If you have seen Anthropoid, you will be well-versed in the assassination of Nazi bigwig Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942. Another movie tackling the subject from a whole different angle is Cédric Jimenez's (The Connection) HHhH, starring Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Jack O'Connell (Unbroken) as the pair of Czech assassins and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Heydrich's aristocratic wife who first introduced her husband to the ideology that would come to rule his life and lead to him losing it.
Talking to Empire magazine, Pike explains the adaptation of Laurent Binet's novel. "It's a very interesting and unusual structure. It starts out with [Heydrich] as a young naval officer, who is shamed and kicked out of the navy for a sexual misdemeanour just while he's meeting the woman who ends up becoming his wife. You watch this man become the master of death that he was in designing and executing the Final Solution."
Rather than an thriller surrounding the lead-up to and aftermath of his killing, HHhH instead has a much longer arc with elements of twisted psychodrama. "I play his wife Lina, who is a fascinating character," continues Pike, "because she believed ardently in the Nazi Party and she was incredibly attracted to the thing in him that was disturbed and helped set his course."
Arguably the Nazi equivalent of Lady Macbeth, then? "Maybe, slightly. And then we cut back to the assassination attempt and the training of the Czech freedom fighters. As an acting challenge, it's incredibly interesting to play someone whose politics are reprehensible but to not judge the character."
Pike can next be seen in romantic drama A United Kingdom, which arrives in cinemas on 25 November.