Did having access to Marcus Luttrell help the actor develop his character?
Sitting on the list of HitFix's best battles of 2013 is "Lone Survivor," which features a 30-40 minute fire fight between SEALs and enemy insurgents. It is a long, intense, sequence and when we asked Taylor Kitsch to tell us about it, he acknowledged that it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to film.
"You kinda know what you're getting into when you sign on," Kitsch said, adding that the challenge of it is "What you crave as an actor" and, "I loved it… we all loved it." But, before they even got that far, a lot of training was required, and in the interview, Kitsch offered up a laundry list of various things they had to undergo and that they "Were lucky enough to have, like, some active and some just retired SEALs with us" during the training.
The sense of respect and awe Kitsch, and all of those we talked who worked on the movie, have for the SEALs and what they do was evident, and more than just the SEALs as a group, but as individuals as well. In "Lone Survivor," Kitsch portrays Michael Murphy, and in order to learn about his character, he asked Marcus Luttrell, the survivor of the battle in question and author of the book upon which the movie is based, about Murphy. He explained that if he wanted to know something about someone he would go ask their best friend, "And that's what I had, I had Marcus Luttrell." He continued, "I had access to someone that knows this guy inside-out... stories of sadness, of courage, of having 25 too many beers together, to all of it, you know, I had access to that and that was a great thing."
"Lone Survivor" is directed by Peter Berg whom Kitsch has worked with more than once before. With working relationships and friendships already a part of the discussion, we had to ask Kitsch about why he keeps returning to Berg. The "Friday Night Lights" actor answered by saying "We're friends first and foremost," and then quickly added "He's just insanely talented," and that "On any set, that director-actor relationship is bound by trust, and we have that in spades… I'll go to war—no pun intended—with him any day of the week."
"Lone Survivor," which also stars Emile Hirsch, Mark Wahlberg, and Eric Bana is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles. It expands nationwide on January 10th.