War Movies That Ruined Actors Lives

By Jack Ripley | February 15, 2024

Jeremy Renner Learned How to Build Bombs While Training For 'The Hurt Locker'

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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(Summit Entertainment)

While training to film The Hurt Locker, actor Jeremy Renner and his castmates trained with real bomb crews at California's Fort Irwin, learning how to build and dismantle bombs. Renner played the character of Staff Seargant Will James, an expert bomb technician, so it makes sense that he would need to know the ropes when it comes to explosives. However, some of the knowledge he got from the bomb crew while in training was just a little too haunting.

After about a week or so, [the bomb crew] said, 'We put one of our dog tags in a boot.' And I asked why — why d'you put a dog tag on your neck, and one in the boot? [they said] 'When someone gets hit with an IED, you always find boots...You don't find a lot of the other parts, but for whatever reason you always find a boot.' That spoke volumes to me.

Matthew Modine's Friendship with Vincent D'Onofrio Was Almost Broken By 'Full Metal Jacket'

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(Warner Bros.)

During the filming of Full Metal Jacket, Matthew Modine, who played the lead role of Private Joker, and Vincent D'Onofrio, who portrayed the troubled Private Pyle, shared a camaraderie that was almost severed by their creative differences. Modine was not a fan of D'Onofrio's method acting, whereas D'Onofrio thought Modine's more laidback approach signaled a lack of motivation:

I asked him: 'What are you gonna do if I don't stop joking around?' And Vince goes, 'Well, I'm gonna kick your ***. ' That was the end of our friendship for the rest of the shoot.

The two actors eventually managed to repair their friendship after the film wrapped, recognizing that the challenging experience had only strengthened their bond in the end.