Finding Power in an Unfair System
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds
Director: Francis Lawrence
Running Time: 140 minutes
Synopsis: Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is drafted against her will to become a "sparrow," a trained seductress in the Russian security service. Dominika learns to use her body as a weapon, but struggles to maintain her sense of self during the dehumanising training process. Finding her power in an unfair system, she emerges as one of the program's strongest assets. Her first target is Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a CIA officer who handles the agency's most sensitive infiltration of Russian intelligence. The two young operatives fall into a spiral of attraction and deception, which threatens their careers, allegiances and the security of both countries. Based on the book by former CIA officer Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow reunites Jennifer Lawrence with her Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence with Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, and Mary Louise Parker rounding out the cast.
Release Date: March 1st, 2018
About The Production
When Red Sparrow author Jason Matthews completed his thirty-three year tenure with the CIA, he found that he was not content to remain idle in his retirement. Flush with time, Matthews took up writing for his second act. 'The career was so experiential. There was a great gap to fill," Jason Matthews says of his adjustment to postCIA life. 'It was either day trading, or fishing, or going for walks. It was as much therapy as anything else, starting to write." The longtime fan of John le Carré and Ian Fleming began work on Red Sparrow, which was published in 2013 and became a best-seller and the foundation for a trilogy: Palace of Treason was the second in the series and upcoming is The Kremlin's Candidate.
While the world of Red Sparrow was familiar to Jason Matthews, the novel's central character was a product of invention. Following a terrible accident, Dominika Egorova, played in the film by Jennifer Lawrence, leaves her career with the Bolshoi and is forced into a state-run school that trains her in sexual manipulation. 'Unlike the other characters in the book, Dominika Egorova was primarily imaginary," Jason Matthews says. 'I wish I had met someone like Dominika. She had a career in the ballet, until it was taken away from her. And then she was forced to go to Sparrow school."
Jason Matthews may not have encountered a real-life Dominika in his work with the CIA, but 'honeypot" school was indeed part of Soviet intelligence training. 'In the Soviet Union, they had a school that taught young women the art of entrapment, the art of seduction, for blackmailing intelligence targets," Jason Matthews explains. 'They had a Sparrow School in the city of Kazan, on the banks of the Volga River, where young women were taught how to be courtesans. They were called -Sparrows.'"
Dominka's training ultimately leads her to CIA operative Nate Nash, portrayed in the film by Joel Edgerton. Jason Matthews explains the unusual courtship between Nate and Dominika: 'Inevitably, they fall in love, which is dangerous and forbidden for him. Like Romeo and Juliet, it's a love affair that can't end well."
The manuscript for Red Sparrow found its way to the offices of Peter Chernin Entertainment. Producers Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and David Ready all took to Jason Matthews's novel, and they quickly snapped up the rights to develop a screenplay based on the book.
'The first draw was Jason Matthews' background as a CIA operative coupled with the fact that this was his debut novel," says Peter Chernin. 'And as we dove into the book, we quickly knew it was one of the freshest, most unique spy stories we'd seen."
'We also loved seeing a spy story about a character who is not a Bourne, not a Bond, not a le Carré character," adds Jenno Topping. 'Dominika is actually a civilian who is forced into a spy plot, and whose training in spy craft is a means to survive, and to protect her mother."
Francis Lawrence received the book as he added the finishing touches on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Associate producer Cameron MacConomy remembers: 'We were both reading it at the same time. Every day, we would come in and find ourselves more and more excited about what we had read the night before."
'I fell in love with the book immediately," says Francis Lawrence. 'It just felt really fresh in terms of spy stories, and I fell in love with the character of Dominika Egorova, and her personal journey and her personal story and her dilemma in the story. I always gravitate toward personal lonely isolated characters and this story certainly focuses on a very isolated, lonely character. In addition, it was exciting to me, especially after having done three Hunger Games movies in five years, to do something completely different, in terms of story, in terms of world, in terms of tone, in terms of rating, all of that. That was really interesting."
'Francis Lawrence made three Hunger Games movies with Jennifer Lawrence, and when he read this book, he thought immediately this would be their next collaboration," says Peter Chernin. 'From there we had to find a good match, which we did in Joel Edgerton, who we have worked with before as well. Same with Francis Matthias, who we've worked with. We chose to go much younger with this role than originally scripted, which we think added something very different to the dynamic with Jennifer Lawrence."
After Francis Lawrence boarded the project, he worked hand-in-hand with screenwriter Justin Haythe. 'There wasn't a rushed development process on this film," Ready says. 'It was a finely tuned process. Francis Lawrence knew that this was going to be his next film and he wanted the screenplay to reflect his exact vision on the page. It was one of those experiences where you get to bring to fruition what you want to shoot."
'I'd worked with Justin Haythe before," adds Francis Lawrence. 'And he shared my vision for the movie. Sometimes, stories don't come together, and translations of books to screenplay don't always work as easily as one might think but this one kind of coalesced. Justin Haythe and I worked quite hard at it and spent a lot of hours in rooms together over the six months or so that it took to create the draft but there wasn't much struggle. It just kind of seemed to work and to come together nicely."
From the moment Francis Lawrence read the book, he knew that one of the main goals would be to maintain key elements from Matthews' original story. 'There's definitely a sexuality to the book," says Francis Lawrence. 'There's definitely violence in the book. There is kind of an audacity to it and I wanted to make sure that we captured that. The thing that Justin Haythe and I really worked hard at – and later Jennifer Lawrence and I worked on – was making sure that it felt organic, that it didn't feel gratuitous, that it was never exploitative. The idea was never to make an erotic thriller, never to titillate in any kind of way, but to ensure that the content feels really organic to the story and to the dilemma of the character and so we really carefully modulated anything that was sexual or involved nudity or involved violence, to find that right tone."
'It's really about a single character's journey, someone who finds herself manipulated by powers much larger than herself," says Justin Haythe. 'Dominika suffers an injury and, through an uncle, is pulled into this world of espionage. And it's a world where her sexuality is weaponized, as it were, in the sense that she is trained as a seductress. But she is too big and too complicated a person to be a seductress, and she changes the rules on the people that forced her into this world."
Jason Matthews made his technical expertise available to Justin Haythe throughout the adaptation. 'He's a sensational writer," Justin Haythe says of Jason Matthews. 'Many of the technical aspects of the plot come from the book. If it was something invented, Jason was there on the end of the phone for technical advice, or he read the script and gave notes, which was hugely helpful. We were lucky to have an expert at the incubation period."
Producer Peter Chernin agrees: 'Jason Matthews gave incredibly detailed notes and feedback on our various script drafts"mostly regarding accuracy and believability of anything relating to Nate's, Dominika's, and their respective colleagues' tactics, etc."
Francis Lawrence encouraged Jason Matthews's participation throughout the script's development. 'When I read the book, I fell in love with the authenticity of the world that was created by Jason Matthews," says the director. 'It just kind of grabbed me."
'I don't know too much about Hollywood," observes Jason Matthews, 'but Francis Lawrence is a tremendous director with a tremendous body of work. He's been inclusive. He's encouraged my commentary, and I know that's not always the case with film adaptations but he's been encouraging and collegial."
As an executive producer on Red Sparrow, Justin Haythe remained with the film through its wintry production in Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and London. 'Francis Lawrence has involved me in the process," says Justin Haythe. 'We worked very closely in the adaptation process, and he has involved me in the process of filming, to sit in rehearsals, to give notes, to make whatever changes need to be made. That only really happens with a director who is completely in control of what he is doing."
Jennifer Lawrence, who worked with Francis Lawrence on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, joined the cast as Dominika early on in the process.
'I thought of Jennifer Lawrence and I pitched her loosely what the story was about," says the director. 'Obviously, we didn't have a script yet, and I didn't really want her to read the book yet, but I just wanted to know if, hypothetically, she would be interested in playing a character like this. So she was kind of loosely in from the very beginning, and we wrote for her. Then as we were developing the story, I would kind of drop little tidbits and hints and sort of talk about it a little bit. I knew that she was shy about these kinds of movies, when she was a bit younger so I guess I was kind of easing her into the story and the character and the tone and the content, throughout the process of the development of the project. By the time I had a real script, she had been sort of warmed up to it all."
'Francis Lawrence had introduced me to the story on the press tour for the last Hunger Games movie," confirms the actress. 'It was a book that he had been reading and he thought it would be an interesting movie. I think the first thing that we were discussing for Dominika is that this was going to be a person and a personality that's completely different from anything I really knew. She's really been put into a position of survival from a very young age. Her body has been used by the Government from the time that she was young. What with Ballet, being an athlete, being paid by the Government and then ultimately forced into the Sparrow program. I mean, when I first read the script and we talked about it, the Sparrow School scenes were terrifying. It was going to be my first time really going… um, the full Monty if you will, but then after doing it there's something that felt so freeing about it. Because I would never put my character into a situation that I myself am not comfortable being in. But as you can see in the movie it's this moment where she gains power, where she turns the tables on the people that are trying to control her and I felt that power. I found that exciting. Because the truth is Dominika's trained to use her body but, ultimately, prevails by using her mind. To me she seems like a complex modern heroine, she uses her own rules, and has a tenacity to succeed."
'The film is about survival and seduction," observes Jenno Topping. 'And the balance between the two is crucial. It's survival that drives Dominika into the Sparrow world, and once she's there, she needs to master seduction and intelligence skills in order to survive. The film explores seduction in a psychological, scientific way. We see a character figure out how much of herself she can give in order to survive, and if she's able to hold something back and come out of this journey intact."
'We never quite know what Dominika feels," says Joel Edgerton. 'What she's thinking, or how close she is to crumbling, or lashing out. There is a certain resilience and stoicism to her as a character, and in Jennifer Lawrence's performance, that keeps us guessing. We always suspect that there is a strength in her that the men in her life have underestimated."
In turn, Nate engages Dominika as a potential informant. 'He's a smart actor, and an incredibly generous actor, from my vantage point," Justin Haythe says of Joel Edgerton. 'He's a filmmaker, and you can see him thinking about the entire process, not only his performance."
'Joel Edgerton was my first choice for Nate," says Francis Lawrence. 'I think that he's a phenomenal actor and I thought that he and Jen would have a good chemistry. I liked the idea of having Jennifer Lawrence be in scenes and have some romantic interest with somebody who feels like a real man, not a youngster. The cast of the Hunger Games films were quite young, they're supposed to be teenagers, and so I just wanted a very different kind of dynamic with this film and Joel really fit that. But, really, I think the key for me in casting Joel Edgerton as Nate Nash was that Joel just has kind of an organic honor to him and an honesty and he feels grounded, sort of very earthbound, and I thought that was very important for that role so that you really believe and understand where his allegiances lie and trust him."
As with Dominika, we meet Nate at a crossroads, when a botched hand-off gets him removed from his assignment. 'He's fallen from grace early in his career, and he gets a second chance to come back," Joel Edgerton says of Nash. 'He is the only person that an operative, Marble, will speak to. He's valuable in that regard, and so he makes contact with Jennifer Lawrence's character."
'Dominika and Nate have a really interesting relationship," observes Jennifer Lawrence. 'Because they both been assigned to one another to get information and in this process of manipulating each other they fall for each other. Their relationship is constantly changing because how can you trust somebody not to be tricking you when you are trying to trick them? So they're constantly balancing this inherent trust that they both have in each other with the basic paranoia that goes with living in a life of international espionage."
The actress enjoyed the process of working with Joel Edgerton: 'I love Joel Edgerton!" she laughs. He's so talented. His accent was flawless, which was very intimidating for me as I tried to master a Russian accent. And he's just fun, a really hard worker and he played the character perfectly. I can't imagine it being anyone else. He brought so much more to the movie and so much to that role."
Joel Edgerton admired the kinship between Jennifer Lawrence and Francis Lawrence, and reveals that their working relationship was one of the reasons he accepted the role of Nate. 'The fact that you have two people who have worked together on three occasions saying they'd like to go a fourth round means a lot. I'm a real fan of repeat business. It says a lot about character, personal character, and work ethic, and it says a lot about creative excitement. It means that I was about to come to work with two people who got along really well, who saw things in roughly the same way, and knew how to crack along in a creative way."
Joel Edgerton also responded to Red Sparrow's cerebral approach to the spy genre. 'I think it's somewhat more interesting that the operatives are not smashing cars and shooting machine guns," he says. 'What they're doing is often a big psychological game of chess."
Academy Award®-winner Jeremy Irons plays Korchnoi, a decorated general of the SVR. Jeremy Irons explains what attracted him to the role: 'It was one of the best scripts I've read for a long time. I'd never made a spy movie before. This was a real page turner of a script, and I never quite knew where I was, and who I was believing. I found it quite fascinating, and really well crafted. I then read the book, which I enjoyed enormously."
'The diversity of talent represented by our phenomenal cast speaks to the quality of the writing, the incredible vision of Francis and the rooting interest in Dominika as a character," observes Producer David Ready. 'Almost all of the actors who read the script were taken by what a page turner it was, and that they couldn't predict the ending."
Jennifer Lawrence admits she was in awe of Jeremy Irons. 'I was so intimidated," she says. 'I mean, it's Jeremy Irons! He's actually the nicest person, and so much fun to work with but doing scenes with him is so powerful. Even when I watch them back now I can feel how I felt when I was doing them with him. He just completely transforms."
One character Jennifer Lawrence doesn't want to say too much about is Dominika's Uncle Vanya. 'I just don't want to spoil anything because you need to see it," says the actress. 'Dominika's relationship with him is probably the most fascinating relationship I've ever seen on film. It's so complicated."
The character of Vanya changed from book to film, as Francis Lawrence explains: 'In the book he's quite a bit older and we made a decision, in the development of the script to skew Vanya's age down a little bit and have him be a much younger brother to Dominika's deceased father. And part of the reason for that is that there's a bit of a perverse dynamic between Dominika and Vanya, that they're both relatively similar in age, sort of close enough in age that, if they weren't related there actually could be kind of a relationship. I always liked this idea, that's a bit twisted, of the kind of handsome young uncle that Dominika may have actually even been attracted to and I think that he has been attracted to her. And I think with Uncle Vanya, he always thought of Dominika as a bit of a comrade, that they have some sort of similarities and some of the similarities that made her so disciplined and successful in ballet, which is a very tough world, are sort of facets of his personality that he sees in himself and he sees in her and he thinks they share. And I think Dominika's parents saw that and got a little worried about that and started to kind of separate them."
Matthias Schoenaerts, who portrays Dominika's Uncle Vanya, jumped at the opportunity to work with, as he puts it, 'an enormous bunch of immensely talented people." On Vanya's relationship with Dominika, he says: 'We learn he had a very complicated relationship with her dad that passed away. And so he has some protective feelings towards Dominika. But he is also not blind to her femininity. At the same time, he needs her but he knows that she needs him as well. So there's a power component in the relationship between them that opens the door to certain level of abuse. There's a very thin line between sincerity and manipulation with them and it bounces back and forth all the time, and it's fun to play with."
Matthias Schoenaerts shares a number of scenes with Jeremy Irons, an experience that Matthias Schoenaerts also regards as 'so much fun." 'He's very playful, and a witty rascal," says Matthias Schoenaerts. 'I love that. It's a blessing".
'Matthias Schoenaerts is extraordinary. Very open and sensitive," says Irons, returning the enthusiasm. 'I think he's a great foil for me as Korchnoi, and a pleasant guy to be around."
Charlotte Rampling portrays Anna, or Matron, as the students at the Sparrow School know her. 'It was a beautifully crafted character," observes Rampling. 'Matron is someone very committed to the state, committed to what Communism means. She is very much about discipline, about order, and about having faith in a higher purpose rather than just oneself and one's little life, but to actually give over your life to a higher purpose."
'She began very early on in the spy school, and so in a sense when she meets Dominika, she's seeing her younger self. She began early in the school, worked up through the school, and became a teacher," Rampling says of Matron's backstory. Bill Camp plays Marty Gable, Nate's colleague at the CIA. 'He's sort of a grumpy guy, who is a little bit resentful. I think he's two exits down the highway past where he wishes he were. And there aren't many exits left," Bill Camp explains.
Red Sparrow marks the fourth time that Bill Camp and Joel Edgerton have worked together, after Midnight Special, Black Mass and Loving. 'Joel Edgerton's a great actor. It's as simple as that," Bill Camp says of their rapport. 'He's really generous, which means he's really grounded. He has a great ease, and he trusts himself. He understands all of the different things that go into making a movie."
Sakina Jaffrey plays Trish Forsyth, Nate and Marty's superior at the CIA. 'Trish loves Nate, and thinks he does an incredible job," says Jaffrey. 'And his instincts are fantastic for his job. But as his boss, I always worry that he's going to step over the line a little bit. And unfortunately, he does."
German actor Sebastian Hülk appears as Matorin, 'a high-end assassin," as Hülk describes him. 'He's the guy for the dirty jobs. He's good at it, and he loves it," says Hülk.
Upon Dominika's departure from Sparrow School, she rooms with Marta, portrayed by Thekla Reuten. 'I was interested in playing the role first and foremost because of the script," Thekla Reuten explains. 'But I was surprised that the writer of the book actually worked with the CIA for decades. I thought that was really interesting, and that's what's interesting about the story, that it's really from the inside."
Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson and Mary-Louise Parker round out Red Sparrow's impressive, award-winning, international cast. 'I don't think that was the mandate, to cast the movie internationally," says MacConomy. 'That just happened in large part by default, because the movie takes place internationally. Having said that, I think it's great for the film, because you have a broad and diverse range of people that are bringing in all kinds of viewpoints."
In the months leading up to production, Francis Lawrence and the production team traveled to Budapest to scout for locations that could match Helsinki, which is where much of the action of Matthews's book is set. As the filmmakers explored Budapest, they found that using the city's practical locations might offer Red Sparrow an added layer of authenticity.
'I think we all collectively fell in love with Budapest," Ready says. When the filmmakers visited Budapest as a possible location to match Helsinki, they decided to make the city a character in the adaptation.
'You could actually shoot Budapest for Budapest," Ready explains. 'There was so much that was already there. Maria Djurkovic, our production designer, enhanced what wasn't there in a way that was incredible and seamless. Budapest turned out to be a magical place for the movie, in terms of the locations we could find, and in the spirit of the place."
'Before this project, I didn't know Maria but I really liked her work," says Francis Lawrence. 'I had seen a fair amount of her movies and so checked to see if she was available and then sent her the script. She was interested in the script, but was a little nervous that I would want to do something that was sort of bland and gray because I think most people, when think of these sort of Communist-Socialist movies think of bland, gray, concrete, and that's it. So, I actually shared a couple of the research images I had already sourced, and sort of let her go off and think a little bit, and percolate on it a bit and also do some research herself. And in about a week she came back with just tons and tons of unbelievable imagery. We really connected in terms of the kind of color palette that we could dive into in this world. We ended up finding all of this kind of great post-war Russian art, that just had unbelievable color choices in it. And everything's just slightly off. Like reds aren't your standard red. And greens aren't your standard green. And these great sort of blues, and pistachio greens… we ended up building that kind of a color palette on a lot of this Russian art."
Adds Djurkovic: 'For me, it's important that when I start on a film we find a key that takes you through the world of that movie. You need to have that visual consistency, and with Red Sparrow that was very graphic, quite bold use of color. And I had a fantastic time, because Francis really let me go for it, in an uninhibited way."
Djurkovic was eager to explore Budapest and Bratislava's cinematically unfamiliar locations. 'If I watch a film that has been shot in London, I will know where every single scene was shot. That's the nature of doing this job as long as I've been doing it," says Djurkovic, noting that some of the locations she researched as inspiration prior to production precipitated the production's move to include some work in Bratislava. 'In the initial bunch of photographs, we had photographs of several locations in Bratislava, and we ended up shooting in those very places that I had photographs of in our initial conversation."
The Dance Begins
Production for Red Sparrow began on Wednesday, January 5, 2017 at Heroes Square, one of Budapest's most striking, famed landmarks. Budapest's Opera House doubled for the Bolshoi, but securing the space was no small feat, given a busy performance schedule. Stagehands would rig an evening opera performance's set as Red Sparrow's cast and crew cleared out.
In order to give Dominika's final dance authenticity, Francis Lawrence enlisted acclaimed choreographer Justin Peck and dancer, choreographer and instructor Kurt Froman to create the scene. Jennifer Lawrence worked with Froman in daily threehour rehearsals for the three months that preceded the start of production.
'There was a lot of physical preparation that went into this," acknowledges Lawrence. 'For the ballet scenes I obviously did a lot of intense training. And even though I'm never going to get to the point where I'm going to be able to dance for the Bolshoi it taught me posture and discipline and changed my body. I was certainly very hungry for those first couple of months! And then of course as you can see in the movie I had a snapping point after ballet and you can see me continue to grow throughout the film."
Ballet great Sergei Polunin, featured in the documentary Dancer, joined the production to play Konstantin. This was the first film role for the actor, who is a fan of Francis Lawrence's Constantine. 'Of course, you're going to agree to do a movie if Jennifer Lawrence is in it," says Polunin. 'I watched how Jennifer approaches her art. It's been a good learning process. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity."
Nicole O'Neill, who plays Sonya, also had a dance background, having studied with the Royal Ballet at the same time as Polunin. An injury at the age of fifteen derailed her dance career. 'I had a month and a half to get my ass in gear. I took as many ballet classes as I could, juggling around work," says O'Neill of her return to the stage. 'I can relate to Jen's character, that feeling that your career is suddenly over. You've trained all your life, and it's gone. Coming back and getting to do it again has been quite magical, actually."
Out In The Cold
Another hurdle for the production was securing Fiumei Cemetery, one of Budapest's most striking landmarks, for Nate's handoff with Marble. 'Only documentaries and historically-related little films could be filmed there previously," says Kemeny. 'Francis was invited to their committee meeting, and he managed to turn it around for us."
The exteriors for State School Four were filmed in Deg, just over an hour outside of Budapest. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Sasha Frolova, who plays Anya, endured cold January temperatures for scenes that called for them to walk in circles barefoot. The structure dates back to the early 19th century, and was home to the Festetics family, until it was used in WWII as a military facility, and later taken over by the Soviets.
Many of the Sparrow School interiors were filmed at a rural cultural center, adjacent to an abandoned factory. Djurkovic and Francis Lawrence found a way to incorporate the location into the design of the movie. 'In the communist days, each of these factories would have their own cultural center, which was a little theater built alongside the factory for the workers," says Djurkovic. 'Francis and I both absolutely loved it. Between us, we said, -Why can't the Sparrow School have an annex?' We created this more layered, more interesting place for the cadets to be trained. They're two different styles of architecture, but using color you can bring them together."
Rampling notes that the faded glory of some of the locations lends to the mood of Red Sparrow. 'It's evocative of a particular time and a particular mode of living in Eastern Europe that existed but it's not there anymore," she says. 'They're haunted by a wonderful grandeur that no longer exists. To be able to shoot in them and to have another layer of what the designer wants to make the story, it's really fascinating."
Costume designer Trish Summerville, who worked with Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, proudly joined the team again for Red Sparrow. 'One of the reasons I love working with Francis is because you know it's going to be a project you're proud to be on and have worked on. He's creatively open and loves to collaborate. I never feel like there's something I can't present to him. He's open to seeing things, and always accessible.
Summerville enhanced the stark, isolated landscape of the Sparrow School by dressing the cast in muted tones. 'For the Sparrow School, I wanted to keep it communistic and totalitarian, so it's very washed out, with steely grays and icy, cold colors. All of the shirts are unisex, so boys and girls have the same shirts. The matron's uniform is very classic and timeless and a deep olive green," Summerville explains.
In stark contrast to the Sparrow school uniforms, Summerville dressed Reuten as a professional who had been operating as a Sparrow for quite some time. Summerville explains: 'With Marta, we wanted to see a huge difference between the sparrow school recruits and who they are. We wanted her to be different from Dominika's character as well. She exudes a bit more sexuality, and is a bit overtly sexual. A lot of her blouses are deep and open at the neck, have a lot of movement and are silky. She wears high heels. For her, it was trying to make her more womanly and sexual, and you pick that up right away with her character."
The Hungarian leg of Red Sparrow wrapped in April, and the company moved briefly to Bratislava for 'Russian" exteriors and interiors, and, quite surprisingly, Langley office interiors.
After a one-day stint in Vienna, the company moved to London for filming at Heathrow Airport and the Corinthia Hotel. 'That's part of the fun of the spy genre: you get to hop around to all of these different places," MacConomy says. 'You're always switching gears, both in terms of story, and visually."
Weeks after he had wrapped on the project, Jeremy Irons wound up walking through the film's Heathrow set to catch a flight. The actor made time to catch up with his director and co-stars. 'He's very supportive, very calm and very organized," Irons says of Francis Lawrence. 'He makes it feel very simple. He's working with a crew, many of which he's worked with on his other work. It's like an oiled machine, which leads to a relaxed set, and allows us actors to feel confident, feel supported and to experiment. At the same time he's very good on a big production because he can bring it home, like he's done with The Hunger Games. There's that beautiful mix of a sensitive man who is also a very hands-on worker that can keep his two-hundredperson crew going fast and furiously and really having time for the actors."
'I love working with Francis," agrees Jennifer Lawrence. 'Mainly because I trust him. And he has amazing taste. It's such a load off my mind when he's directing because I know the movie is going to be tailored to the best of its ability. He's a visionary and he's amazing at creating world. Plus he's a great communicator. So whenever I was doing something challenging for the first time it made me feel a lot better having him at the helm. '
'There has not been a Francis Lawrence movie like this," concludes Peter Chernin. 'And there has not been a Jennifer Lawrence movie like this and there has never been a spy movie like this! It's a gripping and emotional ride, full of twists and turns, you will be immersed in it and leave talking about it. That's a promise."
Release Date: March 1st, 2018