Star of the film exploring the life and persecution of WWII mathematician Alan Turing for being a homosexual says showing sex is “not an exploration of someone’s sex life”
The cast and director of “The Imitation Game” made their way to the Toronto International Film Festival to celebrate their candid look into the life of famed British mathematician Alan Turing, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film.
The group sat down with TheWrap’s CEO and Editor in Chief Sharon Waxman for an episode of “Drinking With the Stars,” presented by SodaStream, to talk about the film, as well as the artistic choice to not show any overt sexuality. After proving instrumental in helping the Allies defeat Nazi Germany in World War II, Turing was criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual.
When asked why there is no sex seen in the film, Cumberbatch said that showing sex is “not an exploration of someone’s sex life. The fact that he’s chemically castrated because he admits to being a homosexual; He talks about entreating a young man to touch his penis. I mean, it’s pretty explicit,” he said. “If you need to see that to understand that he’s gay, then all is lost for any kind of subtle storytelling.”
“It’s a very conscious choice,” added director Morten Tyldum. “First of all, it’s historically correct … Second of all, him being gay is just one part of the character that we wanted to reveal … Alan Turing was obsessed about artificial life, artificial intelligence.”
They also talked about the connection Turing made with Christopher Morcom, a fellow pupil at Sherborne School when Turing was 16, calling Morcom the love of Turing’s life. “That was such a fundamental thing that shaped his whole life, and we wanted that to be the focus of it,” said Tyldum.
“I think, to me, it’s not something that needed to be made obvious,” Cumberbatch said about the film’s exploration of Turing’s sexuality “The conversations are so naked in themselves that the idea of having to see two naked men wasn’t something I ever thought was missing in the script.”
Cumberbatch and Tyldum were joined by costars Keira Knightley, Allen Leech and Matthew Goode in the discussion. “The Imitation Game” made its world premiere at the 41st Telluride Film Festival and will be distributed by The Weinstein Company to theaters nationwide on Friday, Nov. 21.