We’ve been telling you for weeks that everything in “1917” was carefully choreographed and planned out months in advance of filming, and fresh off the movie’s Golden Globes win, here’s star George MacKay saying that the film’s climax moment was actually a “mistake.”
Well, a “beautiful mistake” to be more accurate, something that got into the movie on accident and made it better. MacKay told Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday’s “Tonight Show” that while filming a scene where he runs along a trench as the British army charges ahead, he was never meant to collide with another actor and fall down as he does in the movie.
“That’s a mistake that made it in. That wasn’t meant to happen,” MacKay explained. “And again, we’d rehearsed it for weeks, and we’d rehearsed that he didn’t get knocked into, and then on the day, you know, you take some hits. But the rule is you don’t stop unless they say ‘stop.'”
Fallon then showed a clip from “1917,” and it looks as though MacKay was able to recover nicely from his fall and that the camera never had to adjust in the moment as you might think. But something that was never specifically rehearsed in the film’s choreography actually did make the final cut.
That’s not to say MacKay didn’t bungle some other things that did require Sam Mendes and company to redo the whole extended shot.
“I had a few times where I’m responsible for, you know, you’re six minutes into a seven minute take, and the rifle falls off your shoulder, something really pithy like that,” he said.
MacKay along with Dean-Charles Chapman star in “1917,” and Mendes said upon the film winning the top prize at the Golden Globes that it was important that the film feature two “unknowns.” Fallon asked MacKay if he’s comfortable being called an “unknown” and assured him that very soon, he’ll never be “unknown” again.
Watch MacKay’s clip above. “1917” expands to wide release in theaters this weekend.