Benedict Cumberbatch prepares for life on the grid in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


If you’re in the UK, where will you be one week from today? Hopefully, in the theatre settling in for the premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Released in the UK on Friday, 16 September, unfortunately, you may remember we reported here recently that the film has been pushed back to a December 9 release in the U.S. Given that this signals just how good this film is going to be, I’m ok with this.

Leading up to the UK premiere, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) discusses how he prepared for the role of Peter Guillam, the young officer who aids George Smiley in tracking down the mole. To begin with, Benedict described his meeting with le Carre as “priceless”. He added: He has a very full vision of that world and the history of the character, so its all there on a plate for you after having had a conversation with him.”

In preparation for his role, Cumberbatch had taken himself off, alone, to the Moroccan seaside town of Essaouria. Le Carre makes mention in the book of Guilliam having been stationed in Morocco, and Essaouria, with it’s maze of narrow streets, its long shadows, and it’s window shutters banging in the wind blowing off the Atlantic, providing the perfect feeling for the cultivation of feelings of unease.

It’s got a slightly nightmare quality,” Cumberbatch says, “and I was wandering around the streets at night, thinking what it must be like to know that every turn could be my last. It was very helpful.”

How will I prepare for December 9? Definitely in my immediate future is a marathon session watching the 1979 Alec Guinness mini-series that aired on the BBC and PBS back in 1980 to kill time to December 9. If in the UK, please report back here after you see. Would love a first hand review of TTSS.