Rosamund Pike on her “most exposing” role ever as war journalist Marie Colvin in “A Private War"


Actress Rosamund Pike joined “Salon Talks” to discuss her role as the late, intrepid war correspondent Marie Colvin in “A Private War,” in theaters in New York on November 2, followed by a nationwide release on November 16.

Pike plays Colvin, the admired Sunday Times journalist who braved conflict zones to give voice to the voiceless faces of war and even lost an eye while reporting on the civil war in Sri Lanka. However, Pike, who earned an Oscar nomination for her duplicitous role in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” insists that Colvin was more vulnerable than her fierce career leads on.

“One thing I really found was she was not fearless,” Pike told SalonTV’s Alli Joseph. “I found that real courage is when, my goodness, you do have fear, but you feel that the pursuit of what you’re going after is worth quelling it, suppressing it and writing through it.”

Taking on the work of becoming Colvin, who suffered extreme PTSD and alcoholism from all of the intense violence she witnessed, was the “most exposing” character yet for Pike. On preparing for the combat scenes in the film, Pike said, “You have to take your mind to a very scary place and just see what your body produces. You can’t plan for scenes like that as an actor.”

Pike also spoke to playing a journalist, whose reflections and emotions were contained and solitary. “Some of the loneliest places are when you are by yourself,” Pike said. “Perhaps you’ve had the maelstrom of your brain, flooded with the images you witness, and then you have to go back to a hotel or wherever you’re sheltering—sometimes it’s a bombed out hospital—and file your copy.”

It is in those spaces where acclaimed director Matthew Heniemen of “Cartel Land” and “City of Ghosts” inserts the enormity of Colvin’s compulsion to return to war zones, and the ultimate personal cost of doing so. The journalist was killed while on assignment in Syria in 2012.

Watch the video above to hear what Pike would have asked Colvin if she had the chance, and a hint at her next role playing scientist Marie Curie in “Radioactive.”


Photography by Jill Greenberg. Watch Jill's TedxTalk on the Female Lens and the problem with only seeing the world from a man's perspective. And find out more about Jill's initiative Alreadymade., a mission to hire more female photographers and content creators.


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