Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin Talk Guy Ritchie BTS

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There’s something uniquely English about a Guy Ritchie movie from the British slang to the veil of politeness that hangs over the whole production. His new film, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, also embraces its Britishness. At the center of the film are three incredible British actors, Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. We had the pleasure of speaking to all three of them about the movie, and what it was like working with Guy Ritchie.




The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare tells the previously covert story of the Special Operations Executive during World War II. With the balance of power shifting in the Nazis’ favor, Winston Churchill (Rory Kinnear) formed a secret group of ‘ungentlemanly’ soldiers to sabotage Nazi U-Boat operations, allowing America to join the allies in the War. Cavill, Pettyfer, and Fiennes-Tiffin portray three of these soldiers, and the film’s production sounded like an absolute blast. Watch our interview above or read on below.


On Working with Guy Ritchie

MovieWeb: Henry, this is your second time returning to one of Guy Ritchie’s worlds. And for [Alex and Hero], it’s your first. How did it feel coming back to working with him, Henry? And what were your first times like, Alex and Hero?


Henry Cavill: It felt comfortable. Guy is really good at creating an environment where creativity feels safe. He’s a really good leader on set. He gives everyone their room to shine as well. And without sounding corny, because people always say this, they say it feels like family. It really does, because he’s been working with a lot of those guys since his earliest movies on the crew. And it’s not too straight-laced.

“There’s a casual aspect of the whole thing where, if you are acting like a knob, he’ll tell you, ‘you’re being a knob.’
If you come up with terrible ideas, you will be made fun of by him and everyone else
. The crew are coming up with ideas. But if you come up with great ideas, he’ll either steal them and make them his ideas, or he will praise you and it’ll become a great thing. And it’s all fun. And that’s what movie making, in my opinion, should be like. And there’s a real freedom of language and creativity on set. And so that’s what it felt like for me.”


Alex Pettyfer: I mean, I have to second what Henry said. But it also comes from the collaboration that I think these two men have had before. And Guy creates this, as Henry said, this freedom and collaborative experience. But there is also Mr. Cavill, who brings this equality between all of us and this humbleness and fun. Real fun, you know, and brotherhood. And I think that starts from the captains of the ship.

It was a great honor for me to be a part of this film. And leaving set, we were together for pretty much four months. It was the first time I had ever left set and really been like, you know, I miss being with all these guys. I really did.


Henry Cavill: It was a good experience.

Alex Pettyfer: I actually left, I went and did something else. And about three weeks later, I was like, ‘Yeah’, and I called up Henry Golding. I was like, ‘Where are you?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I’m shooting in Madrid.’ I said, ‘I’m gonna come hang out with you for a week.’

Henry Cavill: I did tell him to block your number.

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Hero Fiennes-Tiffin on Finding the Best Ideas Collectively


Hero Fiennes-Tiffin: These guys are so right. Working with Guy is, he’s always been one of my favorite directors. So to have the opportunity to meet him and talk about potentially working on this movie was a dream. And then fast-forward to actually being on set. We could talk for days about his process…

It’s like a teacher in a classroom, everyone wants to say the right answer. And you’re kind of scared to say the wrong one because you will get ridiculed. But then when someone says the right one, you’re like, you’re somewhat jealous. And you’re like, ‘Well, I kind of could have said that.’

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin: And it evokes this sense of, everyone’s got this passion and drive to put a good two cents in the middle. As [Alex Pettyfer] said, conductor is a perfect word, because he’ll kind of vet, and ridicule, and slowly knock down all of the bad ideas until you’re fine with the best idea, and when everyone puts their heads together, that really is the best idea.


Alex Pettyfer: I feel like, if we got an opportunity to make a second one, I feel like we should have a gold star system.

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin: 100%.

Alex: Pettyfer: Today, I got a gold star.

Henry Cavill: A gold star on a wooden spoon.

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Gentlemanly Behavior on Set and Bonding During Warfare

MovieWeb: Well, speaking of systems, I know in the past, Ritchie had his fine system for being late, or for having your phone ringing and ruining takes. I know he’s brought it back on some of his sets. Was that the case on this one?


Henry Cavill: I think we had the phone fines. I think. I forget what it was though.

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin: It rings a bell at some point. But I think we were all quite disciplined.

Alex Pettyfer: To be honest, you are with a group of gentlemen, shall I say. As I say again, with a leader who sets a precedent, where, for me, I was extremely nervous to come on to this experience. You know, it’s a Guy Ritchie movie, it means a lot to me. I was humbled by being given this opportunity. Two weeks before I start filming, I get an email from this gentleman [Henry Cavill]. ‘Super excited for you to be here. Can’t wait to get into this.’ I arrived.

You know, you create a band of brothers and so no one is ever late. This man [Henry Cavill] is the first person there and the last person to leave. And, when you are having that as an example, everything else follows, or we all follow.


Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Black Bear in association with Media Capital Technologies, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare explodes into cinemas on April 19 courtesy of Lionsgate.

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