1917: Andrew Scott ‘made more mistakes than anyone else’ despite only having one scene

Director Sam Mendes has recalled how ‘lighter-gate’ led to having to reshoot an entire sequence

Ellie Harrison
Friday 10 January 2020 10:03
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1917 - Official Trailer

Andrew Scott “made more mistakes than anyone else” while filming 1917 despite only having one scene, director Sam Mendes has revealed.

The First World War epic, which won the award for Best Film – Drama at the Golden Globes earlier this month, is made so it appears to have been shot in just two continuous takes, with no cutaways or scene changes whatsoever.

It follows George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman as soldiers who risk their lives by crossing enemy lines. Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and Richard Madden also star in the film.

Mendes has now revealed that one of the most problematic moments during the film’s shoot was "lighter-gate” that saw an entire sequence restarted due to a faulty prop.

"Andrew, in his only scene, made more mistakes than anyone else," Mendes told the BBC, explaining that the actor was required to light a cigarette during his brief appearance in the movie.

"You can have seven minutes of magic,” added Mendes, “and then if someone trips, or a lighter doesn't work, or if an actor forgets half a line, it means none of it is useable and you have to start again."

"Never smoke, ever," Scott added. "On anything – on stage, on screen – never use a cigarette lighter."

Scott said he felt guilty his role in the film is so minor: "You have to work alongside the camera team and the extras but the great challenge of it is you don't want to mess it up, because you're only in it for five minutes, you don't want to be that guy."

1917 is released in UK cinemas today (10 January)

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