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Fury - Jon Bernthal interview


Interview by Rob Carnevale

JON Bernthal talks about some of his experiences of and feelings about filming David Ayer’s gritty World War II tank drama Fury. He was speaking at a press conference held to mark the closing of the 2014 London Film Festival.

Q. Was there ever a time during the boot camp phase that you thought this was too full-on?
Jon Bernthal: Yeah but that was kind of the point, for each of us to breakdown in our own special way and it happened for all of us. But the genius of the boot camp and our technical advisers was that once we’d sort of discovered each other’s strengths and weaknesses we figured out how to use our strengths and help overcome our weaknesses. So, we really became a team and a family and that was essential for the work that followed.

Q. Do any of the cast have an insight into the warrior within? Could you use violence to protect your own ideals and the people you love?
Jon Bernthal: I think there’s a universality to soldiering that is uniform in all of the soldiers that we listened to. For the most part, people don’t go to war for political ideals or personal philosophies. At the end of the day, you’re there fighting for the guy next to you. And I think that’s something we really, really wanted to get in touch with. I hope that comes across.

Q. But do you feel you could have done what they did?
Jon Bernthal: Sure.

Q. Given the intensity of the experience, did anyone find it difficult to walk away and transition back to real life?
Jon Bernthal: I think we all did. I think at the end of the day, we put on make-up and say lines and we operate under this umbrella of safety – there’s not real bullets being shot at us. But up until that, it’s our job to make this as dark and dangerous a set as possible, and to be in a mindset that’s as dark and dangerous as possible. This was not the kind of movie that you wrapped and went and got a beer or have a nice night on the town and get Chinese food. Literally, you just wrap and you fight or you work out and you sleep and you try to stay in it. Any outside influence such as computers or phones were the enemy.

So, I think that when you’re trying to make your world as dark as possible for eight months straight it’s definitely… going home after that is tough. So, what I walk away with after that is absolute reverence and respect for guys who have real battle ringing between their ears. It had a big effect on me even though I’m a monkey who wears make-up.

Read our interview with Brad Pitt