25th Oct2017

Interview: Tracey Birdsall talks sci-fi thriller ‘The Time War’

by Philip Rogers

With The Time War currently shooting currently shooting in the UK and US, I was able to ask actress Tracey Birdsall a few questions regarding her role and what we can expect form the film

During World War 2, the Nazis were alleged to be experimenting with Time Travel Technology.  What if they were successful?

The Time War shows the consequences of Adolf Hitler traveling through time and re-writing history.  Rather than taking a campy-cartoony stance on the notion, The Time War takes a more serious, scientific-based approach to the consequences of time travel and the theoretical multi-verse.  As Adolf Hitler starts to re-write his genetics, he learns that cause and effect are not as simple as it may seem on paper.  After dealing with multiple versions of himself, his greatest nemesis is his own daughter Dijanne (played by Tracey Birdsall) who takes on his legacy of empire building and creates an army of one, from various versions of herself from across a billion different time lines. The resulting Time War spans thousands of years and lays waste to the earth following a devastating atomic war.  Time travel and rewriting history are heavily complex notions, and Dijanne, daughter of Adolf Hitler, discovers that she is the centre of the universal destruction that threatens to extinguish all life from planet earth.


What attracted you to the film The Time War?

There’s everything to love about The Time War! Drawn to stories with multi-dimensions within the characters, not to mention shocking twists and turns, The Time War is a film with more complexity and excitement than I’ve ever come across. There’s literally nothing like it out there, and it’s really exciting to watch it unfold.

You are collaborating again with writer and director Neil Johnson. Do you find you work well together?

We really do work well together. We have the same drive and passion for our perspective roles. We also have a tremendous amount of respect for one another, something paramount in any working relationship.

Was the role of Dijanne written with you in mind?

Dijanne was already a character in the prequel script; however it morphed and grew as The Time War came into being. It’s really a treacherous role with many versions and variations (due to time travel), so I’m not sure the rest of Hollywood would be clamoring to play her. It takes real dedication and very hard work to create all of these characters… endless preparation and shooting.

Did you make any changes to the character from how it was originally written?

I think when we bring characters to life and make them real living/breathing humans, that many changes occur – because that’s the idea. I didn’t have to change the dialogue, which was so well-written, but how you present the character changes everything.

What preparation did you have to do for the role?

Seeing as my characters interact with each other, you can only imagine the preparation that goes into it! I run through the scenes and learn them as one character, and then I have to go through and learn them as other characters keeping their similarities and differences in mind. It’s quite literally the most difficult thing that I’ve done. When most actors prepare for – say 6 pages of shooting, they are taking into consideration that there will be many other characters doing their part in the dialogue. When you shoot 6 pages in a day and you’re three of the actors, it multiplies the work. I run through a checklist in my mind between characters of the most minute details from perspective to how they hold their face and their head, body language, personality, etc.

Can you tell me a little about your character?

Dijanne’s character runs the gamut as when you pluck various versions of her throughout time, they are different ages and personalities and have had different life experiences. That said, the central character of her journey is the daughter of Adolf Hitler, and also his nemesis. Her main goal is to stop her father from using time travel technology to re-write history (and his own genetics), however, it doesn’t all go according to plans…

With The Time War taking the concept of Hitler and time travel seriously. What can we expect from the movie?

It’s a big film, a huge under-taking, and yes… it’s done from a serious perspective. I don’t think that I can prepare you for this film! It’s twisted, dark, intelligent, and eye-opening – that’s for sure! Director Neil Johnson has really outdone himself this time…

Do you feel any pressure with the film following on the success of Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter?

Every movie has to be better than the last, and that’s actually the thought process behind The Time War getting so epic. We took one look at how well Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter did, and we realized we had to really beef up the prequel to The Time War – which we had already shot. As the film got to be such a behemoth, we realized at some point we were going to have to split the two. The Time War had outgrown it’s prequel, so to speak!

The Time War is due for release in 2018. Check out the rest of our coverage of the film right here.


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