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Based on former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s nonfiction book, the film, which co-stars Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Alexander Ludwig—depicts a botched 2005 mission in Afghanistan.
Kitsch plays Lieutenant Michael Murphy, one of four SEALs drastically outnumbered by Taliban forces.
KITSCH: There’s a workout called the Murphy that he created when he was in the SEALs. They call it bounding, and all these other things these guys do as a team, and they’re fighting together as a team. Some of the funnier stuff—when I’m in the hide with Mark [Wahlberg] talking about a girl and a Coldplay concert, that was roughly scripted and we just went with it, and Mark is fucking on it. Pete would call cut, and the whole crew would burst out laughing. I mean, it’s a good problem to have, but is there ever a point where it’s like, be careful what you wish for? I mean, I’m never going to be like, “Oh, this attention from women sucks.” It’s flattering 99 percent of the time. A., there was a young woman, beautiful, mid- to late-twenties, and you’re pretty crushed after this movie, it hits you hard, and I was talking to a guy who had served. That’s the one shitty experience out of it, but it’s still flattering.
It’s, like, a mile run and then a hundred pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, then another mile run, with a 40- to 50-pound weighted vest. Murph was the leader of the guys, so he’s making the call, and you really do see it kind of seamlessly in the film. Or we would even have a bit of a camera shake because the camera guy’s dying, you know? All of a sudden this girl comes up and she’s like, “Hey, I just gotta say, this movie was this-and-that, but that fucking scene of you walking down the hall [in which Kitsch is shirtless] …” And then it inevitably went to, “What are you doing later tonight? Out of everything in that fucking movie, that’s what you took?
It’s not even the responsibility of the memory of Murph being part of the SEAL community—this is a torch I have for the rest of my life.
How often in this gig do we get to have that, and want it?
KITSCH: I think so much of it is that it actually happened, that these guys are still out there doing it.
When you meet guys who were buds with Murph, guys that fought right next to him, you really do see how much it means to them that the film’s done right.
WAYNE: How much of that is solely inspired by the real figure and how much of the work is purely fictional?
Taylor Kitsch When I told a female friend I’d be interviewing Taylor Kitsch, the actor who broke out as the hard-nosed, brooding fullback Tim Riggins for five seasons on NBC’s Texas high school football melodrama , her jaw actually dropped.
Kitsch’s rugged looks—he’s a former model and junior hockey player—and world-weary onscreen demeanor often have this effect on women; another friend referred to him as a “classic hunk.” But the 32-year-old British Columbia native possesses a surprising absence of vanity.
From the moment he knew the movie was happening, his training was 100%, his focus was 100%.
And for Kitsch, who last headlined two 2012 duds, the egregiously expensive flop John Carter and the forgotten Savages, it's shaping up to be a fairly momentous year.