Laurence Fishburne Seriously Loved Prepping For Last Flag Flying, Here’s Why

Mueller at the funeral scene in Last Flag Flying

The process of creating movies is a funny thing. Because while the finished product might look like a polished and seamless story, filming is a long and inorganic experience. Shots are filmed from a variety of different angles, and actors are often only doing short scenes at a time. Then there's the preparation, where actors memorize their lines and learn the movements that the director wants to shoot. And for Richard Linklater's upcoming dramedy Last Flag Flying, it turns out that this process was an actor's dream-- at least according to what Laurence Fishburne told CinemaBlend.

And then working with Mr. Linklater - he gave us the opportunity to have two weeks of rehearsal, which is almost a rarity when making a film. So for two weeks we would gather together, read, talk about it, read, talk about it some more, read, talk about it some more. And even on the day when we would shoot a scene. Everyday we would get together and read for him early, talk about the scene a little bit more. And then we'd go and execute. So the preparation that we had was really lovely.

We recently had the chance to speak with Laurence Fisburne at the Last Flag Flying press junket in New York City. It's here that the legendary actor explained that film's long rehearsal process, which allowed the trio of lead actors to feel truly comfortable when filming. Once again, Richard Linklater has proven himself to be an actor's director. While he made headlines for filming Boyhood over the course of 12 years, the director also given gave his Last Flag Flying cast the opportunity to truly be comfortable, and explore their many intimate scenes together.

The rehearsal process certainly seems to have payed off in Last Flag Flying. The majority of the film's scenes are shared between the trio of lead actors made up of Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston, and Steve Carell. It's an intimate look at the cost of war, in both the past and present. The three Marine vets reflect on their time serving in the Vietnam War, the mistakes they made as young men, and how their lives have changed in the decades since they came home. Additionally, Steve Carell's Doc is also mourning the loss of his son, who died in the Iraq War.

Last Flag Flying's sensitive and often heartbreaking subject matter was handled delicately in the finished product, and all three leading actors are given their time to shine during the film's runtime. The open dialogue with Richard Linklater allowed the cast to have moments of improvisation, adding lines or bits from the 2005 novel that might not have necessarily made it into the script. And Laurence Fishburne seems to have enjoyed every moment of it.

You can check out my conversation with the actor below, where he described the fantastic preparation process for Last Flag Flying.

Last Flag Flying will arrive in select theaters on November 3rd. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.