From Bond girl to Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike’s versatility has seen her star in some massive blockbusters. Here, she talks about Syria, sleeping under the stars, and the perils of social media…

Rosamund Pike has an intoxicating effect on me. She is so mesmerisingly self-possessed, speaking gently, thoughtfully, in her own time, entirely unafraid of the silences, that it is only after I’ve replayed the interview tape at home and transcribed her soft voice that I realise how wildly luvvieish her claims are. It’s almost delicious. For example, the star of Gone Girl and the new film A Private War says that when, as a child, she sat watching her opera singer parents in their rehearsal room: “All I was really looking at was, do I believe it, do I not believe it? Whether I believed the performance, whether I believed that this was something that was real and human and true. I think all I’ve ever been interested in is truth.” Which she immediately follows with the claim that hers was not a highbrow family, thereby suggesting the existence of a whole raft of brows higher than a childhood spent searching for la verité in your mum and dad’s arias.

We have met up because she plays the war reporter Marie Colvin in A Private War, a film whose American release has gained an average score of 89% on rottentomatoes.com (ie very good reviews) and which is about to open in British cinemas. It is a breathtaking, stop-you-in-your-tracks movie with a lot of the action set during the current Syrian war and it is directed by the documentarist Matthew Heineman who blurs the lines between reportage and feature film.

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