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1917 film: Meet the star-studded cast of the war drama

Find out about the 1917 cast, from George MacKay to Richard Madden

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
January 10, 2020
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Sam Mendes' new war film, 1917, has had some serious buzz this awards season. With a win for Best Picture at the Golden Globes and nine BAFTA nomination under its belt, the blockbuster – which was filmed almost as one continuous one-shot - is definitely one to watch. Part of the film's huge success is, of course, thanks to the incredible star-studded cast – and if you've just come out of the cinema wondering where you had seen certain stars before then don't worry, we've got you covered. Check out the 1917 cast here…

George MacKay - Lance Corporal William Schofield

George plays Schofield, one of the two young soldiers tasked with taking a message across the German front to warn a battalion of a planned attack on the troops. George, 27, is a BAFTA Rising Star nominee, who is perhaps best known for playing Bodevan in Captain Fantastic, Hamlet in the 2018 film Ophelia, and Bill in the TV show, 11.22.63. Speaking about his character, director Sam Mendes said: "[He is] quite old-fashioned, dignified, a kind of understated heroism. Grammar-school boy, not a natural talker. It was an idea that is beautifully embodied by George."

1917 george

Dean Charles Chapman - Lance Corporal Tom Blake

Dean plays Tom Blake, George's friend and fellow soldier who is determined to reach the battalion in order to save his older brother Joseph's life. Before landing a starring role in the war film, the 22-year-old was best known for portraying the young and naïve Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones. He is also, incidentally, the longest serving actor to portray Billy in the Billy Eliot musical, having played the role from 2009 to 2011.

1917 dean

Colin Firth - General Erinmore

The General who tasks Schofield and Blake on their dangerous mission is of course played by Colin Firth. The star is best known for his roles in Bridget Jones's Diary and The King's Speech, the latter of which earned him an Oscar win for Best Actor. Speaking about his role to The Guardian, Colin said: "The military establishment's indifference to the wellbeing of these two young men was abundantly clear without that kind of emphasis or making it about the callousness of one particular general. The mission the boys are sent on is one of brutal necessity, a tragedy compounded, of course, by the fact that the war itself was not… One could empathise with the powerlessness and terror of young men who had no say in their fate, acting on decisions made by old men."

1917 colin

Andrew Scott - Lieutenant Leslie

Andrew is perhaps best known for playing the 'Hot Priest' in the hugely popular show Fleabag, and as Moriarty in Sherlock. It was recently revealed that Andrew made more mistakes than the rest of the cast combined thanks to having trouble with his lighter during scenes. Of course, thanks to the film being shot in one continuous shot, this meant that the filming would have to start from the very beginning all over again. Sam told the BBC: "Andrew, in his only scene, made more mistakes than anyone else. You can have seven minutes of magic 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." Andrew joked: "Never smoke, ever. On anything – on stage, on screen – never use a cigarette lighter."

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Benedict Cumberbatch - Colonel Mackenzie

Benedict plays Colonel Mackenzie, the officer who Schofield and Blake need to reach with the orders to call off the attack. Benedict is an Oscar-nominated actor, having starred in Doctor Who, The Imitation Game and Star Trek: Into Darkness. He reached widespread recognition with his role as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC adaptation, Sherlock.

READ: Actors who have played members of the royal family

1917 benedict

Mark Strong - Captain Smith

Mark is a prolific actor, and the 56-year-old has starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service as Merlin, George in Zero Dark Thirty and Dr Nasch in Before I Go to Sleep. He recently had a starring role in the BBC show Temple.

1917 mark strong

Richard Madden - Lieutenant Joseph Blake

Trying to place Lieutenant Blake? Richard is best known for playing the lead role in Bodyguard, the hugely popular BBC series. He also portrayed Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, Agent Ross in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams and Captain Michael Weir in Birdsong. He also played Prince Charming in Cinderella.

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Daniel Mays - Sergeant Sanders

Blake and Schofield's sergeant is a Line of Duty star, having appeared in season three as Sergeant Danny Waldron, Arthur Young in Good Omens and Jim Keats in Ashes to Ashes.

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READ: Every Disney film being released in 2020

Adrian Scarborough - Major Hepburn

Adrian has had plenty of serious roles in his impressive career, most notably starring in The History Boys, A Very English Scandal and Killing Eve, but let's face it: we perhaps know him best as Pete from Gavin and Stacey!

1917 1 pete

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