Is it hard to not only portray someone who is based on a real person
that is still alive but also re-telling such an important part of
history? Do you feel more pressure when you take on a role like
S.E. Yes. I think out of all the films that I have ever done, in
terms of a historical piece that revolves around someone who is
living today, this one was the toughest ever for those reasons.
Then it must have meant even more to you than just another part
in a movie.
S.E. I should have been in Vietnam in 1965. I was 19 years old.
I was going to school in Oregon, my dad died and I got re-classified
and I joined the National Guard to fulfill my military obligation.
I always felt a little bit guilty about doing it that way. This
was an opportunity for me to kind of, I don't know what the
word for it is, but I feel like I made some kind of contribution
being a part of this film getting made.
Greg, how did you feel playing this soldier who flew the helicopter
bringing in supplies, but also having to bring back the dead and
wounded to base camp?
G.K. It was an incredible story and an incredible book. I was
very young when this battle took place but it rang very true to
me. When I read it, it just felt like this had a sense of what I
would envision this experience to have been like. I was just kind
of touched by it and honoured to be a part of it. I thought that
it was very exciting to play a guy who is very much alive. Bruce
Crandall is very unassuming but very funny and was on the set. I
met him down in Georgia when we started this picture. He had a great
sense of humour and he became a friend and was a great source of
inspiration while doing the film as well.
Sam, you play a no nonsense Sergeant named Plumely. What was it
like for you meeting this man?
Joe Galloway took me over to Plumely's house and he was standing
out in the driveway waving as we came up. I thought man; I've
done this a million times with my dad, going to see all of his buddies.
It's just that generation of American men often referred to
as the greatest generation. All those guys who went and fought in
Europe and you know, Plumely was one of those guys. He loved to
hunt, he loved to fish and loved being a soldier. That was his slice
of life, that was what he loved and that's what he did.
B.L. Greg, after making We Were Soldiers, what does the
word hero mean to you?
I suppose its somebody who is able to set aside their own interests
for the good of somebody else, whether that's family or their
country or their dog. It's really just somebody who can put
aside their own agenda and to meet some sort of call. It happens
all the time, as we found out in this city (New York) on September
11th, heroes are made up of many different pieces of fabric. But
this movie, again I was very proud of. I think it pays some honourable
tribute to some guys who have been overlooked.