NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan admits he’d be “absolutely terrified” if he found himself in the same circumstances as the character he plays in his World War II drama Anthropoid.
Helmed by Sean Ellis and in theaters now, the film is based on the true events surrounding the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, in 1942.
Cillian Murphy and Dornan play Jozef and Jan, soldiers from the Czechoslavakian army-in-exile, who parachute back into their occupied homeland on a mission to kill one of the high-ranking Nazi architects of the Holocaust, with the help of local members of the resistance. After the daring move sent a clear message of rebellion to the Nazis, the Czech people were subjected to devastating reprisals. The war officially ended in 1945.
“There’s something about telling stories that are pieces of history that actually happened that I find all the more compelling and attractive and alluring, I think. But, for me, I couldn’t fail to be moved and totally knocked out by this story,” Dornan recently told UPI in New York. “Those panic attacks [Jan experienced] and that hesitancy of the situation of feeling very vulnerable and maybe a bit over your head. As much as you like to think you’d be such a man in those situations, the reality is I’d probably be closer to Jan. I’d probably be really, absolutely terrified, so I found that very relatable.”
The Fifty Shades of Grey and The Fall star went on to say he felt a tremendous sense of responsibility while working on Anthropoid since he was playing a real person who helped change the course of history.
“I think it’s vital that you do carry that with you and you let yourself be aware of that all the time, but don’t let it overburden you,” he noted. “While you’re conscious of it, you’ve got to let it go and you can’t let it be the thing that defines how you approach the day. You’ve still just got to get in and do the work and do the best you can.”