Susanna White talks about her film Our Kind of Traitor based on John le Carre novel. We caught up with her in San Francisco when she was here to screen her film at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival.
The first question we asked White was on Benedict Cumberbatch. She worked with him in Parade’s End and helped put him on people’s radar. Cumberbatch was still not that much of a name when White worked with him. In fact White had to cajole HBO to cast Cumberbatch in Parade’s End. And, earlier this year when she went to visit Cumberbatch during the filming of Sherlock Holmes she had to fight her way through a crowd to see him.
Once we got our Cumberbatch question answered, we got to talking about Our Kind of Traitor and what it is like to be a woman in the world of films and TV. The early years were not easy as White points out. This is despite having exhibited an early interest in filmmaking and studying filmmaking at University of California Los Angeles.
Our Kind of Traitor is set in the post cold-war 21st century Europe. The film revolves around an Oxford professor (Ewan McGregor) and his attorney wife (Naomie Harris) and their chance meeting with a Russian millionoire (Stellan Skarsgård) that ends up involving the British secret service and Russian mafia.
White describes Our Kind of Traitor as road film that reads more like a Hitchcockian script. The film was shot in five different cities in Europe.
Tune in to see what White has to say about the making of Our Kind of Traitor and working with le Carre, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours) and editor Tariq Anwar (American Beauty and The King’s Speech).
White’s work is an eclectic and interesting repertoire. Her work ranges from directing period dramas for BBC to HBO’s Generation Kill a miniseries about American Marines in Iraq.
Our Kind of Traitor releases in San Francisco Bay area the last week of July 2016.