Rosamund Pike on Zero Dark Thirty | BAFTA Selects

BAFTA-nominated actress Rosamund Pike discusses Kathryn Bigelow’s intelligence thriller Zero Dark Thirty, nominated for five BAFTA Film awards including Best Film and Best Director. This edition of BAFTA Selects in hosted by Siobhan Sinnerton, Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs and Immersive Content at Channel 4. Listen to the end to hear what really screws up a role for Pike, and why she's become so adept at tricking herself in order to get a part just right.

Capturing Jessica Chastain's subtlety

Pike is captivated by Chastain's restrained performance in Zero Dark Thirty and how Kathryn Bigelow makes sure the camera lingers on her face to capture it. This quiet character has a lot to say, and Bigelow and Chastain worked together to convey the way in which she says it.

There's just so much nonverbal communication and I think it's a kind of masterclass, really.

Handling controversial topics

She's a master of tension...there's doubt all the way through the film.

The manhunt depicted in Zero Dark Thirty hits close to home for many viewers. Pike notes that the tension inherent in the topic is reflected in the film, making it an uneasy experience both to watch the film and to contend with its subject matter.

Insider acting advice

For Pike, who recently portrayed journalist Marie Colvin in the new film A Private War, Zero Dark Thirty reminds her how acting is an exercise in self-deception.

The business of acting is to trick your mind into believing you're someone else and into believing that these situation are real. Your body responds accordingly if you get it right.

Valuing the role itself over what it means for your career

If I think of her as a role, as a part, as a vehicle for me, I'm gonna completely screw the whole thing up.

Matthew Heineman, director of A Private War, is well known for his work in documentary filmmaking. In her work as Colvin, Pike strove to live with and examine the intrepid journalist so that it felt less like playing a part and more like channeling the real person. Working with a director of documentaries meant that she had a unique opportunity to portray the reality behind Colvin's stunning career--a task that she did not take lightly.