakers’ agenda, Moore highlights the creative enhancements that heighten the experience of the film. Detective Nock, for example, played by Rory Kinnear, is a conduit for the audience’s involvement in the story. "Detective Nock is a fake name – he was named after my old roommate," admits the writer. "He gives us another perspective – putting the audience in the head of the police officer who arrested him, we can see how a normal person, not a bad person, could end up doing this horrible thing to Alan. We didn't want to create this story of Alan being a sad character that bad things happened to, so we decide to show his final years through the perspective of this fictional detective. We used Nock to create this mystery around Turing – who is he? What makes him tick? It also helps to make the audience feel culpable about what happened to Turing. Nock is not a bad person, not an evil person. The terrible thing that happened to Turing was not his fault and was deeply unfair and the injustice of that is something we all have to reckon with."
To complement the pedigree of the cast, the filmmakers needed a top-notch production team. Tyldum had a specific visual schema in mind from the start and without sacrificing realism, wanted the absolute most dynamic version of the visual look. Tyldum notes: "I wanted cinematographer Óscar Faura to do the movie after I saw THE IMPOSSIBLE – it was so beautifully shot. I saw THE ORPHANAGE immediately afterwards and the way he lights it is so beautiful and atmospheric. I'm delighted to have found a director of photography who's so respectful of the period, recapturing its tragic elegance in such a pronounced way.”
Production designer Maria Djurkovic had Tyldum’s admiration from the start. “She gave me so much, recreating that world and also Sammy Sheldon Differ the costume designer who made it all unglamorous, but intriguing and stylish. I had wonderful heads of department for the whole shoot.
"The crew in the UK was very professional and their work was to such a high standard. It was a very multicultural and international production - we had a Norwegian director, American producers, a Spanish camera team and a British crew and it all worked very well."
Maria Djurkovic's production design was not restricted by the exigencies of the wartime environment: " My job is to respond to the script – for me the most important thing is finding an overall aesthetic for the film – and it's not just about it being a period film, set between this year and another year, the historical research is part of our DNA, that's taken for granted.
"There are certain expectations people have of a period and I always like to slightly subvert them. And I'm also trying to make sure that every location choice and every design choice works aesthetically as an overall entity and is not just cut into different scenes. The look of the films that I design tend to have a slightly heightened quality.
"The 1940s' color palette was pretty drab, but actually, if you start looking at the research material, the thing that's central to this film in design terms is Turing's creation of the Bombe, his code-breaking machine, so that's our starting point. Going to Bletchley and actually seeing it functioning was wonderful, this extraordinary lumbering thing, with a million red cables spewing out of it.
"We had to make the Bombe look as though it works, with all its dials going round. It has to look like the real thing, but it has to look more interesting than the real thing! And we had to do it with limited money and limited time. It's the first computer, it's incredible, this amazing invention and without it, who knows what would have happened? It's not just central to our film, it's central to our history. The real thing is within a Bakelite box, so we decided very early on that, to make it more interesting, our 'Christopher' would look as it did before it was encased in the black box, so you actually see its guts and its entrails!"
Costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ also found herself challenged to present the most dynamic version of the period. "Morten didn't want it to have that subdued 1940s feel, he wanted it to have a bit more life to it than that, so we talked about the use of color – some of the photos I had researched were in color – and there was more of it at the time than you would imagine. It interested me that there were these blues and reds and greens that aren't often conveyed in films and TV about this period. We looked at the real characters that are in the script and I wanted to convey as much as possible of who they really were and as faithfully as possible, but also using color as a way of telling the story.
"We tried to use clothing of the period as much as possible – we looked for coupon clothing, with the CC41 label in, which was given out under rationing. Benedict had done a lot of research and, when he put something on, he knew if it felt right. “
Alan Turing's story made a deep and lasting impression on the director, producers, cast and crew and Benedict Cumberbatch relished the opportunity to walk in the great man's shoes. "Filming at Bletchley Park was extraordinary – just to be on those grounds and walking across those lawns and under those trees which were there before they were and will be there long after us. It’s such an important part of our history and our secret history and there were those moments when you'd think there was something rather ghostly about what we were doing."
Graham Moore sums up the feelings of all involved: "The story of Alan Turing came to a very tragic end, but we wanted to make a film that was a celebration of him and of his life, as well as his work. I hope this film will bring people close to a difficult and complicated figure, which they would not otherwise have been able to do. He's unlike anyone any of us will have ever known and it was always my goal to make the audience feel close to him, to put them inside his head, into his experiences. I hope that they will look up at the screen and feel that they understand this person, who is very removed from them in history, in time and place – and that they get a sense of what a tremendous human being he was."
He had a unique and driven and asymmetrical personality – he was very high-functioning, he had great empathy levels and was especially caring and had a great affinity with children. He had this unfettered ability to communicate with people and not feel that he was constrained by the usual platitudes, the status quo interaction demanded of a man who was so focused and slightly shy. He was seen as an odd fish, "an odd duck" as his mum called it. He was so capable, so fast-thinking, and so healthy. He was a very physical man – he ran marathons to near-Olympic standard and competed in cross-country events. He would run from his house in Wilmslow to work at Manchester University, a 20 kilometer round trip. I talked to people who had known him during his Manchester days and they all said how extraordinarily kind he was, polite and diffident. He didn't often make direct eye contact, but when he did, you felt bathed in a very humane, intrigued, witty and rather lovely personality. He was very focused and often deemed to be in his own world, in his own line of thinking, in his own thought pattern and he would do some very eccentric things, but he was very open about them. He was a remarkable human being, a very kind soul, a very benign, slightly gauche, but a very doggedly determined, single-minded human being of extraordinary talent and ability. The tragedy of his life is not only that it ended so early, but that he was persecuted in a time of intolerance for his sexuality.
It felt like a very important story to tell. It's quite extraordinary that you could spend six years of your life doing something like that and then never speak of it again. They weren't allowed to talk about it – and they weren't even allowed to talk to each other about it. Alan and Joan were great friends. There was a moment when he thought he could be married to a woman and be 'normal', whatever that means. She was a great friend and maybe it could have worked out. These are some of the people who helped to win the Second World War. I still need to count on my fingers, so every time I tried to read about the higher mathematics that went into this, I spent three weeks trying to get my head round it and absolutely failed. I am an actress. I'm not a mathematician!
Hugh is a very intelligent man, a game-player and a national chess champion – twice. He's nearly as intelligent as Alan, but there is a divide. Alan, obviously, is a genius, but he likes to isolate himself, whereas Hugh is a confident alpha male, who is very happy to lead the team and has actually been brought in to do that job. Alan, on the other hand, wants to work on his own. There is a certain arrogance to how Turing goes about getting his way, which gets under Hugh's skin. But also, one is gay and one is not, which is quite an interesting juxtaposition when the two of them are together. In my business, if there's somebody going about winding everybody up, it tends to be that you only speak to them when it's scripted! But you can walk away from that work environment and you don't have to spend all day with them. Turing was a very different case. Although he's getting under our skin, it's intimidating the way his mind works. It's very clearly a level above any of us. I think what really irritates us is the fact that he's not sharing any of his theories, what he thinks will break Enigma. When you're in a team, that's quite frustrating.
He's a fascinating character, very much the guy who's pulling the strings behind the scenes. He was Eton-educated, went into the Guards as a Second Lieutenant and had a very traditional route to becoming head of MI6 in 1939. He was very concerned that the code-breaking efforts should come under the auspices of MI6 at Bletchley Park. He was responsible for code-breaking throughout the war and Alan Turing was somebody he worked very closely with. Bletchley Park was an incredibly secret code-breaking facility with thousands of employees and the Germans at the time had a machine called Enigma, which was a random generator of letters and was virtually uncrackable – there were millions of options for each of the codes on a daily basis. Each day, they changed the codes, so every day was different from the day before. The code-breakers are a fascinating group – the sense of camaraderie, the fights, the friendships. There's always something about telling a story that is true that has extra resonance. The necessity of drama sometimes glosses things a bit, but this gives an insight into Turing's relationships with the people he worked with.
The main thing I don't like about playing in stories of this period is the smoking, but I do like Nock's costumes. He's not too fussy or too well-kept, so I feel I can slouch into this environment quite easily. I also like wearing braces and the cut of the trousers. Nock is called to a break-in at a house in Manchester, where he discovers Alan Turing, sweeping up some cyanide from the floor. Turing asks him not to investigate the burglary and this piques the young detective's interest and from that unravels the whole of Turing's secret. You wonder if his story would have ever come out if he hadn't been arrested for gross indecency and if he hadn't come face-to-face with someone as eager to understand or to find out the truth. It leads Nock onto a path for which he's completely unprepared and it blows his mind.
He basically ran Bletchley Park. But he ran it rather like a boarding school – he treated the cryptographers rather like naughty boys. He didn't really understand what they were doing and I think he was rather intimidated – certainly by Alan Turing's intellectual ability, which was far superior to Denniston's. When Turing first arrives at Bletchley to be interviewed, despite the fact that I can see he's immensely well-qualified, as a mathematician. For some reason, Denniston takes an instant dislike to him. A character like Turing will put a character like Denniston very much on the defensive. I think he realizes immediately that Turing is a much brainier beast than he is, but he has to admit that Turing is a very, very clever man. But he thinks there are others equally clever, not least Hugh Alexander, who he appoints as head of the unit, rather smugly announcing that this man won Britain's national chess championship. It's a kind of pheromone thing as well, this dislike of Alan Turing and it gives great tension to the piece.
John is the one person who is almost a confidant for Alan Turing as he moves along in the story and after the revelations about Alan being gay, he is the one who says well, if you are, I figured it out. He becomes a great friend to him, because he tells him it's fine, but he has to keep it secret. The movie is set in the time when homosexuality was illegal and Alan was very much in danger of finding himself on the wrong side of everyone at Bletchley and also the law. The tensions then arrive later on when John's idea of how to go about winning the war is not in line with that of the others at Bletchley Park!
He's the youngest of the code-crackers in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park and he comes in full of enthusiasm, surrounded by these genius minds. He's an undergrad from Oxford, so he's really thrown in at the deep end and having these incredible characters around him is terribly exciting – the real Peter said that he never reached a level of excitement to match what he did in Hut 8 during those years and he spent the rest of his life talking about it and writing about it and thinking about it. He came into it in a weird way – they went to the universities to find these bright minds and they were looking for someone who could speak German and was good at math and Peter was the only one to go to the interview! He wasn't that good at German, he was lying, ever so slightly, but they let him in as he was the only one who went. And those years made him what he became, an incredible mathematician who wrote wonderful books right up to his death a few years ago. I read English at university, but I was always better at sciences at school and going back to all this math, I got obsessed. All of us became massive nerds, looking up anecdotes about our characters. The Government collected these very eccentric people under one roof and I always think of us as an odd bunch of superheroes with these very special powers but wearing tank tops and tweeds!
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (Alan Turing) studied Drama at Manchester University and trained at The London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA). On film, his work includes "Starter For Ten", "Amazing Grace", "Third Star", "Wreckers", "Stuart: A Life Backwards", "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "Atonement". He appeared in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of "War Horse" and Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and his recent film roles include the dragon Smaug and The Necromancer in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, "Star Trek Into Darkness", the acclaimed "12 Years A Slave", "The Fifth Estate" as Julian Assange and "August: Osage County", alongside Meryl Streep. He has appeared in a varied range of television roles, receiving international acclaim and numerous awards including two BAFTA nominations, a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor and a Golden Globe nomination for his title role of Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ adaption of the Conan Doyle detective stories. His other television roles include leading "To The Ends Of The Earth" and "The Last Enemy", both for the BBC. His powerful portrayal of Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge cosmologist, in the BBC’s acclaimed drama "Hawking", brought him to the attention of an international audience and earned him his first BAFTA nomination. His second came in 2010 for his role as Bernard in the BBC adaptation of "Small Island". More recently, he starred in the BBC/HBO drama "Parade's End", earning himself an Emmy nomination for Best Actor. His stage work has included two seasons with The New Shakespeare Company in Regents Park and productions of "Lady FromThe Sea", "Period Of Adjustment" and "Hedda Gabler", which brought him Olivier and Ian Charleson Award nominations. At The Royal Court, he appeared in "Rhinoceros", "The Arsonists" and "The City" and, at the National Theatre, the award-winning Rattigan revival "After The Dance". In 2011, Benedict returned to The National Theatre, alternating the roles of The Creature and Dr Frankenstein in Danny Boyle’s production of "Frankenstein" and earning a Laurence Olivier Award and an Evening Standard Award as Best Actor.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY (Joan Clarke). The U.K. native made her television debut at the age of 6 in the telefilm "Royal Celebration", directed by Ferdinand Fairfax. Her subsequent television credits included such telefilms and miniseries as "The Treasure Seekers", "Coming Home", "Oliver Twist", "Doctor Zhivago" and "Princess of Thieves", starring as Robin Hood’s daughter. She landed her first feature film role at the age of 10, in Patrick Dewolf’s "Innocent Lies". She then starred in Nick Hamm’s "The Hole" and Gillies MacKinnon’s "Pure" and appeared alongside Natalie Portman in George Lucas’ "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace". Her breakout movie role was in Gurinder Chadha’s "Bend It Like Beckham", for which she won the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards’ British Newcomer of the Year prize. Audiences worldwide then took notice of her as the heroine Elizabeth Swann in Gore Verbinski's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl", starring with Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush. She then reteamed with the film’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer on Antoine Fuqua’s "King Arthur" and was part of the ensemble cast of Richard Curtis’ "Love Actually". She next starred in "The Jacket", directed by John Maybury and as real-life bounty hunter Domino Harvey in Tony Scott’s "Domino", before reuniting with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" team on two sequels, "Dead Man’s Chest" and "At World’s End". Keira earned Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominations for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright’s version of Jane Austen’s "Pride & Prejudice". Two years later, she was a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominee for her performance in Joe Wright's film of Ian McEwan's "Atonement". Her subsequent movies have included John Maybury's "The Edge of Love", scripted by her mother Sharman Macdonald, François Girard’s "Silk", Saul Dibb’s "The Duchess", for which she earned a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nomination for Best Actress; Mark Romanek’s "Never Let Me Go" (again a BIFA Award nominee), Massy Tadjedin’s "Last Night", William Monahan’s "London Boulevard", David Cronenberg’s "A Dangerous Method", Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" and Lorene Scafaria’s "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World", opposite Steve Carell. She can next be seen in Kenneth Branagh’s "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit", John Carney’s "Can A Song Save Your Life?" and Lynn Shelton’s "Laggies". She made her West End theatrical debut in 2009 at the Comedy Theatre in Molière’s comedy "The Misanthrope", staged by Thea Sharrock, receiving an Olivier Award nomination and a Natasha Richardson Award nomination from the Evening Standard Award. Returning to the Comedy Theatre in 2011, she starred in Lillian Hellman’s "The Children’s Hour", staged by Ian Rickson. She supports – among other charitable and humanitarian causes – Amnesty International, Comic Relief, and Women’s Aid; and is a patron of the SMA Trust, which funds medical research into the children’s disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
MATTHEW GOODE (Hugh Alexander) was raised in the city of Exeter, in the west of England and studied Drama at the University of Birmingham and, later, classical theatre and stage acting at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage credits include the role of Ariel in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and Moon in Lorca's "Blood Wedding" with the Mercury Theatre Company. For television, he recently starred in Stephen Poliakoff’s “Dancing on the Edge”, “Death Comes to Pemberley” for the BBC and the pilot for Showtime’s “The Vatican”, directed by Ridley Scott. He previously starred in ITV1’s two-part psychological thriller “The Poison Tree”, Abi Morgan's adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' “Birdsong", the BBC's Corfu-set comedy drama "My Family and Other Animals”, Agatha Christie's "Marple: A Murder is Announced", the Anthony Trollope mini-series "He Knew He Was Right", and an Inspector Lynley Mystery: "A Suitable Vengeance." His film credits include Tom Ford’s critically-acclaimed "A Single Man" with Colin Firth, Zack Snyder’s "Watchmen", "The Lookout", Woody Allen’s "Match Point", "Burning Man", "Chasing Liberty", "Brideshead Revisited" and "Imagine Me & You". He made his feature film debut in 2003 as the celebrated Spanish-speaking writer Gerard Brennan in Fernando Colomo's cult biopic "South from Granada". He recently starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska in Chan-wook Park’s "Stoker", which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and appeared on screen alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson and Emily Watson in Amma Asante’s sophomore feature "Belle", which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
MARK STRONG (Stewart Menzies) studied English and Drama at London University, followed by acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. One of today's most versatile and hard-working actors on both stage and screen, he has been seen in notable film collaborations over the years with directors Guy Ritchie, on "Sherlock Holmes", "RocknRolla", and "Revolver", Ridley Scott, on "Robin Hood" and "Body of Lies", for which he received a London Film Critics Circle Award nomination and Matthew Vaughn, on "Kick-Ass" and "Stardust". His other films include "Closer to the Moon, "Welcome to the Punch", "Blood", "Black Gold", "John Carter", "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (with Benedict Cumberbatch), "The Way Back", "The Guard", "Green Lantern", "The Young Victoria", "Endgame", "Good", "Sunshine", "Syriana", "Oliver Twist", "Tristan + Isolde", "It’s All About Love", "Hotel", "Fever Pitch", "Sunshine", "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "The Eagle". He has also been seen recently in the AMC TV series 'Low Winter Sun', an American version of the BAFTA Scotland award-winning UK version which he also starred in previously. He was also a BAFTA Television Award nominee for his performance in "The Long Firm", and won the Broadcast Press Guild Award for Best Actor. His other telefilm and miniseries credits include "Our Friends in the North", "Births, Marriages and Deaths", "The Jury", "Henry VIII", "Trust", "Emma", "The Buddha of Suburbia" directed by Roger Michell, “Not Even God Is Wise Enough" directed by Danny Boyle and opposite Helen Mirren, for directors David Drury and Tom Hooper, respectively, in "Prime Suspect 3" and "Prime Suspect 6". Not just a star on the screen, Mark is well respected stage actor. He was an Olivier Award nominee for his performance in Sam Mendes’ staging of "Twelfth Night". UK audiences have seen him perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Danny Boyle’s staging of "Hess is Dead"; with the National Theatre, in productions including "Death of a Salesman", and "Closer"; at the Royal Court, in productions of "The Treatment" and "Thickness of Skin" and in the New Ambassadors Theatre production of "Speed-the-Plow". He has most recently completed filming on Jorge Dorado’s "Mindscape" and Rowan Joffé’s "Before I Go to Sleep", with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
RORY KINNEAR (Detective Robert Nock) read English at Oxford University and trained at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and is perhaps best known for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond films "Quantum of Solace" and "Skyfall". His TV credits include comedy sitcom, "Count Arthur Strong", the Tony Grisoni-written drama "Southcliffe", the true story of a musical fraud "Loving Miss Hatto" and Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi thriller "Black Mirror". Rory is also hugely respected for his theatre work, winning the 2011 Evening Standard Award as Best Actor for his performance in "Measure for Measure" and "Hamlet", in which he also picked up an Olivier Award nomination. He had won an Olivier Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sir Foppling Flutter in "The Man of Mode" in 2008. He recently won the 2013 Evening Standard Best Actor Award for his performance as Iago, sharing the award with Adrian Lester as Othello, in Shakespeare's tragedy, directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre and, for ITV, has filmed the title role of the fugitive aristocrat in "Lucan". His feature film credits include the salsa comedy "Cuban Fury", crime drama "Broken" (winning Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards) and comedy thriller "Wild Target".
CHARLES DANCE (Commander Denniston) has amassed an impressive body of work from title roles with the RSC, including "Henry V" and "Coriolanus" and major work in London’s commercial theatre, including, "Good", "Long Day's Journey Into Night" with Jessica Lange, and "Shadowlands" (London Critic’s Circle Award for Best Actor), through award-winning television series – "The Jewel In The Crown" (BAFTA nomination for Best Actor), "Rebecca", "Nicholas Nickleby", "Fingersmith", "Bleak House" (Press Guild Award for Best Actor and International Emmy nomination), "Consenting Adults" and more recently Sky Arts’ “Bad Grandad”. His major films include "Plenty", "White Mischief", "Good Morning Babylon", "The Golden Child", "Alien 3", "Last Action Hero", "Hilary And Jackie", "Michael Collins", "Gosford Park", "Kabloonak" (Best Actor award at the 1996 Paris Film Festival), "The Perfect Disagreement" and "The Shooter". His debut as a film director and writer was "Ladies In Lavender" with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith for which both were nominated for European Film Awards. He has starred in the television series "Trinity", "Merlin", Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal", "This September" with Eileen Atkins and "Neverland", the story of Peter Pan. He has just completed the fourth series of HBO's global hit "Game Of Thrones", in which he stars as Tywin Lannister. His most recent films are Roland Joffé’s "There Be Dragons", David Gordon Green's "Your Highness", "Ironclad" with Derek Jacobi and Brian Cox, "Winds of Change", the film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight's Children, "The Awakening", the fourth film in the "Underworld" franchise, the Russian film "Viy", "Strikeback 3" for HBO, and the political thriller "Secret State" for Channel 4. Most recently he filmed "Patrick" in Australia and shot "Child 44" alongside Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman.
ALLEN LEECH (John Cairncross) trained in Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin and is best known for his work as ‘Tom Branson’ in the BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series "Downton Abbey". Thus far in his career, he has been nominated for 4 television awards, including Supporting Actor for "Downton" at this year’s Irish Film and Television Academy awards (IFTAs) and has won acclaim for his roles in television, film and theatre. Of his roles in television, he was nominated at the IFTAs as Best Actor in a Television Drama for "Love Is The Drug", as Best Supporting Actor’ for his role in "Legend" and as Best New Talent in "Cowboys And Angels". He also featured in "Rome", as Marcus Agrippa, as Francis Dereham in "The Tudors" and in Channel 4’s "Black Mirror". His thriving career in theatre includes Mike Leigh’s "Ecstasy" at the Hampstead Theatre, which later transferred to the West End. His first professional stage role was at the Gate in Notting Hill in their production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and he then appeared in "The Queen And Peacock", "The Morning After Optimism" and Hugh Leonard's "Da" at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. On film, he was recently seen in the tense psychological horror "In Fear" and also completed filming Eugenio Mira’s psychological thriller "Grand Piano". His other films include the police thriller "The Sweeney", the award-winning "From Time To Time", alongside Dame Maggie Smith, the suspense thriller "Rewind" and he played the lead role in "Man About Dog", which was nominated for ten IFTAs.
MATTHEW BEARD (Peter Hilton) was born in Sheffield. He began acting as a child in television, including: "Soldier, Soldier", "Where The Heart Is", "The Eustace Bros", "The Royal", "Fat Friends", "Sons And Lovers" and "An Angel For May". Before graduating with a First in English Literature from the University of York he was nominated for both a British Independent Film Award and an Evening Standard British Film Award as Most Promising Newcomer for "And When Did You Last See Your Father?" and his performance saw him hailed as A Star of Tomorrow by Screen International and as a Trailblazer by the Edinburgh International Film Festival. He was also named Best Actor by the Cairo International Film Festival. Matthew's subsequent film work includes Hideo Nakata's "Chatroom", Lone Scherfig's "An Education" and "One Day" and Michael Winterbottom's "The Look of Love". His television credits include "Rogue" opposite Thandie Newton and "Labyrinth" produced by Ridley Scott. Matthew was handpicked by Christopher Bailey to be the face of Burberry in a worldwide campaign. As well as The Imitation Game, Matthew stars in Roland Joffé's "Singularity" and "Posh", his third collaboration with Lone Scherfig, both due to be released in 2014.
ALEX LAWTHER (Young Alan) made his professional acting debut in 2011 at the age of 16 as the star of David Hare's play "South Downs" at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, later transferring to London's West End. He followed this with another leading role, in Ali Taylor's "Fault Lines" at the Hampstead Theatre. After appearing in a short film, "Fear" and as the young composer in the documentary "Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict", he made his feature film debut in "X Plus Y", filmed in Sheffield, Yorkshire and also due for release in 2014.
MORTEN TYLDUM (Director) began his directing career with the comedy, "Buddy", which won the Audience Award at the Norwegian International Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Warsaw International Film Festival, as well as an Amanda Award in 2003 for Best Film. He continued his success in 2008 when he was nominated for an Amanda Award for Best Direction with his second feature, "Fallen Angels". His thrilller, "Headhunters", became the most successful title in Norwegian history, as well as 2012's highest-grossing foreign language release in the UK. In addition to its box office success, it was nominated for Best International Film by BAFTA, and won the Empire Award for Best Thriller and the Saturn Award for Best International Film. He is currently in in development on "Ghostman" for Warner Brothers and "The Disciple Program" for Universal. Morten has also directed award-winning international commercials through his company, Einar Film.
GRAHAM MOORE (Screenwriter and Executive Producer) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, a mystery novel about the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which has been published in 16 countries and translated into 13 languages (published as The Holmes Affair in the UK). His script for THE IMITATION GAME topped the 2012 Black List, Hollywood’s list of best unproduced screenplays of the year and was the highest scoring script in the Black List's decade-long history. His next projects are a television pilot for HBO in the US with the director Michael Mann, another television pilot for SKY Atlantic in the UK with the director Marc Forster and a film adaptation of the best-selling book The Devil In The White City for Warner Brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio, who is attached to star. Graham was born in Chicago and received a BA in Religious History from Columbia University in 2003. He lived in New York for a while, and currently divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.
TEDDY SCHWARZMAN (Producer) is the Founder and Principal of Black Bear Pictures, a New York based film and production company. Launched in 2011, Black Bear strives to produce original, engaging and commercial films that stand out within their respective genres. In addition to producing THE IMITATION GAME, Schwarzman has produced a range of filmed content including Academy Award nominee, Golden Globes winner "All Is Lost", directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Robert Redford, “Broken City" starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and Sundance comedy "A.C.O.D." Schwarzman currently serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian film distribution company, Elevation Pictures, and serves on the Board of Visitors of the Duke University School of Law. Schwarzman earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Duke University School of Law, and lives in New York with his wife, children and dog.
IDO OSTROWSKY and NORA GROSSMAN (Producers) are the founding partners of Bristol Automotive. THE IMITATION GAME is their first production. They're currently developing projects with Bad Robot, Sky Atlantic, Julianne Moore and Marc Forster. Nora graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's Degree in Film and Television. Ido graduated magma cum laude from UCLA.
PETER HESLOP (Co-Producer) began in the film industry nearly thirty years ago and worked as an assistant director on such titles as Barry Levinson's "Young Sherlock Holmes", Robert Zemeckis' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", Kevin Reynolds' "Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves", Franco Zeffirelli's "Jane Eyre" and Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Seven Years In Tibet". Moving into production management, he worked on Ridley Scott's "Gladiator", Michael Apted's "Enigma", George Lucas' "Star Wars" (Episodes 1&2), Jan De Bont's "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and Garth Jennings' "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" and as co-producer and line producer on Anton Corbijn's "Control", Michael Venville's "44 Inch Chest", Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" and Rowan Joffé's "Before I Go To Sleep".
ÓSCAR FAURA (Director of Photography) has been a cinematographer in the Spanish film industry since 1999, working with such directors as Antonio Banderas, Alejandro Amenábar, Alejandro González Iñárritu and on films including "The Machinist" with Christian Bale, "The Orphanage" (nominee for the European Film Award) and the international hit "The Impossible", starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
WILLIAM GOLDENBERG (Editor) was honoured in 2012 for his editing work on two seminal fact-based dramas. He won an Academy Award® for Ben Affleck’s Best Picture winner “Argo,” for which he also won a BAFTA Award and was honoured by his peers with the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Award. Additionally, he received an Oscar® nomination for Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” also receiving a BAFTA and Eddie Award nomination and winning the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for the film. He previously earned two Oscar® and Eddie nominations, for his editing work on two true-life dramas, Gary Ross’s “Seabiscuit” and Michael Mann’s “The Insider.” Goldenberg previously worked with Ben Affleck on the director’s debut film, “Gone Baby Gone.” His additional film credits include Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, Jon Turteltaub’s “National Treasure”. “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, the Michael Mann-directed features “Heat,” “Ali” and “Miami Vice”, Tony Scott’s “Domino”, Gary Ross’s “Pleasantville” and Frank Marshall’s “Alive”. For television, Goldenberg earned an Emmy nomination for Best Editing for a Miniseries or Special for the HBO movie “Citizen X.” He received a second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Multi-Camera Editing for the 74th Annual Academy Awards.
MARIA DJURKOVIC (Production Designer) has feature film credits which include Tomas Alfredson’s "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", for which she won a BIFA, was nominated for a BAFTA and was nominated for Excellence in Production Design by the Art Directors Guild, a body which also nominated her for Stephen Daldry’s award-winning movies "The Hours" and "Billy Elliot". In 1997, Maria won the Evening Standard Best Technical Achievement Award for Brian Gilbert’s "Wilde" and in 2005 she was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for her work on Mira Nair’s "Vanity Fair". Maria’s other film credits include the box-office smash "Mamma Mia!", "Man to Man", "Sylvia", "The Grey Zone", "Fanny and Elvis", "Sliding Doors", "Sweet Angel Mine", "The Young Poisoner’s Handbook", the Golden Globe-winning "RKO 281" (for which she was an Emmy Award nominee), "The Special Relationship" and the miniseries remake of "Doctor Zhivago". Maria has also worked twice with director Woody Allen, on "Cassandra’s Dream" and "Scoop". While attending Oxford University, she won a scholarship in Theatre Design at the Riverside Theatre. She then embarked on a 15-year career as set designer, starting out designing sets for stage, opera, and ballet productions at major U.K. theatres (including the Oxford Playhouse and the Royal Opera House). She has also worked on numerous commercials and music videos. In 2002, Maria was honoured with the Women in Film and Television Technical Achievement Award. More recently, she worked on "The Invisible Woman" for director Ralph Fiennes.
SAMMY SHELDON DIFFER (Costume Designer) graduated from The Wimbledon School of Art and began her career designing for pop promos, before becoming an assistant designer on films including Ridley Scott’s "Gladiator" and Jake Scott’s "Plunkett & Macleane". She went on to design costumes for Ridley Scott’s "Black Hawk Down" and the mockumentary "Calcium Kid", starring Orlando Bloom. Sammy has received BAFTA nominations for her work on the BBC’s modern adaptation of "The Canterbury Tales" and for "The Merchant of Venice", starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, and Costume Designers Guild Award nominations for Excellence in Fantasy Film for "Kick-Ass" and "V for Vendetta". Other recent film credits include "X-Men: First Class", "Gulliver’s Travels", "The Green Zone", "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army", "Stardust", "Kinky Boots", "A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" and most recently "Kick-Ass 2". Sammy was born in Manchester and lives in London.
IVANA PRIMORAC (Hair and Makeup Designer) has been BAFTA-nominated for Best Make-Up and Hair five times, for her work on Tim Burton’s "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Sweeney Todd", Anthony Minghella’s "Cold Mountain", Stephen Daldry’s "The Hours" and "Atonement", which marked her first collaboration with director Joe Wright, followed by "Hanna" and "Anna Karenina". Ivana’s extensive and varied credits include Lone Scherfig’s "One Day", Rowan Joffé’s "Brighton Rock", Stephen Daldry’s "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" and "The Reader", Justin Chadwick’s "The Other Boleyn Girl", Anthony Minghella’s "Breaking and Entering", M. Night Shyamalan’s "The Last Airbender" and Milos Forman’s "Goya’s Ghosts", which earned her a Goya Award nomination. She has also worked on such films as Peter Jackson’s "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", Laurence Dunmore’s "The Libertine", Ridley Scott’s "Gladiator", Tim Roth’s "The War Zone", Shekhar Kapur’s "Elizabeth" and Kenneth Branagh’s "In the Bleak Midwinter". More recently she has worked as personal makeup artist to Nicole Kidman on "The Railway Man" and "Grace of Monaco" and to Kate Winslet on Jason Reitman’s "Labor Day". She has also completed work on "A Little Chaos" for director Alan Rickman.
NINA GOLD (Casting Director) graduated from Cambridge University, where she had become involved with theatre and taught drama in Paris before becoming one of the world's top casting directors, winning an Emmy in 2008 for her work on "John Adams". In his acceptance speech at the 2012 BAFTAs for "The King’s Speech", which she had cast, director Tom Hooper suggested the role of casting director deserved official recognition by having its own award category. Best-known for her 14 year collaboration with Mike Leigh, including "Topsy-Turvy", "Vera Drake", "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Another Year", her feature film credits include "Les Misérables", Ron Howard's "Rush", Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" and "Prometheus", "Sunshine On Leith", "The Iron Lady", "Jane Eyre", "Hot Fuzz", "Nowhere Boy", "Bright Star" and "Eastern Promises". Her television credits include "Game of Thrones", "Rome", The "Red Riding" Trilogy, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers", "Longford", "The Escape Artist", "Restless" and "The Devils' Whore". Her most recent film projects include "Before I Go To Sleep", "Child 44", "Far From The Madding Crowd", "A Little Chaos","A Long Way Down", "Dom Hemingway", "Cuban Fury", "Black Sea", "In the Heart of the Sea" and "Paddington".
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT (Composer), Six-time Academy Award Nominee Alexandre Desplat is one of the most coveted film composers in the world today. He is noted for his creative collaborations with some of the world’s top film makers including Wes Anderson, Stephen Daldry, Roman Polanski, George Clooney, David Yates, Chris Weitz, Terrence Malick, Tom Hooper, Stephen Frears, Nora Ephron, David Fincher, Ang Lee, Stephen Gaghan, Lasse Hallstrom and Peter Webber. Desplat first perked up American ears with Birth and The Girl with the Pearl Earring—and the Golden Globe winner has since scored an incredible litany of films: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Oscar nominated), Syriana, The Painted Veil, The Queen (Oscar nominated), Lust, Caution, Coco Before Chanel, Julie and Julia, The Fantastic Mr. Fox (Oscar nominated) The Ghost Writer, and The King’s Speech (Oscar nominated). He has contributed to the blockbuster Twilight franchise (New Moon), as well as the final two installments of the Harry Potter series. Desplat was just nominated for his sixth Academy Award for his score to Philomena starring Judi Dench. His recent work also includes last year’s Oscar Best Picture Winner Argo directed by Ben Affleck, the animated feature Rise of the Guardians for DreamWorks Animation, the Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty for Kathryn Bigelow and the 2012 Cannes Film Festival opener Moonrise Kingdom directed by Wes Anderson starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray. Desplat is currently working on the George Clooney directed drama The Monuments Men starring Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, Wes Anderson’s next film The Grand Budapest Hotel and the highly anticipated action-thriller Godzilla. Born to a Greek mother and French father, Desplat grew up in France with a budding love for Hollywood film music, and broke into the French film industry in the 1980s. With a penchant for lyricism, elegant orchestrations, and precise dramatization, Desplat has quickly joined the pantheon of all-time greats. “I was in a car with a friend who had offered me a double vinyl of Star Wars,” Desplat remembers. “It might have been ’78. He gave me this record, and I remember having said to him, “Hmm. ‘Music composed and conducted by John Williams.’ That’s what I want to do.” And that’s what I’m doing.”