Nerdist was started by Chris Hardwick and has grown to be a many headed beast.

Posts by Dan Casey

Cosplay Friday #56

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by on January 10, 2014

Welcome to the first Cosplay Friday of the new year! We hope your New Year’s resolution includes continuing to create some seriously stunning cosplay, just as ours includes curating the best of the best cosplay the internet has to offer. Today’s haul includes everything from Tales of Symphonia to Final Fantasy VII, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the king’s bounty of cosplay coolness.

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Not every assassin can be poised and put together, but that’s why we love Sheena (Tales of Symphonia). [by traumacentregrrl]

Which cosplay is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or tell me on Twitter.

HBO Teases the GAME OF THRONES, Season 4 Trailer with Vines

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by on January 10, 2014

Ah, Vine, Twitter’s microblogging video counterpart that is slowly destroying the way movie studios dole out sneak previews of upcoming films. Well, whether you love it or hate it, HBO is certainly embracing the seven second format with a whole slew of Vine videos teasing the first trailer for the hotly anticipated fourth season of Game of Thrones, which as we learned yesterday returns on April 6th. When all’s said and done, you’ll have 35 seconds of glorious, glorious content, which is also about the lifespan of whomever happens to be your favorite Game of Thrones character at any given moment.

Jon Snow going toe to toe with the Wildlings!

A smoldering pan shot of Daenerys Targaryen and her entourage!

Baratheon bannermen traipsing through the woods!

The probably soon-to-be your new favorite character The Red Viper locked in gladiatorial combat!

Tyrion in chains, which would also be a killer early ’90s alt-rock band name.

There you have it, folks! Are you sufficiently teased? You can see the full Game of Thrones, Season 4 trailer this Sunday at 9 p.m. immediately before the premiere of HBO’s True Detective, which also looks pretty freakin’ awesome.

Are you excited? Let us know in the comments below or tell me in seven second bursts on Twitter.

Take an Uncomfortable Ride in this TRUE DETECTIVE Clip

HBO's "True Detective" Season 1 / Director: Cary Fukunaga

by on January 10, 2014

HBO’s terrifying journey into the heart of darkness that is the backwoods of Louisiana, True Detective, doesn’t debut until this Sunday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a taste of what you’re in for. This morning, HBO released a clip from the Cory Fukunaga-directed limited series featuring its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the titular detectives, on what might just be the most uncomfortable car ride since that one time I accidentally watched the trailer for Guilt Trip.

In case their sparkling personalities and the promise of mysterious murder weren’t enough to get you to tune in this Sunday night at 9 p.m., then maybe the chance to take a sneak peek of Westerosi goodness will. Yesterday, it was announced that the first trailer for Game of Thrones’ fourth season would air immediately before True Detective, so that ought to be enough to tide you over until its April 6th premiere. And if not, then maybe its time you take the Black and fight crime in Louisiana or whatever the mash-up of these two shows would look like.

Are you excited for True Detective? Let us know in the comments below!

LONE SURVIVOR’s Eric Bana on Working with Peter Berg, Improv, and more

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by on January 10, 2014

Military movies are nothing new at America’s movie theaters, but few films have managed to depict the powerful brotherhood forged in the heat of battle or the grim realities of war like Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, which opens in theaters this Friday. Based on retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell‘s memoir of the same name, Lone Survivor recounts the events of “Operation Red Wing”, an aborted Navy SEAL reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province that resulted in the single largest loss of loss of life for Naval Special Warfare forces since World War II. It is, by turns, a harrowing and inspiring story, anchored by a tremendous cast including Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Eric Bana. Recently, I was able to speak with Bana, who plays the pivotal role of field commander Eric Kristensen, over the phone to discuss what attracted him to the project, how he researched his role, and what’s on the horizon for the Australian actor.

Nerdist: I want to say I really enjoyed the film. I kind of knew what I was in for with the trailer, but when you’re actually in the theater, it’s just a powerful, very affecting film. Job well done!

Eric Bana: Oh, thanks.

N: I’ve read that you’ve wanted to work with Peter Berg for quite some time. I’m wondering what it was about him specifically that attracted you to this project, and what was the experience like now that you’ve actually done it?

EB: It was a couple of things. Pete and I nearly worked together many, many years ago. He had a project in development at Universal — I’m going to say 13 years ago, maybe 14 years ago, before anyone out here knew who I was, and was really keen on me to play the lead, actually. The project never got off the ground, and I was a fan of Pete’s work as an actor and really enjoyed meeting with him, and we kept in touch over the years. Then through these various films, I’ve just really enjoyed his work, in particular on The Kingdom — I just thought it was one of the best films I’ve seen for a long time.

I knew he was developing this project. I had already read Marcus’s book, independent of that, and loved it. So when he called me up to see if I would consider playing Commander Kristensen, I jumped at the chance.

N: When you have someone with an acting background who transitions to more of a directorial role, do you find that’s more helpful to you as an actor, since they understand maybe more of what you guys are going through?

EB: Yeah, it makes it more interesting to some degree, and it makes it more instinctual. Pete really was happy to throw things away if they weren’t working, and then completely change tack, and that was fantastic. I love being in an environment where things are changing, where you have the ability to change things slightly, and recognize when things aren’t working. He has a great instinct for that. He shoots very fast. He covered the scenes extremely well and it meant you would do things a lot of times and then you could really pour yourself into it. It was a great experience. I loved working with him.

N: One of the things I enjoyed, especially in those first scenes on the military base, there was such a palpable camaraderie, and it felt very improvisational and of the moment, so I was wondering if that was all scripted, or if they gave you some sort of guidelines and you guys got to feel it out from there?

EB: Yeah — no, a lot of it was improvised, and he would just say, “Okay, let’s try this: Eric, you get up and say this and sit down again.” A lot of that was improvised, just to make things feel organic and real and keep the energy up.

N: You mentioned that you read Marcus’s book. I’m curious as to what sort of research and prep you did for this role? Were you actually able to speak with Marcus at all? I’m not sure how involved he was with the production.

EB: He was very involved. I did my research from afar. I was at home in Australia when I got the call, and I did my prep from afar, and arrived at the shoot well and truly half-way into filming. So my job was to really concentrate on what Erik’s role was within the story, and just the processes of the chain of command and ranking and the logistics of the operation. So I concentrated my time into that area and I was unable to meet Erik Kristensen — I was in Australia, so I wasn’t able to meet family and friends, so I did my work from afar, and then off we went.

N: This is not your first military, based-on-a-true-story-type affair, back with Black Hawk Down as well. Is there something about this sort of story in particular that you find yourself drawn to?

EB: Most definitely. I knew it was going to be a special experience, and I knew that it would be a similar experience in respect of working with the Special Forces community on a project — it’s a really wonderful opportunity for an actor. It can be quite life-changing, in some ways. I knew that this film would have a similar tone, in terms of their hands-on involvement, and it was exactly the case. In fact, there were some people that I worked with on this film who worked on Black Hawk Down with me years ago, and like I say, being a fan of Marcus’s book, and really intrigued by the role that Special Forces play in warfare, it’s something that I’m always intrigued by and interested in. It’s just a joy.

N: Very nice. Do you read a lot of military histories and things like that?

EB: Yeah, I do occasionally pick up the ones that interest me — for sure.

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N: Shifting gears slightly, with a film like this, any time there’s a military film, you always run the risk that it could be really easy to portray the enemy, in this case the Taliban, or even the Afghani people, as sort of a monolithic evil. I thought the film toed that line very well, not making them just sort of menacing cardboard cut-out enemies, but more like real people with motivations of their own. But I’m wondering, coming from an outsider perspective, given your Australian heritage, did that help you remove yourself from some of the politics of the story? I imagine that might make it a bit easier to just sort of take it at face value.

EB: Well, I knew that Pete wasn’t going to make a political film, so it was never really a concern. I had complete trust and faith in what Peter was intending to make, and so I never really thought of it. And obviously the fact that the book, as well as the script, shows some cultural facts that aren’t always explored in those situations that are enlightening, and hopefully somewhat educational. So by saying the way Marcus was treated by the villagers and so forth, and the reasons behind that, it’s very fascinating. It was fascinating to read the book, and it’s fascinating in the film, and so I never really had any concerns about that.

N: Yeah, I thought he also contextualized it nicely by bookending it with the real-life footage of the Navy SEALs, and giving you a little bit of background on what you’re in for, or what you’ve just seen. Stepping back just a moment, you mentioned that you’ve worked with some of these Special Forces guys before. Is there any cool factoid or something interesting that you learned about military service, or life in the military, that normal folks like us civilians might not know?

EB: Well, obviously, you get put in a very unique position where, in some cases, you become friends with these guys, and they’re obviously going to tell you things in private that they could never reveal publicly. And that’s not necessarily from a classified information point of view, it’s just in terms of how they feel about their friendship with you, and so you get to hear stories that most definitely put things into a very clear perspective, and make you think very differently about the level to which behaviors are questioned and rules are made and so forth. So it does, most definitely, open your eyes to a lot of things.

N: Looking towards the future, I know that you have a film, Beware the Night, coming up next. Is there anything else you can tell us about that, or anything coming up on the horizon that we can look forward to?

EB: Besides Beware the Night? No, I was here shooting that this summer, and it’s been brought forward to summer of 2014, so that will be the next film out there for me, so I’m just reading a bunch of scripts now to try and work out what to do next. So beyond Beware the Night, who knows? [chuckles]

N: [laughs] Well, that’s nice too, to not have everything set in stone. A world of potential unfolding before you.

EB: Yeah, right. That’s the best thing about the job.

N: Exactly. I’ve just got one last question for you, and it’s a bit of an odd ball, so please bear with me. What would be inside your ideal burrito?

EB: Wow.

N: Yeah. The question you’ve been waiting for.

EB: I couldn’t even begin to think of a good answer to that. [chuckles] They’re not very common down under. We’re not big on burritos, so I guess as long as it was tasty, I couldn’t tell ya.

N: That’s all you can really ask for at the end of the day.

EB: [chuckles]

N: Eric, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I really appreciate it, again. I really enjoyed the film.

EB: Great, thank you. Appreciate it.

GAME OF THRONES, VEEP, and SILICON VALLEY Coming to HBO on April 6th

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by on January 9, 2014

The madness that is the two-week Television Critics Association winter press tour is in full effect, and the news bites are starting to trickle out. Winter has come for much of the country, so it’s only fitting that HBO gives its Hodor-hungry viewers an update on when they can expect the return of fan favorite shows like Game of Thrones and Veep, as well as the debut of hotly anticipated series like Mike Judge’s high tech comedy Silicon Valley (starring our own T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani). Fortunately, you’ll only have to mark one night on your calendar – April 6th – because that’s the night all three of these shows come to our airwaves. Game of Thrones will air at 9 p.m., followed by the two half-hour comedies, Veep at 10 p.m. and Silicon Valley at 10:30 p.m.

While many of us have had to quell our cravings to chase that Westerosi dragon with podcasts, Bad Lip Readings, novellas, and game announcements, we’ll finally get a taste of what to expect from season four this weekend. HBO also announced that the first trailer for Game of Thrones season four will air this Sunday, immediately before the debut of the phenomenal-looking True Detective. Are you excited for these shows to return? Looking forward to Silicon Valley? Let us know in the comments below.

Howl’s Moving Kwik-E-Mart?! THE SIMPSONS Pay Tribute to Studio Ghibli

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by on January 9, 2014

Considering all the tropes, genres, and styles The Simpsons have skewered over the years, it was only a matter of time before they set their sights on Japan’s most beloved animation house, Studio Ghibli. This specialized Hayao Miyazaki tribute takes us on a whirlwind tour through Studio Ghibli’s ouevre, but with a decidedly Springfieldian twist. From Howl’s Moving Kwik-e-Mart (“I am ruined by whimsy!”) to Otto as the Catbus to Patty and Selma doing their best Kiki’s Delivery Service impression to the sweet strains of Joe Hisaishi-esque music, there’s everything a Studio Ghibli-and-Simpsons fan could want. Except for the giant scrotums and Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ voice from Pom Poko. Ain’t nobody that needs more of that.

What do you think? Which is your favorite Ghibli reference? Let us know in the comments below!

DC Comics Goes Steampunk This February with 20 Killer Covers

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by on January 9, 2014

Strap on your goggles, burnish your brass, and inlay wood into everything within spitting distance, because come this February, the New 52 is getting a Steampunk makeover, courtesy of DC Comics and an armada of artists. Don’t worry – this isn’t a weird Elseworlds-style event; they’re simply giving twenty of their titles a steampunk variant cover featuring artwork from illustrious illustrators like Howard Chaykin, J.G. Jones, Matteo Scalera, Dave Johnson and many more. Our pals at HitFix and Comic Book Resources had the scoop, but we’ve assembled them together here so that you might gaze upon their majesty in one convenient, centrally-located place.

Aquaman #28 variant by Richard Horle, image via CBR

Aquaman #28 variant by Richard Horle, image via CBR

Batgirl #28 variant by J.G. Jones, image via HitFix

Batgirl #28 variant by J.G. Jones, image via HitFix

Batman #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, colors by Jesus Aburto, image via HitFix

Batman #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, colors by Jesus Aburto, image via HitFix

Artwork by Dave Johnson, Image via HitFix

Artwork by Dave Johnson, Image via HitFix

Batman/Superman #8 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, Image via CBR

Batman/Superman #8 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, Image via CBR

Batman and Two-Face #28 variant by Matteo Scalera, Image via CBR

Batman and Two-Face #28 variant by Matteo Scalera, Image via CBR

Detective Comics #28 variant by Klaus Janson, colors by Jose Villarrubia, Image via HitFix

Detective Comics #28 variant by Klaus Janson, colors by Jose Villarrubia, Image via HitFix

Earth-2 #20 variant by Dan Panosian, Image via CBR

Earth-2 #20 variant by Dan Panosian, Image via CBR

Flash #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, colors by Jesus Aburtov, image via CBR

Flash #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, colors by Jesus Aburtov, image via CBR

Green Lantern: The New Guardians #28 variant by Klaus Janson. Colors by Jose Villarrubia. Image via CBR

Green Lantern: The New Guardians #28 variant by Klaus Janson. Colors by Jose Villarrubia. Image via CBR

Green Lantern Corps #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, Colors by Jesus Aburto, Image via HitFix

Green Lantern Corps #28 variant by Howard Chaykin, Colors by Jesus Aburto, Image via HitFix

Artwork by Dave Johnson, Image via CBR

Artwork by Dave Johnson, Image via CBR

Wonder Woman #28 variant by J.G. Jones, image via HitFix

Wonder Woman #28 variant by J.G. Jones, image via HitFix

Teen Titans #28 variant by Jason Pearson, image via HitFix

Teen Titans #28 variant by Jason Pearson, image via HitFix

Superman/Wonder Woman #5 variant by Dan Panosian, image via CBR

Superman/Wonder Woman #5 variant by Dan Panosian, image via CBR

Superman #28 variant by Jeff Wamester, image via CBR

Superman #28 variant by Jeff Wamester, image via CBR

Nightwing #28 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, image via CBR

Nightwing #28 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, image via CBR

Justice League Dark #28 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, image via CBR

Justice League Dark #28 variant by Tommy Lee Edwards, image via CBR

Justice League #28 variant by Dan Panosian, image via CBR

Justice League #28 variant by Dan Panosian, image via CBR

Justice League of America #12 variant by Matteo Scalera, image via HitFix

Justice League of America #12 variant by Matteo Scalera, image via HitFix

What do you think? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or send me a message via pneumatic tube on Twitter.

CES: Meet Project Christine, Razer’s Modular Gaming PC

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by on January 9, 2014

Building one’s own computer has long been a daunting task, or at least seems daunting, to those without a certain base level of computer knowledge and how the different parts interact with one another. While it isn’t as prohibitively complex as one might think, Razer is seeking to change the way consumers approach building PCs with their mysteriously named Project Christine, an eyebrow-raising piece of hardware that looks like a CD rack wrapped in Kevlar.

What is Project Christine exactly? According to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, in an interview with Polygon, it’s “the world’s most modular gaming PC design.” The core of the system, the industrial tree, has multiple slots for each individual component, which themselves are stored in enclosed mineral-oil cooled cases, so the user can simply and easily install them on the tree’s PCI Express-powered branches. The modular nature of its design allows everything from graphics cards to CPUs to GPUs to be easily added or removed without the learning curve of traditional DIY PC building.

Razer’s announcement made much of this fact. “Need more graphics processing power or storage? Easy — a user can slot-in additional graphics modules and add more storage by either swapping-out the existing storage drives or adding more modules,” it reads. “Modules connected to the PCI-Express backbone can be added in any order or combination, featuring up to quad-SLI graphics, multiple SSD and RAID storage components, I/O and even power supplies, ensuring maximum flexibility.”

Unlike many of the concept cars, far out consumer tech, and pipe dream peripherals you’re likely to encounter this year at CES, you stand a good chance of seeing Razer’s newest concept on store shelves next year. In 2010, they announced a motion controller in partnership with Sixense only to return in 2011 with it as the newly branded Razer Hydra. 2012 saw the announcement of the mysteriously-named Project Fiona, a strange-looking tablet with controllers attached on both sides. In 2013, we met Fiona again but with a brand new name, the Razer Edge. Logically, it follows that Christine should make her way into our lives by early 2015.

Could Razer’s innovative design work against it? Yes, its modular design allows for ease of upgradability, but it also limits the PC to parts that will fit its unique design. What if Razer stops supporting Project Christine down the road? Given the closed nature of the system, you’ll be stuck with whatever hardware you currently have. For that matter, who knows what kind of hardware Razer will even make available? There are plenty of variables in play here, and the necessity for manufacturers to design for Razer’s exacting specifications could be quite the hurdle to overcome.

“The idea behind the concept is that users can customize what goes in it. When it is launched, users will have the ability to use the best GPU/CPU technology that is currently available,” said Young Bae, Razer’s Global Project Manager of Systems, to PC World

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Another way Razer is seeking to assuage fears over being held hostage by component manufacturers is offering a subscription service. ”Something we’re playing around with is a subscription model so instead of having to spend $2,500 on a new desktop PC, because this is modular it could be a subscription model where you say you want a tier 1 PC at any point in time. Or I want a tier 2 PC at any point in time,” Tan explained to Polygon. “Say a new GPU comes out, we could ship them the new GPU, they take out the old GPU and ship it back to us, and they just plug in the new GPU. And at any point in time, the gamer will always have a tier 1 PC without having to worry about all of that.”

That being said, there’s no price point available at this time. And not all of Razer’s concepts make it from CES to consumer’s hands; their 2011 Switchblade, a small portable gaming PC, never made it to consumers’ hands, although elements of it did in the form of 2012′s DeathStalker LCD keyboard and the Blade, a more traditional gaming laptop. What the future holds for PC building is uncertain, but, if it makes it to market, you can bet good money that Razer’s boutique modular PC experiment will be expensive and exciting.

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What do you think of Project Christine? Let us know in the comments below or tell me on Twitter.

Meet the Man Behind LONE SURVIVOR, Marcus Luttrell

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by on January 9, 2014

Marcus Luttrell is many things. He is a proud Texan. He is a retired Navy SEAL, decorated with the Navy Cross. He is an advocate for active duty and veteran military members through organizations like the Patriot Tour and the Lone Survivor Foundation. He is a best-selling author. And now, the 38-year-old Texan is the subject of a major motion picture from Universal and Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg, Lone Survivor.

The film, which I greatly enjoyed, is based on Luttrell’s best-selling 2007 memoir of the same name; It tells the story of “Operation Red Wings,” a botched four-man military operation in 2005 in northeastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province that fell apart when several goat herders accidentally discovered the SEALs on a reconnaissance mission. The mission resulted in the biggest single loss of life for Naval Special Warfare forces since World War II, namely Luttrell’s three squadmates.

The SEALs aborted the mission and released the civilians, which in turn lead to a swift ambush by the Taliban, a pitched battle that sent them tumbling down a rocky mountainside. Luttrell’s three fellow SEALs were killed in action, Luttrell himself was badly injured, and the ensuing rescue effort left 16 more men dead. His story is, by turns, miraculous and tragic, and the man himself is immensely humble, seeing his memoir and the film as a chance to honor his fallen brothers’ memory.

Recently, I had the chance to interview Luttrell, who served as a consultant on the film, making himself present for nearly every single day of filming, and I was quite nervous in the days leading up to it. What could I say to this man who has endured so much? As it turns out, Luttrell is a very nice, insightful guy, a good ol’ Texas boy who insisted on calling me “sir.” The entire time I was thinking, “There are no circumstances under which you should be calling me ‘sir’; you’re the one worthy of respect here.” But that’s just the kind of guy Marcus Luttrell is — polite, disciplined, honorable.

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Nerdist: Hello, Marcus. How are you doing today?

Marcus Luttrell: Good. How you doing?

N: I’m doing well. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I really appreciate it.

ML: Yes, sir.

N: First and foremost, I want to say thank you very much for your service. Also, thank you for letting this film get made. I was very moved by it. I haven’t read your book, but I thought it was a very powerful account — a very moving film.

ML: Thank you, sir.

N: So I want to know, how did Peter Berg first approach you about the project, and what made you decide to move forward with it as a film adaptation?

ML: Well, I was in L.A. in meetings with other producers and directors when the guy who brought me up there said, “Hey, there’s a director we would like you to meet. He’s showing a movie in downtown right now, and he’d like to meet you.” And so they went down.

N: Got it. And so how involved in the filmmaking process were you? I also spoke with Eric Bana and Taylor Kitsch, and they both said they benefited immensely from speaking with you.

ML: Yes, sir. No, I was on set for most of it. There were a few times when I had to leave, but for the most part I was there, and before filming, we did a month and some change of training — I was there for that.

N: How did that training compare to actual SEAL training for the actors?

ML: We were pretty hard on them. I mean, we didn’t cut them any slack. We put the boots to them pretty quick. I mean, the learning curve was really steep. We didn’t — it wasn’t one of those “grab your hand and walk you through it” (things) — it’s basically like the real training, you know? Welcome to it.

N: Yeah. Exactly.

ML: You’re either going to make it or you’re not.

N: Hopefully, no one washed out of the film.

ML: No, no, no. Those guys, man — they’re tough. They all put out real, like they should have.

N: You guys were in New Mexico, correct?

ML: Yes, sir.

N: I can imagine that must be difficult as well, especially with the additional elevation.

ML: Yes, sir. Not only with the movie and the filming the actors themselves, you’ve got to haul all the equipment up and down every day and everything like that, so sun up to sun down, everybody was in there. The actors would have to do their thing, all day long, and then at the end of the day they were carrying equipment down the mountain. Everybody was putting out like they should have, nobody was better than anybody else, saying “I’m so-and-so, I don’t need to do that. That’s not what I’m here for.” That never happened. Everybody was there; it was a real team environment, so it was a pleasure to be there.

N: Yeah.

ML: I’ve heard horror stories of other movies, but that wasn’t the case on this one.

N: Yeah, it sounds like everyone was taking it very seriously, especially — I was reading Mark Wahlberg’s comments from AFI, and it really comes through how important of a project this was to everyone involved.

ML: Yes, sir.

N: So, may I ask how true to life is the film adaptation? Are you pleased with the results? Obviously you need to make certain changes for the big screen, but it seemed like it was trying to be a pretty faithful adaptation.

ML: Sure, absolutely. I mean, we could obviously only take so much from real life and put it into a book, you know, and you can only take so much from a book and put it into a movie. They had to condense that down to where they had — there’s so much to deal with in Hollywood, the monetary thing, the time constraints, the locations, stuff like that, and the overall safety of the actors and the crew, as well. So with all those variables thrown into the pot, I think they did an outstanding job with what they had to work with, in my opinion. I sat in on a lot of the movie previews for people, and sat in the back of the room and listened to them, and watched their reactions. I think overall people are blown away by what they see on the screen, and you’ve got to think that it hits home to them, that this is just a movie. I can only imagine what it was like for these guys in real life.

N: Yeah, exactly. It was a very compelling, harrowing movie. One thing that I really thought it did well is — and this is a pitfall that I find a lot of these things can fall into sometimes — it wasn’t about the politics, it wasn’t about any of that stuff. It was about the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie between these men, and I thought that really shone through.

ML: Sure, absolutely. I mean, we don’t mess around. I mean, politics aren’t our game. We’re fighting units, so that’s what the movie needed to be about.

N: Do you have a favorite moment or experience from being on set?

ML: You’re the first one to ask me that. Let’s see. [pauses a moment] You know, just the overall being out there was good. Every day was something new. It was just really fulfilling to be out there with those guys. To tell you the truth, in the beginning, before I had met anybody, Ben Foster and I talked on the phone. He said he was driving down to go to Dallas to get his truck, and he was driving to New Mexico. I said, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll drive up to Dallas, I’ll meet you there, and I’ll ride to New Mexico with you.” Now I had never met this guy, I had talked to him for five minutes on the phone, and he was like, “Sure!” And you know, as well as I do, long road trips with people? You have to like them!

N: Oh god, yes.

ML: Otherwise it’s going to be miserable, and that’s what we were kind of joking around, like we’re either going to be brothers at the end of this, or one of us is going to be lying dead in the desert.

N: Yeah. [chuckles]

ML: And we drove up — I met him at a gas station, and we shook hands. “I’m Ben.” “I’m Marcus.” I was, like, “Let’s roll these wheels, buddy! Let’s put some distance in.” And we started chatting it up, and whatever, however many days it took us to get there, it turned into a great friendship. He and I are closer than anybody. I love that guy. He’s a wonderful man, and we had a really good time doing that, and it could have gone completely the opposite direction.

N: Thank goodness! [laughs]

ML: And that’s how it started. It started right there, and it just stayed constant throughout the whole film.

N: Well, that’s good.

ML: It was good, yeah.

N: That’s important. I definitely feel you on that road trip dynamic, because that can turn nasty quickly, and that’s not a good scene. I’m glad that you had the opposite experience.

ML: Sure, yeah. Every guy knows — you say that, and every guy knows what I’m talking about.

N: Would you ever have imagined that you were going to be played on screen by Mark Wahlberg someday?

ML: No, I wouldn’t. Come on! You know the answer to that question! I was just doing what I was doing. I was Navy SEALing. I like watching him. I mean, I grew up watching him.

N: Yeah.

ML: When we talk about that — I mean, we’re friends now, and everything, but we kind of grew up together. We’re almost the same age, so it’s funny watching… we were talking about how our lives have evolved, from when we were teenagers and we kind of had similar backgrounds. I mean, me being a farm boy and him being a city boy, but other than that. And now we’re parents and family men, and stuff like that, and obviously you can watch his whole life, from the time he was young till the time now, it’s all been on TV and news and all that, where mine has all been classified, and stuff like that. It was a unique experience, and he and I are good friends, and it was a privilege to watch him work.

N: That’s great. And I know that nowadays you spend a lot of time traveling around with The Patriot Tour, but for those of us who might not be aware, I was wondering if you could tell us a little about that.

ML: It’s me and a few other veterans. We go around the country and we talk about our experiences in the military. It’s a motivational thing, like the other guy is a single-leg amputee, I got shot, one of them is the widow of Chris Kyle, who was killed — he was actually murdered. But it’s a really motivational, real-truth behind what’s going on in the war zone kind of deal. Motivational — how do you get through it, perseverance kind of deal. It’s a lot of fun.

N: Yeah, I can imagine. I have some friends who have served and are currently serving, so I imagine that it’s nice to hear from guys who’ve actually been there and seen it, what they might be in for.

ML: Sure, yeah. Absolutely.

N: That’s all I have here, but thank you very much. I really appreciated talking to you, and I really quite enjoyed the film, so I thank you very much, and have a great day.

ML: Yeah, bro, you too, man. Thanks for your time.

Lone Survivor is in select theaters now and in theaters everywhere on January 10, 2014. For more on Marcus Luttrell, you can visit his website.

Also, read my interview with Lone Survivor star Taylor Kitsch.