“At this time when journalism is under attack, it’s quite an important story to be told,” said director Matthew Heineman speaking with Deadline about his narrative directorial feature film, A Private War, a biopic on famed American-born British war correspondent Marie Colvin.

“It spoke to me in a way that I just felt like I had to make this film,” said Heineman during his turn at Deadline’s TIFF studio, along with the film’s stars Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan. “I felt a huge connection to Marie as someone who has been in conflict zones and covered tough situations, not to the extent as she has…it was a no-brainer for me.”

Premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, the film, based on Marie Brenner’s 2012 Vanity Fair story Marie Colvin’s Private War, follows fearless, eyepatch-sporting reporter Marie Colvin (Pike) and her photog, Paul Conroy (Dornan), on the front lines of the most dangerous battlefields in the world.

When researching the role, Pike said she gained an infatuation with Colvin, who died in early 2012 during a rocket attack while covering the civil war in Syria. “When you start reading about her its hard to stop. She’s sort of an infectious person, said Pike. “When she really spoke about what she was passionate about, her words were so powerful and she commanded such attention and respect that you can’t really turn away.”

Dornan was able to consult with the real-life Paul Conroy, who was present during filming. “I was fortunate to have this constant presence of the person I’m playing which is invaluable for any actor.”

A Private War will get a limited release November 2 before expanding wide on November 16 via Aviron Pictures.

Check out the rest of the interview above.

Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii LoveLove Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.