"When you get into post-production with director Park, that's where you see what he had in his head the whole time," Simon tells me. "Normally a director arrives on a location and they think, ‘Okay, where should we put the camera?' but he comes in very precise and says 'This is here, this is here, we need this shot' and like a sculptural process it magically comes together in post-production."
"On day one," Stephen continues, "there is a scene with a staircase, and many directors would shoot walking up a staircase in a simple way and move on. But he shoots it in a complex, spiral way that, of course, mirrors the emotional spiral of the characters at that moment."
This kind of master plan that reveals itself at the end is quite in keeping with The Little Drummer Girl and le Carré in general, but the sons burst my bubble a little bit. Sadly, they have no funny stories of hanging out with their dad in hotel lobbies as a kid, with him making up stories about travelers as they walked by. Even worse, he never taught them how to play chess.
"You read his books and you assume he's a grandmaster," Simon laughs, "but far from it. I don't think he has the patience to play chess."
"He'd prefer to be writing," Stephen adds, which, I suppose, is better for us.
The Little Drummer Girl debuts on AMC on November 19.