Allen Leech On Gay Rights, Alan Turing by Uinterview

Allen Leech, the Downton Abbey actor who stars in The Imitation Game, believes that Alan Turing – played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film – is a true hero.

Allen Leech On Alan Turing’s Heroism

In The Imitation Game, Leech plays John Cairncross, a Soviet Union spy in World War II who manages to entrench himself at Bletchley Park with fellow cryptologists trying to figure out a way to crack the German’s Enigma code. Cairncross’s espionage was discovered before the end of the war, but he was never tried for treason. However, Turing, who was the mastermind behind solving Enigma, was tried for being a homosexual and his pivotal work for the war effort was all but scrubbed from history books.

“[Turing] was prosecuted because of his sexuality. Yet, my character within the movie, he committed treason and he was never prosecuted,” Leech told uInterview. “Treason carried the death penalty at the time, yet a man just purely because of his sexuality was persecuted, was put on a course of treatment that saw him take his own life.”

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“It’s one of the greatest injustices I think of the last century. Imagine what he could have achieved if he would have lived on,” Leech added. “The man gave us the digital computer. The devices we have today wouldn’t exist without him and without the way he thought and his mind.”

In Leech’s estimation, was Turing a hero? “Absolutely,” says the British actor.

The Imitation Game is currently in wide release.