How did a disguised corpse and some fake documents lead to the liberation of Sicily during World War II? Ground Meat Operation tells the true story of a deception operation executed by the British Army in 1943. To successfully seize control of Sicily from the Axis powers, British intelligence officers Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) came up with a plan to induce German forces to move away from the Italian island. Their plan, dubbed Operation Mincemeat, was to dress a corpse as a Royal Marines officer and plant documents on the body suggesting the Allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia. The body would then be recovered by German intelligence, and if all went according to plan, they would believe they had found key information about their enemies’ plans.
Although the plan seemed crazy, it worked. German reinforcements were moved to Greece and Sardinia to defend against a made-up invasion, and the British were able to enter Sicily with little resistance. Ground Meat Operation is led by John Madden. His previous work as a director includes Shakespeare in love and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film is based on the book British Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre and adapted for the screen by michelle ashford. Ground Meat Operation is set to hit Netflix on May 11. Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of characters in this thrilling war drama.
Colin Firth as Ewen Montagu
Colin Firth stars as Ewen Montagu, a commander in the Naval Intelligence Division who helped come up with the idea for Operation Mincemeat. Prior to his involvement in World War II, Montagu served as a machine gun instructor in World War I and studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and Harvard University. After his work on Operation Mincemeat, he wrote a book about his experience titled The man who never was. Montagu was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work on the operation.
Colin Firth is an Oscar-winning actor with a career spanning decades. Her breakout role was in the 1995 TV miniseries Pride and Prejudice in which he played the role of Mr. Darcy. In 1998, he appeared in Ground Meat Operation film by director John Madden Shakespeare in love like Lord Wessex. Ground Meat Operation is not the first war film Firth has starred in, as he played General Erinmore in the WWI film 1917. Firth to direct HBO’s new true crime series The staircase as Michael Peterson, a man accused of murdering his wife after she is found dead in their home.
Matthew Macfadyen as Charles Cholmondeley
Flight Lieutenant Charles Cholmondeley, the other mastermind behind Operation Mincemeat, is played by Matthew MacFayden. Cholmondeley originally proposed the idea of dropping off a dead man strapped to a parachute in France with a radio for the Germans to find which could then be used to feed them disinformation. Although this initial plan was not used, it inspired what eventually became Operation Mincemeat. He was later made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his involvement.
McFayden and his Ground Meat Operation co-star Colin Firth both portrayed the Jane Austen the character of Mr. Darcy, with Macfayden playing Elizabeth Bennet’s brooding love interest in Joe Wrightit is Pride and Prejudice. He currently appears in the hit HBO series Succession as Tom Wambsgans, a role that earned MacFayden a SAG Award and an Emmy Award nomination. He should play the main role in Stone housean ITV series about a British politician who faked his own death.
Kelly MacDonald plays Jean Leslie, an MI5 secretary whose photography was crucial to the success of the operation. To make their ruse believable, the team behind Operation Mincemeat had to make their fake dead officer appear to be someone with a rich life and history. They gave him the name Captain William Martin and made him a fake fiancé named Pam. They wanted to include an image of “Pam” on the body to add to the idea that this was a real soldier, someone who carried images and love letters into battle. The image they used was that of Jean Leslie, and that helped make “Captain Martin” appear real enough for the Germans to believe in the deception.
macdonalds burst onto the acting scene when she starred alongside Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. A few years later, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the TV movie The girl in the cafe. Since then she has starred in Boardwalk Empire, There is no country for old peopleand black mirror. She became an official Disney Princess when she lent her voice to the role of Merida in Pixar’s Brave. Later this year, Macdonald will play in the Netflix Thriller I came with Hugh Bonneville and George MacKay.
Another woman who helped bring Pam to life was Hester Leggett played by Penelope Wilton. Legget was the head of the secretarial unit where Jean Leslie worked. Leggett was a fierce woman strongly devoted to her work. When the team needed fake love letters to plant on Captain Martin, the task of writing them fell to Legget. The official report on the operation states that Legget’s work on the letters “achieved the thrill and pathos of a wartime engagement with great success”.
Wilton has had a long career both on stage and on screen. She played Isobel Crawley in the historical drama series Downton Abbeya role she reprized in the 2019 Downton Abbey film and its sequel, Downton Abbey: A New Era. She also relapsed on Doctor Who like Harriet Jones. She previously worked with director John Madden on both Hotel Marigold movies. She will play Maureen in the upcoming adaptation of The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Jason Isaac plays Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Britain’s director of naval intelligence during World War II. In 1939, Godfrey wrote a document called Trout Memo. In the memo, Godfrey compared deceiving enemies in wartime to fly-fishing. The 28th suggestion of the memo detailed an idea of planting deceptive papers on a corpse and leaving it for the enemy to find. This suggestion then inspired Operation Mincemeat many years later.
Harry Potter fans will recognize Isaacs as the accomplice and vicious Lucius Malfoy. In addition to his appearances throughout the Harry Potter franchise, Isaacs has starred in numerous films including The Patriot, Furyand Peter Pan. He voiced Admiral Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korraand he played the Grand Inquisitor in star wars rebels. Later in 2022, Isaacs will play Al Bogatz in turn the golda biopic about Casablanca Records co-founder Neil Bogart.
the creator of james bondIan Fleming, played by Johnny Flynn. Before becoming a bestselling spy novelist, Fleming served in World War II as an assistant to John Godfrey. In his job as Godfrey’s aide, Fleming served as a liaison to several wartime administrations, including the Secret Intelligence Service and the Prime Minister’s staff. Although the Trout Memo was published under Godfrey’s name, some historians argue that it closely resembled Fleming’s writings. He would later use his experience to inform his james bond novels, and the Bond boss character “M” was inspired by Godfrey.
Flynn is an actor and songwriter best known for his portrayal of Mr. Knightley in the 2020 Jane Austen adaptation. Emma. He also played the role of David Bowie in Stardust, a film about the rockstar’s trip to America that influenced the creation of his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. Flynn recently appeared in the mob drama The clothe and the musical The score. He should play in the next series Ripley next to Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning.
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