Roundup: World on Fire Cast Instagram Takeovers

You asked, they answered! Cast and crew from World on Fire took turns taking over the MASTERPIECE on PBS Instagram account and answered fans’ burning questions. Watch as stars including Zofia Wichłacz, Julia Brown, Brian J. Smith, Blake Harrison and one of the series’ directors discussed secrets from the set, favorites scenes, costumes and more. Also, find out what has been keeping busy since filming ended.

Make sure to follow the MASTERPIECE on PBS Instagram account for future cast takeovers, behind-the-scenes content and more.


  1. 1.

    Zofia Wichłacz

    World on Fire star Zofia Wichłacz revealed what her favorite scenes were (two major scenes between Kasia and Harry), what her favorite Kasia costume was, what she’s been reading and keeping busy with recently while at home and more.

    “[Kasia’s] a fighter. She fights for people,” Wichłacz said of her character. When the actress learned that she’d gotten the role, she read up on what Warsaw (her own home city) was like in 1939. “I wanted to create Kasia’s world. Where she could take Harry for a date, for example. Or where would she go in her free time?”

    But for the rest of Kasia’s dark and gut-wrenching story, she pivoted her research to something else: grief. “I really did some reading on grief and how you feel when you lose people that you love and how you act while grieving. I was really interested from a psychological point of view in what was Kasia going through while grieving.”

    Watch Zofia Wichłacz’s entire Instagram takeover here

  2. 2.

    Julia Brown

    See what Julia Brown (Lois Bennett in World on Fire) had to say about acting alongside star power like Sean Bean and Lesley Manville, which Lois looks she loved the most, and how she conquered Lois’ unique Manchester accent. Plus, Brown shared plenty of advice for aspiring actors.

    Brown revealed that Sean Bean was the “funniest, most down to earth, insanely talented, chilled out fake Dad that Ewan [Mitchell] and I could have ever dreamt of having!”  And, working alongside the Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings alumnus was  “a masterclass in acting everyday.”

    She also admitted that she adored her costumes, some of which were real pieces from a Paris Fashion House, sourced by the costume designer and team. “I felt like I was wearing a special piece of history!” Her favorite look was the ENSA uniform that Lois wore in Episode 3.

    As for her favorite song that she got to sing in the series, that moment also came in Episode 3 while at the French Army Camp, when she sang “After You’ve Gone”.

    Watch Julia Brown’s entire Instagram takeover here

  3. 3.

    Brian J. Smith

    On-screen, Webster O’Connor chose to stay in Paris as the war broke out to fight for the home and the love he’d found. Actor Brian J. Smith shared how he might’ve handled the situation himself, plus many of the behind-the-scenes photos he took, why the role of Webster meant so much to him, and more.

    Telling the love story of Webster and Albert was special to him, but some of the responses they received just further validated why he felt it was important to tell that particular story. “We got some weird flak from people saying, ‘What is it, why was there so much gay content in a show about WWII?’ and it just goes to show that that thinking never goes away.”

    As for how Smith has been passing the time lately, he admitted that his latest obsession is flowers. While in Berlin, he’s been perusing the outdoor markets, and can’t stop buying more and more flowers, which he proudly showed off during his takeover. “I think there’s like 6 vases!”

    Fun fact: He’s also the proud father to two maltipoo puppies named Pippa and Lulu.

    Watch Brian J. Smith’s entire Instagram takeover here

  4. 4.

    Blake Harrison

    Whether in character as Stan Raddings or off-screen, Blake Harrison can’t help but make people laugh. Find out which cast mates became lifelong friends of his (they’ve even met up since filming ended), who was the funniest cast member, and which scenes were his favorite to film, complete with plenty of behind-the-scenes videos and photos! Plus, hear how he’s kept busy while at home recently (hint: In a galaxy far, far away…)

    When asked what other World on Fire character he’d play if given the choice, Harrison didn’t hesitate to answer: Robina Chase. “I think she has some brilliant lines in the show and I think I’ve got the range for it.”

    He also admitted that while actors have great jobs, there was one tough condition he’ll never forget from filming the series — specifically, one day in Prague, when it reached below 9 degrees. “People’s hair was just frosting in front of our eyes, going white as we stood there!”

    Watch Blake Harrison’s entire Instagram takeover here

  5. 5.

    Chanya Button

    Chanya Button directed Episode 5 and Episode 6, and shared her behind-the-camera experience with fans, along with lots of on-set videos and images showing the scale of filming the Dunkirk scenes and more.

    “It was completely incredible,” she said of re-creating an iconic historical event like the Battle of Dunkirk. “It was exhilarating, it was a huge challenge. Our incredible crew created the biggest set I’ve ever been on. We meticulously planned everything we shot.”

    If she were to choose one scene that sums up her work, Button said, “I’ve got a real fondness for the scene where Jonah Hauer-King sings ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ in the back of a Matador truck that he and the rest of his unit spend Episode 5 in. It’s really tender, really real, and really warm.”

    Watch Chanya Button’s entire Instagram takeover here

Catch up with all seven episodes of World on Fire when you watch with PBS Passport, an added member benefit.

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