Lone Survivor's Marcus Luttrell On What It's Like Making A Movie About The Worst Day Of Your Life

By Kristy Puchko 2013-12-21 11:14:11discussion comments
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Lone Survivor 1

In this movie, they present the SEAL team as being fans of movies. Thereís references to Anchorman's Ron Burgundy and to Napoleon Dynamite, which I found surprising. Was your group really into movies?

When youíre out in the middle of nowhere, for 6-8 months, and all you have to do is sleep, eat, work out, operate, and watch movies. So, the good thing about--and Iíve actually told the actors and anybody that has anything to do with movies--we thank them for what they do because it breaks the reality of war. We go in and we had a hard day or a bad night or whatever it is and you go in and put a movie on and it takes your mind away from, "Hey, Iím in the middle of nowhere in the desert and in an hour I have to go get into something."

So that was true to your experience, that you guys were actually that into Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman?

Oh yes, míam. The quotes would fly rampant, during the day, at night, on ops. I mean, it was, yes, míam. Itís like that. That was true to formÖAs Navy SEALs, weíre kind of, when you watch a movie about something, when youíre the guy who does it in real life, youíre like ok, alright, that canít happen. Itís like a pilot watching Top Gun or a boxer watching a movie on fighting or something like that. Do you understand where Iím coming with that?

Yeah, totally. So, was that important to you in making the movie that things were accurate to your experience?

Absolutely. We blanketed the set with team guys to make sure it was as authentic as possible. There was nobody swinging from wires. The falls, you see. Thereís no dummies falling down a mountain. Itís real stuntmen and stuff like that.

Before working on this film, how familiar were you with the works of Peter Berg?

Oh, I mean, I had seen his films, of course. I didnít know any actors or anything like that. I never went to Hollywood. Frogmen aren't really, "Hey, can I have your autograph," kind of guys, or anything like that. We're not blown away by seeing somebody. In our world, youíre just a human being, just like everybody else. Thatís the job you do, and itís the job we do, and theyíre really good at it, and I enjoy watching you work and thatís kind of how it is.

What was it like watching Mark Wahlberg act out this really intense moment in your life?

I enjoyed watching him work as a professional, as an actor. Heís a good guy. I was glad that he decided to be a part of this and he put everything he had into it, and for that Iím very grateful.

Have you seen Pain & Gain?

Yes, ma'am. Actually the other day I saw it, in the hotel.

What did you think of Pain & Gain?

Mark has a unique ability to adapt real life people or situations into movies. I would guess, I canít think of any other actor who has done that more that he has, taking real life people and putting them on film. I didnít know the story behind Pain & Gain. I think I was pretty young back then. When did that happen? Was that the Ď80s or the Ď90s?

Something like that. The part that really gets to me in that movie, I love that movie, is the part that, it says, "This is still a true story." You know what I mean? Itís bonkers, that movie.

Right, yeah, exactly. Have you seen The Ghost in the Darkness? Right in the beginning of the movie, when itís talking about it and it goes, "Everything you see in this movie, no matter how unbelievable it is, happened." And when you see something like that, after the movie youíre just like, there are two man-eating lions or whatnot and you go online and you try to research it and you find out it really did happen and the lions are on display at the Chicago museum, two maneless, male lions attacked together.

It never happens and they killed all these people and you know, itís just, movies like that, when you watch it and youíre just like, "No that couldnít happen!" And then you read it and youíre like, "Wow! Wow stuff like that really does happen in real life." Pain & Gain, I thought him and Dwayne (Johnson) and was it Tony (Shalhoub), it was entertaining to me. I like watching it. One of the things about, the reasons we watch a lot of movies in the Seal teams obviously, is to take our mind off of stuff, and to get those great one-liners so you can, you know, throw those out in the perfect situation. Pain & Gain has a lot of those.

Oh, absolutely.

When they were talking about how he said--I canít remember the line of it. Iíve only seen it once, but theyíre driving down the road, and theyíd already kidnapped Tony's character and (Mark says), "He said, 'He wanted a body like mine,' or something like that. I was just laughing. Itís totally what a bodybuilder would say, a trainer would say.

And heís so offended that that was the lie.

Right! Such an insult. Like, youíre a trainer. Why wouldnít he want to have a body like yours?
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