Beyond the Screen: The Impact of War Movies on Actors

By Jack Ripley | May 9, 2024

Brad Pitt Said The Training For 'Fury' Was 'Designed To Make Us Miserable'

Are you ready for action? This captivating gallery reveals the grit, sweat, and occasional tears that have peppered the paths of actors while making some of the most memorable war movies in cinematic history. From tales of grueling boot camps that pushed actors to their physical limits, to on-set accidents that left more than just emotional scars, this collection showcases the commitment, endurance, and sheer determination that brought these intense roles to life. Each image and accompanying story highlights the reality behind the spectacle – a world far removed from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Discover the intense training that went into 'Platoon,' the unexpected typhoon that disrupted 'Apocalypse Now,' and the camaraderie that helped the cast of 'Saving Private Ryan' recreate the horrors of D-Day. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and brace yourself for an inside look at the world of war movies that's as riveting as the films themselves.

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(Sony Pictures Releasing)

In Fury, Brad Pitt plays the role of Sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier, the hardened commander of a Sherman tank and its five-man crew. The director, David Ayer,  sought to create an authentic portrayal of life inside a tank. For starters, the cast underwent a rigorous boot camp training led by Navy SEALs to understand the physical demands faced by soldiers. The objective was not only to get them in shape but also to foster a sense of camaraderie and understanding of military hierarchy. Pitt, as the tank commander, was tasked with pushing his crew members hard during this training to establish his authority. The cast also spent a great deal of time inside the claustrophobic, confined space of the tank itself, learning about its operation and mechanics. Ayer's desire for realistic battle scenes meant shooting in challenging conditions, with the actors performing their own stunts whenever possible. Pitt reportedly injured himself during one scene, but despite the pain, he was keen to continue shooting. Despite the rigorous and challenging process, Pitt spoke positively about the experience, particularly praising the bond he formed with his fellow actors.

After 'American Sniper,' Bradley Cooper Checks Possible Threats On Entering Rooms

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(Warner Bros.)

To embody Chris Kyle's character in American Sniper, Cooper had to undergo an incredible transformation, both physically and mentally. He reportedly gained around 40 pounds of muscle for the role, sticking to a rigorous diet and workout regimen that included consuming 6,000 calories a day and intensive weightlifting training. The making of American Sniper was also emotionally demanding for Cooper. One of the most stressful scenes he had to film was the phone call between Chris Kyle and his wife, Taya, while he was engaged in a firefight. Cooper has mentioned in interviews how difficult and emotionally draining it was to shoot this sequence, and how he felt that Kyle has never truly left him since:
 

After that, you're more aware of everything. He didn't really leave me.