Written and directed by David Ayer, “Fury” stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael Peña.
Ayer has an impressive list of credits. He is probably best known for writing the screenplays for “Training Day,” “S.W.A.T.,” “End of Watch,” and “Sabotage.” He also directed the latter two films. “Fury” presents World War II in a way you have never seen before. It is truly an incredible film. With Brad Pitt as the lead, “Fury” is about brotherhood, morals and patriotism. The truth is, people can be cruel to each other, but love, strength of thought and responsibility will ultimately prevail. “Fury”proves friendship and dedication can be stronger than a bullet!
Director David Ayer and Michael Peña shared their experience working on the film.
What inspired you to write this story? Why is it important to you?
David: I’ve always been fascinated by the Second World War. Both of my grandfathers served in the war and are retired military officers. My uncle flew something like thirty five missions over Germany on a B24 and the war had affect on them, but they never talked about that and I actually had to go to their military records to find out what exactly they did in the war and all of a sudden these stories started coming out and I wanted to tell the story of the emotional journey of people in combat and what they experienced in this war and not have it be about a famous battle, but just a day in life. So it is really about a day in life of these five brothers that despite the pain and the suffering and the difficulty around them, really are like any other family.
Mr. Pena, about 350,000 Mexican Americans fought in WWII and not many people know about this. This role was written for you. Are you excited? How did you prepare for this film?
Michael: [David] told me about it and I was really excited because I jump at any opportunity. I did “End of Watch” and of course “Cesar Chavez,” and it means something to me because I almost don’t want these guys to be forgotten and just to be acknowledged for the service that they did and they were proud Americans, and I consider myself a proud American as well. So at first I was really excited and then the second or the third time I read it, I thought “Oh they might have hired the wrong guy” because it’s a tough role and I thought that about “End of Watch” too because [David] doesn’t necessarily write the easiest roles and I think this one pushed it a little further than “End of Watch” which I don’t know if I’ve studied anything more than this you know what I mean? How to really portray it … And I also I feel like I have more energy than Gordo does, and here he was really just stuck in his own images and it was really a tough role for me, but once I started to get a hang of it, it was like three or four months of rehearsing by myself. Then I was like “I think I know what I am doing sort of.” Then I got to rehearsals and I was like, “I don’t know what I am doing.”
How was it working with Brad Pitt? Any interesting moments?
Michael: I remember the first time there was a show and tell of some tanks and other stuff from 1945 and it was all of us and Brad was a little late because of all the paparazzi or whatever and then he comes in with long hair, as if he had hired somebody just to put a fan on his hair, just blowing in and I was like, “Is that dude on the Segway?” … and I remember looking around like dude we are going to have to work a lot harder, so I’m feeling like I’m doing cartwheels just to get any attention while I’m in the scene with him.
What are you hoping audiences take from “Fury”?
David: Number one, I think the purpose of any good movie is to entertain and I just want the people to be entertained but importantly I want them to understand the suffering and the depth of the bonds and love and the comradeship that these men experienced in WWII and that even though it really was a black and white war of good verses evil and we defeated evil, it didn’t make it easier for the men that lived it and I want people to come away from it maybe understanding why now their grandfathers didn’t talk about it.
“Fury” hits theaters this Friday, October 17.