Johnny Flynn has spoken of the “huge thrill” of playing the iconic author Ian Fleming in Operation Mincemeat.


The film follows an operation organised by naval representative Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and British intelligence officer Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) to deceive the Nazis and keep the Allied Invasion of Sicily a secret.

Among the cast of characters involved in the operation is Lieutenant-Commander Ian Fleming, played by Flynn, the man who would go on to create one of literature’s most iconic characters: James Bond.

Overseeing the operation is Fleming’s sceptical boss, Admiral John Godfrey, played by Jason Isaacs, who would eventually become the inspiration for Bond’s own boss, 'M'.

Throughout the film, there are various nods to elements in Fleming’s life that would inspire the characters.

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Flynn sat down with co-star Jason Isaacs to discuss the film with

Johnny Flynn as Ian Fleming in Operation Mincemeat
Johnny Flynn as Ian Fleming in Operation Mincemeat Courtesy of See-Saw Films

Describing why he wanted to play Fleming, Flynn revealed: “I’m a huge fan of spy thrillers and films, you know – early Bond films, basically.”

He continued by saying it was “a huge thrill to reference that stuff, to have the scenes in Q branch, and it was just fun to learn his real story, to learn that he was really there".

“I went back and read some of the Bond novels and had fun realising that a lot of that stuff was informed by his experience of the world," Flynn added.

Meanwhile, Jason Isaacs portrays Admiral John Henry Godfrey in the film - best known for being the inspiration of Fleming’s iconic boss for 007, known as ‘M’.

Jason Isaacs as John Godfrey in Operation Mincemeat
Jason Isaacs as John Godfrey in Operation Mincemeat Courtesy of See-Saw Films

However, Isaacs was more concerned with Godfrey’s real-life history than the Bond novels themselves.

“I didn't read the Bond books, I read about Godfrey, his history and also the other much bigger section operation that Mincemeat was part of, Operation Barclay, all of which was designed to make the Germans think that the Allies were going to land in Greece," explained Isaacs.

“And there were many, many other parts to the operation that were working rather brilliantly, and Godfrey has the unenviable position in our story of being the man who doesn't think Mincemeat should go ahead, because it endangers all the other intersections.

"If for some reason this is discovered, it means that the huge efforts of creating a fictional 12th army and setting up a base in Cairo and all the operations in Greece will all have been wasted."

Isaacs continued: “So he's the guy that says, 'Don't put all your money on double zero roulette' when the audience goes, 'But I know it comes up double zero!'

"So I might not look that smart in the film, given that we know it worked, but actually, he's maybe the smartest man in the room. It's just the dice lands on its corner."

Operation Mincemeat is released in UK cinemas on Friday 15th April 2022.

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