Taylor Kitsch takes on the role of a real-life war hero in director Peter Berg's latest epic film "Lone Survivor."
Kitsch has worked with Berg in the past on the 2012 film "Battleship" and the NBC television series "Friday Night Lights," which aired from 2006 to 2011. In "Lone Survivor," Kitsch plays LT Michael P. "Mike" Murphy, who was a part of a team involved in the real-life events of the failed Navy SEALs mission known as "Operation Red Wings" during the War in Afghanistan.
"Lone Survivor" is based on former United States Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's nonfiction book by the same name. Mark Wahlberg portrays Luttrell's character in the film, which hit theaters nationwide on Dec. 27, 2013. The movie also stars Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Alexander Ludwig.
Kitsch recently sat down with OTRC.com to talk about his role in the film, why he thinks it's important for audiences to see real depictions of war on screen and why he chooses to not play it safe when it comes to choosing film roles.
Watch Kitsch's full interview with OTRC.com above and check out three highlights from the interview below.
1. On how he was cast in the film...
"The second [director] Pete Berg started talking about it. I mean, we were in Texas and we were just talking as friends do, first and foremost, and I was just asking him what he's got down the pipeline and he's like, 'I'm trying to get this movie made, it's a war film it's a true story called 'Lone Survivor' based on four guys trapped against god knows how many Tali.'"
"He's like, 'I want you to play Mike Murphy.' And I'm like. 'Who's Mike Murphy?' [Berg] 'Oh, he's done this, this and that, he's a medal of honor recipient.' [Kitsch] 'Okay. Oh, it's based off a book, let me read the book.' So I read the book and I text him, 'When you're ready, I'm ready.' That's how it basically [happened], literally in a nut shell."
2. On why the violence in the film is necessary...
"It's necessary. It's a matter of fact, there's in no way do we glorify it in my opinion. It's war, it's relentless, it's unapologetic. And I think people should see it for that, their next door neighbor's son or their uncle's son or whoever it is that's over there doing that, that's what they're dealing with, you know? And I think it's a really necessary thing to see."
3. On choosing challenging film roles...
"I think a lot of it is timing and opportunity. It's like I wish I could tell you that...a lot of it is just timing. I don't have this grand scheme. You go with your gut, you know? And I'll always go with my gut and I'll always swing, man. You know, I'm not gonna play it safe, there's no way."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).