British actor Toby Jones has crafted a career that spans big franchises like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Captain America, plus serious arthouse hits and award-winning performances as Alfred Hitchcock (in 2012's The Girl) and Truman Capote (in 2007's Infamous). Now he's leading the charge in the film version of the iconic British TV sit-com Dad's Army, a World War II farce that ran on the BBC from 1968 to 1977.

Lots of familiar faces appear in the new Dad's Army movie

In the movie he plays Mainwaring, the bumbling leader of a team of Home Guard soldiers on England's south coast in 1944. "When they approached me to do it I said, 'This is a crazy idea!'" Jones says. "But the writers said, 'Will you at least read the script?' When I did and saw what comic potential it had, I thought maybe there is something I could bring to this. I thought it balanced honouring the old characters by putting them in a new situation. And when I saw who else was cast in it, I thought that's exactly the right kind of way to go. It's not comics, it's actors."

For Jones and his costars, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Tom Courtenay, being true the original series was tricky, "because the characters have to exist in more worlds than they did on the TV show." So he set about trying to recapture Mainwaring's vocal "prissiness" while maintaining his dignity. "All Mainwaring's really got is his dignity," Jones says, "and that is constantly being taken away from him, every time he is humiliated. I wanted to give Mainwaring some contour and depth and I think you can do that much more in a full-length movie than you can in a half-hour comedy where it is enough to leave him with egg on his face. His platoon is like a dysfunctional family that he is trying to herd around the place."

For someone who doesn't have traditional Hollywood looks, Jones knows he's had a dream career. "When I went to the screening of Dads Army, I thought, 'Oh no, that face!'" he laughs. "In my own head, sitting behind that face as I'm talking now, I don't think I look like that!"

Watch the trailer for Dad's Army: