Dean-Charles Chapman requested 1917 character wore rings

Dean-Charles Chapman found out one of his relatives fought in the war while doing research for the film.

Dean-Charles Chapman asked the costume department on 1917 if his character could wear rings because he was inspired by a real-life soldier.

The Game of Thrones actor plays Lance Corporal Blake in Sam Mendes’ new war movie, which follows two soldiers as they have to cross enemy territory in northern France to deliver a warning which could save 1,600 men during the First World War.

While preparing for the shoot, Chapman came across a bunch of photographs of soldiers and he was particularly taken by the look of one, and he asked if he could incorporate some details into his character’s wardrobe.

“In the costume department back in Shepperton Studios, there was this big wall of photographs and on the wall, there was this picture of three soldiers and all three were completely different types of characters,” he recalled at a London press conference. “There was one, in particular, that was just so relaxed, leaning up against a truck, all his jacket was undone and half his shirt was hanging off, and he had two rings, one on his ring finger and one on his little finger and that sort of relaxed mannerism, and I thought, ‘I like it’. So, I made Blake wear a middle ring and a little pinky (ring)… and I nicked it actually from set and I’ve got it in my bedroom.”

While researching the part, the 22-year-old read a book called The Western Front Diaries, comprised of diary entries from soldiers in the First World War, and he discovered an entry by his great-great-grandfather.

“(The entry) talks about the First World War, how he was part of the cavalry, he got shot and was wounded in No Man’s Land and survived out there for four days,” he explained. “He ended up surviving the war and working in the first poppy factory in Richmond in London. So, I read that to get in the right headspace before stepping onto set.”

1917, which recently won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, is now in cinemas.

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