Moviemaker David Fincher cast British actress Rosamund Pike as his leading lady in new thriller Gone Girl because she reminded him of movie veteran Faye Dunaway.

The director admits he would have cast the Chinatown star as the missing wife of Ben Affleck's character if the film was shot 40 years ago, and he set about trying to find a modern-day equivalent.

Fincher tells Playboy, "I wanted Faye Dunaway in Chinatown, where you think, 'This person has experienced avenues of pain that no one can articulate. Or Faye in Network, where it's, 'You're never going to get to the bottom of this, so just stop'.

"It's crazy how much Rosamund reminds me of Faye. I'd seen probably four or five things Rosamund had done, and I didn't have a good take on her. I realised why when I met her. She'd odd.

"The role is really difficult and Rosamund was born to play it."

But even Pike wasn't convinced when the British actress was cast as Amy Dunne.

Fincher explains, "There was a moment on the set when I overheard Rosamund asking Ben (Affleck), 'What do you think Fincher saw in me that he would cast me in this role?'"

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