George MacKay 'got lost in the moment' filming 1917
George MacKay has admitted some scenes in 1917 didn't require much acting.
George MacKay was able to get "lost in the moment" while filming war movie 1917 because of the long takes and expansive sets.
The British actor plays soldier William Schofield, who is tasked with helping his friend Tom Blake, portrayed by Dean-Charles Chapman, cross enemy territory to deliver a warning that could save 1,600 comrades, in Sam Mendes' Golden Globe-winning new movie, which was made to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot, although it actually consists of long takes cleverly stitched together.
During a press conference for the film in London, MacKay admitted acting in the sprawling and realistic wartime sets, such as the jaw-dropping No Man's Land, for up to 10 minutes at a time meant he could lose himself in the moment.
"I think with the one shot, given the amount of time we spend rehearsing, it's in your muscle memory, so when we came to do those long sequences you could kind of get lost in the moment because that moment would be ten minutes and because you're leaving everyone behind," he explained. "We were completely in our own world and it was a very kind of present, natural feeling, acting out those scenes.
"The sets were so incredible, to just get lost in a scene or in a place for 10 minutes, it was kind of easy to do because No Man's Land, it was abominable, it was incredible the work that was done, and all we had to do was be in it."
Both MacKay and Chapman's characters encounter numerous obstacles along the way, such as gunfire and explosions, and the 27-year-old admitted reacting to those moments didn't require much acting.
"The beauty of the whole journey was it was so physical in a sense much of the work is done for you. There's not a huge amount of acting required just trying to stay up," MacKay said, referring to a scene in which his character is taken downstream on a rapid river.
1917 is in cinemas from 10 January.
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