Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

This Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare Cast Connection Is Unbelievable - But True

More often than not, when an actor is tasked with bringing a real-life character to the screen, a bit of required reading is involved. In the case of Cary Elwes for "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare," he didn't have to go very far, given that the character he was signed up to play was his grandfather's former boss. In Guy Ritchie's new film, Elwes plays Brigadier Gubbins, aka M, the man appointed by Winston Churchill to monitor an off-the-books operation led by a rebellious officer, Gus March-Phillips, portrayed by Henry Cavill, who finally gets to play James Bond — in a sense.

Like Gus, M was likely part of the inspiration for Ian Fleming's iconic series of "Bond" spy novels. This M also worked over Elwes' grandfather, Neil "Billy" McClean, a member of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). It marks a rare occasion for a star to be this close to the character they're portraying and an experience that Elwes revealed he took on willingly. In an exclusive interview with Xoop, the actor acknowledged his ongoing trend of becoming "The man that knows the guy that can do the job," thanks to appearances in films like "Operation Fortune" and "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning." However, this came with some extra weight he was happy to carry.

Elwes accepted the responsibility that came with taking on M

Speaking to Xoop about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Cary Elwes didn't seem to feel much pressure on bridging a gap that the film helped fill for him and his grandfather's time during WWII. "Well, but yeah, obviously it's personal for the first time for me. And my grandfather was my hero growing up, and he was hired by the character I play in the film. So I felt a little bit more of a responsibility because I felt him on my shoulder, and I felt him guiding me," Elwes explained.

When it came to reading up on the role and getting as much info as he could to bring M to life, Elwes made a poignant discovery that saw him reacquainted with his grandfather in a meeting across time. "And I went to the Imperial War Museum and found my character's diaries, and sure enough, he had an entry where he met my grandfather for lunch. So that was kind of cool. And yeah, it was the first time I've ever had a role where it was personal like that for me." 

"The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare," which boasts a cast that fully embraces the concept of overkill, lands in theaters on April 19.