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'Red Tails' stars built bond for authenticity

Three of the stars of 'Red Tails,' Elijah Kelley, Tristan Wilds and Ne-Yo (L-R).

January 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Elijah Kelley, Tristan Wilds and Ne-Yo are three of the young actors who step back in time for the historic drama, "Red Tails."

The film tells the story of the first African-American flyers to serve as pilots during World War II.

The actors felt honored to tell the story of the brave men who helped pave the way for the next generation.

"This is a story about young men who saved the world, its real. There's a specific responsilbity, especially when they're on set," Wilds said.

To help create authenticity, director Anthony Hemingway had the actors go through a version of boot camp, with no access to cellphones or television, to help the actors build a strong bond.

"We're in tents and makeshift little shacks," Ne-Yo said. "There're eight of us with beds like foot to foot." The boot camp also included actual flight time.

"Being in that plane, I felt like I was 10 years old like on my first roller coaster ride," Wilds said. "It was just like , 'This is the most amazing thing ever.'"

"Red Tails" is rated PG 13 and is in theaters.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Tristan Wilds as Nate Parker.