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Enola Holmes 2 Director Harry Bradbeer Talks Sherlock Holmes Mythology - Exclusive Interview

"Enola Holmes 2" infuses a little more than fact into fiction, with the matchgirls' strike of 1888 taking center stage during Enola's case. Rather than framing the story around a fictional character written into the historical bits, the film focuses on a real leader of this movement: Sarah Chapman. It's only fitting that the follow-up to Millie Bobby Brown's feminist take on the late 1800s would include such an integral piece of history in the pursuit of women's rights. Whether it's Enola's horror that she needs a chaperone to have a mere conversation with a man or a literal rebellion, the movie beautifully melds fact and fiction into one powerful film.

Leading the charge as the director is Harry Bradbeer, who directed the first installment of the series as well. His directorial resumé includes shows like "Killing Eve," "Fleabag," and "Ramy." Looper spoke to Bradbeer during an exclusive interview for "Enola Holmes 2." He discussed casting David Thewlis in the film, the delightfully strange things Helena Bonham Carter brought to set, putting a twist on the "Sherlock Holmes" mythology, and the one stunt he wouldn't let Henry Cavill do.

Mischief managed

"Harry Potter" actors David Thewlis and Helena Bonham Carter have a reunion in this film. Did that play a part in casting? What were some of the highlights of their battle scene, and did they add anything in the moment?

I had David Thewlis in my mind when I wrote this character when we did the story. I always wanted him because I didn't actually know him very well from "Harry Potter." I know in "Harry Potter" [he] plays a benign and kind character. David's villainy was always going to involve a little bit of humanity and vulnerability.

Maybe it was a bit of that that inspired me because villains who are just bad are boring. We all need to be loved. We all want to be understood, and he's no less. He's a police superintendent who everybody thinks is a bit of a bad guy, a bit of a brat, really. He wants to advance himself. I like that vulnerability that David can bring.

Helena, yes, she was a "Harry Potter" actor, and there's some of her eccentricity in there that she brings. I was surprised at the power of her maternity, the kindness that she brings in that film, as well as her spirit. Helena's always bringing strange things and surprising props to the set: soup cans, the sandwich boards that she takes bombs out of. A lot of those little details come from Helena's own imagination. I'll take an idea from anybody, and particularly from her.

Remixing the classics

"Enola Holmes 2" has put a brilliant spin on some classic "Sherlock" characters. What went into those decisions, and how do you feel it sets the movie apart?

All this canon of "Sherlock" from "Mycroft and Sherlock" and the mother we haven't met before, that's all thanks to Nancy Springer for bringing about those people and a sister we'd never met. But this whole canon and this family and the other members, like Moriarty and Watson, that come out of our own particular franchise all get seen through the prism of this young girl. That's what makes it fresh, I think.

Enola sees people in different ways and changes them all in different ways. You see a different side of Sherlock because you're seeing it from the point of view of an elder brother who's struggling with his own work, his own business, and yet he can't help being affected by his love for his sister.

Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill have some intense scenes in the film, specifically Millie's stunt work. How much of that was them versus a stunt double?

They both like to do as much of their own stunts as possible. Henry does all that fighting. That's him very occasionally. We didn't throw him out of the bar. He wanted to be thrown out of the bar. I said, "Henry, I know you could do this, and you probably won't have any bruises, but I'm not going to let you get thrown out of that bar." And he was very good about it.

"Enola Holmes 2" is now streaming on Netflix.