Private Peaceful stars talk about film from same stable as War Horse

New World War I movie Private Peaceful comes from the same stable as War Horse - both films are based on books by Michael Morpurgo.

The author takes on the role of executive producer for the first time for the independent drama, about two brothers caught up in the horrors of trench warfare.

The tale is told from the point of view of Tommo Peaceful, a Devon farm laborer in love with the same local girl as his brother.

When the two boys enlist, they join the thousands of young men heading to war with no idea of the brutal realities ahead of them.

The Boys are Back actor George MacKay plays Tommo, and admits he hadn't read Morpurgo's book before his audition. However, once he landed his first leading role, MacKay got reading – and loved the tale, written for older children.

He said: "It's such a beautifully written book and it's got these moments in it where, because it's written for a younger audience and written so well, it's got this real clarity in certain sections.”

Co-star Alexandra Roach had already played the young Margeret Thatcher in The Iron Lady before she was cast as another of the film's leads – Molly Monks, the object of both Peaceful brothers' affection.

She recalls meeting Morpurgo before shooting on Private Peaceful began.

"He's all heart, Michael is, and he has - I think this is his most personal book and he came to the read through with us, that's the only time that I'd met him previous to today,” she explained.

“He came and he spoke to us all as a room, and wished us well on our journey in filmmaking. He was really inspirational."

  • Private Peaceful is released in the UK on Friday October 12.