Michael Shannon, Michael Peña and Trevante Rhodes additionally star.
Chris Hemsworth could be finest recognized for taking part in Marvel’s Mighty Thor (and being a stealthy comedic scene-stealer), however in 12 Strong, he is embodying a real-life hero — the chief of an elite US Particular Forces crew despatched into Afghanistan within the quick aftermath of 9/11 to hitch up with one of many native warlords, Common Abdul Rashid Dostum, within the combat in opposition to the Taliban.
And if that tough political terrain wasn’t harmful sufficient, the mountainous panorama additionally meant that the troopers could not use conventional transportation, as a substitute charging into battle on horses, despite the fact that most of them had no using expertise.
The unimaginable true story behind the operation often known as “Process Power Dagger” was categorized for a few years earlier than Doug Stanton explored it in his 2009 ebook, Horse Troopers, which impressed the movie from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Nicolai Fuglsig, and writers Ted Tally and Peter Craig.
Hemsworth and the opposite forged members — together with Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Trevante Rhodes and Geoff Stults — play characters primarily based on the true Inexperienced Berets who had been a part of the mission, with fictionalized names to permit for a level of creative license. Hemsworth performs Captain Mitch Nelson, primarily based on Mark Nutsch, the real-life commander of the 12-man crew that was tasked with profitable Dostum’s belief and turning the tide within the combat.
Beneath, Hemsworth tells IGN concerning the specific challenges of filming an explosive battle film on horseback, the accountability he felt to Nutsch, and the expertise of working with fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe costar Peña.
How lengthy did you guys spend on the horses, all informed? Did you retain observe?
Hemsworth: It felt like three or 4 months. How lengthy did we shoot the film for? [Laughs.] I attempted to purchase my horse on the finish of it, and I feel that the man who owned it noticed me coming and was like, “yeah, it’s value…” and the value went up and up and up. So I didn’t purchase it. However, it was nice. I liked my horse — I’ve ridden a little bit bit, however primarily simply in motion pictures. I’ve by no means performed this form of intensive coaching previous to capturing. Usually you’re simply coaching for motion pictures for one scene, ten seconds the place you trip into one thing, whereas this was actually for 4 months. And I actually loved it — it was exhausting, particularly with all of the packs, and the gear, and the weapons and so forth. It was tough. Nevertheless it was enjoyable.
Motion scenes are logistical nightmares to movie anyway, however that have to be exponentially elevated once you’re using a horse whereas wielding a gun. What was that have like, when it comes to preparation?
That comes all the way down to the stunt crew and Nicolai to choreograph that. And that’s the factor, you may prep for the scene, and also you prepare, and “that is gonna occur, and also you’re gonna do that and this.” After which when you name motion, and there’s bombs going off and the fireplace and smoke, and also you’re on a horse — the variables, they’re magnified. So there’s loads of issues that may go flawed. And we had just a few mishaps, however nothing overly critical — however all of us had a good quantity of bumps and scratches. Nevertheless it simply provides such an authenticity to it, that adrenaline that you just’re feeling — and the horse can be sort of reacting to it — that we simply couldn’t have faked.
How a lot had been you guys allowed to do versus the stunt crew?
We did rather a lot, and I feel greater than the insurance coverage corporations needed us to do, too. [Laughs.] There have been sure instances after they could be like, “keep in mind, don’t gallop on this part,” and we’d have a look at one another and be like, “this shot’s gonna suck if we don’t.” So, [it’s like] “whoa, whoa, whoa! Did we get it? Okay, good. Don’t try this once more!”
Do you discover it extra formidable to play a real-life character, reasonably than one with extra mythic origins like Thor, the place there’s much more room for interpretation?
Yeah… I at all times attempt to apply the identical quantity of focus and dedication to it, however you’re conscious of the added stress, of the character of the subject material and this specific story. You wish to do it justice, you wish to be respectful of it. After which, taking part in an actual man, I needed him to be happy with my efficiency. However we fictionalized the character a bit too. On the finish of the day, you will get slowed down in it being completely correct, and it’s like, yeah, however is it entertaining? So it’s simply hanging that stability at all times. It simply meant doing as a lot analysis as I may.
Have been you in a position to speak to Mark Nutsch and choose his mind about his experiences?
Yeah — not as a lot as I might have appreciated to, simply with how the schedule was, however he was extremely open. I had his cellphone quantity, and a variety of instances on set I’d be like, “we’re doing this scene, and we’re saying this, however is that this the way it was?” And he’d say, “properly truly, that is what it’s about.” Or I’d say, “we’d like some coronary heart on this scene. Inform me about what your relationship was with Common Dostum, or your angle towards the Afghan folks.” It was unbelievable to have him out there. And that’s the opposite factor, you’ve got these many assets at your fingertips to attract from and use. With a fictional character you get your mind — your creativeness has to work in additional time to invent that character.
The situations these troopers needed to function below had been unbelievable — what was the very first thing concerning the actuality of their scenario that struck you once you learn the script?
The truth that it was on horseback. If somebody had pitched you this story as an thought and it wasn’t a real story, you’d go, “that’s ridiculous, it may by no means occur.” To comprehend that these guys went in there three weeks after 9/11, had little or no information, little or no intel, had been informed it was mainly a suicide mission, however we have to get some boots on the bottom and get shifting. After which, what they achieved was one of many largest army accomplishments in historical past — and we didn’t even find out about it, this complete factor. The truth that I discovered about it after which began researching, and I used to be like, “oh my God, nobody even is aware of your story.” The one monument the place the Towers had been in New York is the horse soldiers statue. And I do not assume, till lately, anybody knew what the small print had been behind that.
Your 12 Robust costar, Michael Peña, can be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of Ant-Man — did you guys commerce tales whereas on set?
We talked a little bit bit. I’d solely simply watched Ant-Man, truly, or possibly I watched it through the filming, and I used to be like “oh yeah, s**t, we’re from the identical world.” [Laughs.] Our characters haven’t crossed paths on display, so we talked a little bit bit about Avengers and what’s coming.
12 Strong rides into theaters on January 19 — read our review here. For extra from Hemsworth, see what he has to say about playing Thor after Avengers 4, how a lot he thinks the Infinity War trailer reveals, and what he is aware of about the next Star Trek movie. Plus, try what Peña told us about Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Laura Prudom is IGN’s Government TV Editor. You possibly can speak to her on Twitter at @LauinLA.