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Envelope Screening Series

'Lone Survivor' cast members on portraying real people [Video]

November 15, 2013|By Oliver Gettell

For the new fact-based war movie "Lone Survivor," which details a Navy SEAL mission gone horribly awry in the mountains of Afghanistan, leading man Mark Wahlberg had one very important resource to draw from: Marcus Luttrell, the soldier whose memoir of the same name inspired the film, and who was present for much of the cast's training and rehearsal.

Luttrell's presence also impressed on Wahlberg that he had big shoes to fill. At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, Wahlberg and fellow cast member Emile Hirsch, who plays the fallen Navy SEAL Danny Dietz, discussed what it was like portraying real people, men they quickly came to see as heroes.

Wahlberg described Luttrell as "a giant of a man" and said, "He's got an amazing heart, and he's got an amazing wife and amazing kids and an amazing outlook on life. I felt an enormous amount of pressure, but also an enormous amount of pride that I would have the opportunity to portray somebody as special as Marcus." 

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He added, "I've been able to play real people in the past, and sometimes they've been there on the set, but you never feel the kind of pressure that you feel telling a story of this importance."

Hirsch felt the same way. "I was excited because it was a great opportunity, to be in the film," he said. "But as soon as I started to get to know Danny's parents, and his brother and sister, and his widow and his friends, and talking to people on the phone for hours and Skype -- as soon as that started, it completely changed for me. It stopped being a career opportunity. ... It was really just appreciating who this guy was and what he meant to his friends and family, and what he fought for, and what he died for."

For more from the cast and crew of "Lone Survivor," watch the video above and check back for daily highlights.


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