Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

Earlier this month, we were invited to Hollywood to screen 12 Strong (travel and accommodations were provided by Warner Bros. Pictures). 12 Strong is Warner Bros’ new military movie based on the book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton and debuts in theaters on January 19th. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Trevante Rhodes and more, this movie tells the story of a classified mission which took place in Afghanistan immediately following the events of 9-11. Not only was this star-studded trip taking place at the memorable London in WeHo,  we then attended the press Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood. What a weekend it was!

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in HollywoodInterview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

The event began on a gorgeous, sunny Southern California day. The London Hotel is the perfect place to host an event of this magnitude. Every guest suite has a view of Los Angeles or the Hollywood Hills,

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywoodand every detail in the hotel is glam, from the bedroom-sized bathrooms Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywoodto the relaxing balcony to enjoy the sunset. Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood


We were thrilled to be one of ten bloggers included, and we all met each other — many for the first time — for a happy hour session before the screening began.

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood
KellyClare photography

Between bites of sushi, veggie sliders and other delicious food, we shared our excitement to see the movie and our stories regarding our own involvement with the military.

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood
KellyClare photography

Truly it was an honor to be a part of this group.

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

12 Strong debuts in theaters on January 19, so I won’t share any spoilers but I will say that this is a story that everyone needs to hear. It’s so remarkable, it needs to be included in history books. Everyone over a certain age has memories embedded in their head forever of where they were when they heard the news about the planes hitting the towers in New York City. We remember the panic of watching the TV to see what happened next, and the disbelief when the towers fell. We watched heroes rush into the buildings and only some of them come back out alive. In the weeks and months that followed, we heard daily news broadcasts about military action to find those responsible, but we didn’t hear about the horse soldiers. These 12 heroes that risked their lives in an unprecedented mission.

Now their story will be told, and the 12 Strong cast does so in a way that you’ll be on the edge of your seat.

The 12 Strong press conference featured Chris Hemsworth, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Navid Negahban, Nicolai Fuglsig (Director), Jerry Bruckheimer (Producer), Molly Smith (Producer), Thad Luckinbill (Producer) and Doug Stanton (Book Author). As a huge fan of Chris Hemsworth, I may have held my breath a little as they walked into the room but hearing the behind-the-scenes scoop on the unbelievable heroics that inspired this movie quickly caught my attention.

As expected, the first question asked by press was to Chris Hemsworth. The writer related how often the military is not portrayed in the best of ways and that 12 Strong was an exception, so was this part of the reason Chris chose to make the movie? Chris recounted how they all felt the weight of the responsibility in portraying the actual real-life people properly. He’d made so many superhero movies that he was really wanting to take on the role of something that was more grounding, and that he’d heard about the movie quite some time before they were able to begin filming due to his existing MCU schedule. Without a doubt, it was easy to see his admiration for the real people (whose names were changed in the movie) who were in attendance during filming to help ensure realism.

The same question was posed to Trevante, whose answer is best shared verbatim:

“Well, I think the difference between a warrior and a soldier is warriors lead with their heart, soldiers lead with their mind.”

How do you follow that?

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

Jerry Bruckheimer made it happen though, by pointing out that this movie is about America working to drive social change. In a nutshell, yes, by working alongside the Afghan people with whom they shared a common goal: taking out the Taliban.

One of the many incredible stories from the behind-the-scenes was how they also reached out to Afghan people while filming. The majority of the movie was filmed in or near Albuquerque, New Mexico, which happens to be the residence for many Afghan refugees. Navid (who plays General Dostum, leader of the Alliance) reached out to them for their input on the movie, and around 700 people showed up. Can you imagine what it must have been like to see that? Some of them were even there during this mission.

We could have listened to Navid speak all evening, but this quote stands out above and beyond klonopin online pharmacy no prescription anything else we heard that night:

“There is an expression that says “You can see the truth when you are blind and you can hear the truth when you are deaf.” So if you put all the differences aside and look at the person as who the person is, then you will see how similar we are, and then you will discover our similarities, not our differences, and that’s what the world is about.”

That’s something we should all remember. Then when Navid said that some of them came up to him after to thank him for making the movie, “I fought with the Americans, but they all think I’m a terrorist.” Your heart just breaks a little. Social change, yes, it needs to happen.

Trevante hit on that a little more, sharing how so many people felt that anyone from the Middle East is bad, but that is not the truth. His hope is that people take away from the film how wrong that is, and how we need to love and connect with people.

Watching the news, we see one perspective but Chris brought it all home when he stated that these soldiers had to make sure that the Afghan people realized they were there to help them and to not take over. They were there as support to help the Afghan people chase away the same enemy. So impactful! Nothing can ever prepare us for what it really feels like to enter a foreign land in a foreign uniform, surrounded by languages we likely don’t speak, and strive to help the citizens trust us and our goals. It’s the kind of thing that gives you goosebumps and the movie does the same.

You will leave the theater with a new perspective and a new appreciation of just what it was really like for our soldiers and the local people. While I wish we’d all heard this story much earlier, the safety of everyone is far more important. As Jerry outlined, the soldiers didn’t want the glory or the attention, but to protect, defend and unite. They’re there to do their job. Our soldiers have families and loved ones who want them to return, but the soldiers have work to do and this movie helps civilians see it in a more realistic way than many movies have portrayed.

As far as being prepared for the physicality that this movie required, Chris shared that they all went through four-weeks of military training. There were jokes about being confident that they were up to the challenge, as in, “No, we will walk up the hill” but three steps in, “Hey, bring the truck back!” Navid joked about how he used to ride horses but he quickly realized he didn’t know what to do and at times, had to be helped on and off the horse. There was a lot of laughter during these stories, and it was clear that the camaraderie amongst the 12 Strong cast was befitting of the name, “strong.”Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

Here is the official trailer, watch it, tell me what you think of this movie. I can not wait to attend the World Premier this Tuesday in NYC with my Husband (who is a 15 yr Veteran of the US Navy, and was serving during 9/11.)

Go see this movie. You will leave with a whole new perspective, and a hunger to know more. I’m in the middle of the book and while it will take me longer than I’d like to finish it (I’m a mom), it had me hooked on page two. 12 Strong, by Warner Bros. Pictures, hits theaters on January 19, so buy your tickets now!

A very special Thank you to Donna from Dangerous Cupcake Lifestyle for attending this event and doing such a great job covering it. I can not wait to read Donna’s review of 12 Strong! My Husband and I will be attending the World Premier in NYC on Tuesday and we will be walking down the magical red carpet.  I can not tell you how excited I am for this movie.  As a Military Wife, I spent 15 years in this lifestyle, my Husband was coming home from a Deployment when 9-11 happened and they were re-routed to protect our Country. I know what those Spouses felt. He knows what the Soldiers’ felt. I know these feelings all too well and I know that my Husband is extremely honored to not only have been invited to attend the World premier, but also to walk down the red carpet and attend an after-party. When people thank him, like many Soldiers, he says he was just doing his job, so I am honored to attend something that brings pride to him and his fellow Military Brothers and Sisters.

Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood

A Soldier is as strong as his word.

Tickets on sale now for #12StrongMovie:

12 Strong- My Story of Meeting the 12 Horsemen and Attending the World Premier

36 thoughts on “Interview with the 12 Strong Cast in Hollywood”

  1. This sounds like such a good movie! The training the actors did must’ve really prepared them for shooting the film. First, your hotel looked amazing. Second, I love that quote. I also had no idea that there were so many Afghan refugees in NM. Who’d have thunk it? And third, I’m so thankful for the men and women who serve our country! So glad you got to have this experience. What did your hubby think of it?

  2. I have to admit I’ve heard little about this film, but what an amazing cast it seems to have! I am really going to have to check out more about it as it sounds like something I would enjoy watching.

  3. Awesome that you got to attend to screen the movie 12 Strong and meet the cast. I loved the pictures you took and your interview was great!

  4. That looks like an amazing movie. I actually bought the book for my husband for Christmas because I thought it was such a powerful story. I can’t wait until he is finished to read it and then have a date night at the theatres to see it! Great cast!

  5. First of all, WOW! What an incredible experience for you and the other bloggers. That’s a dream come true. I hadn’t heard of this movie before I read about it on your blog and I am very intrigued. With a cast and directors like that, I know it will be a phenomenal movie. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to see it.

  6. What an amazing opportunity this must have been! I want to take my teens to see this movie soon. Thank you for sharing this once in a lifetime experience.

  7. Although I don’t agree with much of the politics of that timeframe, my heart breaks for the people impacted and all of the strong, courageous military personnel (and their families) that put themselves in harms way. I’m glad they’re shining light on more of the stories of the individuals and groups playing important roles. Really brings it home and makes it more personal for so many.

  8. What a cool event. I haven’t heard of the movie before, but it sounds really good. Your whole trip sounds amazing, from the hotel to meeting other bloggers and learning more about the movie!

  9. It is so wonderful that you had the pleasure of enjoying this grand event and that amazing glam hotel! I can’t wait to see this movie!

  10. Although I am not into watching movies because of the Hollywood ‘s political stances, I would like to see this movie. My husband is a retired Navy and I support movies like this.

  11. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. May not make it to the theater but if not it will be a for sure pick up when it is out on home video. Enjoyed reading through your interview. It must have been a great experience to meet the cast!

  12. It is a story I know just the surface level about, but am so curious to uncover. I can’t wait to see 12 Strong. I’m sure it’ll be a source of great pride for both American history and cinema.

  13. It sounds like you had a wonderful adventure from the interview right down to the motel room! 12 Strong sounds like a fantastic movie that I cannot wait to see. How awesome for your husband to get honored in this way. Tell him Thank-you from me and mine!

  14. Your post is so effing amazing! This is the first I hear of this movie and now I have to see it. It is very cool that you had the opportunity to go to that press conference and meet the actors in person. The fact that the Afghan people and U.S soldiers worked together to defeat Talibans but today Afghans in general are perceived as terrorists is something that needs to change, for sure!
    I really enjoyed your post!
    Hugs, Dayana

  15. They put you up in a nice hotel! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this movie…how eye opening it is for military families. I know a few and I know their struggles. I bet they could really relate to this movie.

  16. What an amazing experience. A lot of what is said makes me think the movie will be good and well done. I’m excited to put it on my to watch list.

  17. What a fun event to have attended, and how wonderful to have been there at the interview of the cast. I’m a big Chris Hemsworth fan too! The movie looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  18. Ooh this looks really good I must watch it. What a fantastic time it looked like you had interviewing such influential names in film and TV. Loved this post 🙂

  19. I am so looking forward to watching this movie. My husband has a nephew who served in the military and finished 4 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have nothing but total admiration to the bravery and courage for our countrymen who serve to protect the freedom we enjoy today.

  20. Great review. My husband likes to watch war movies and I’ve started watching as well. I agree with you on warriors and soldiers. I think both play an important role in any war.

  21. I can’t think of anyone more perfect than you to cover this event. Kudos to the publicity team for doing an excellent job selecting influencers!
    I know your battles with these issues and I have my own, having been a military wife and a military mom in the past. 9/11 changed so manu lives and mine was never the same. I thought I’d have a soldier working at the embassy right in my homeland, and instead, I was forced to move to the USA in preparation for deployment. The terror of a wife and (pregnant) mother at the thought of what could happen is indescribable and almost unbearable, and though my military connections are now over, I’m still living far from home 16 years later, feeling a void that cannot be filled and wondering what could have been. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and for being an example of strength and courage. You’ve inspired me to watch the movie and I’m excited to share it with my audience online, as well.

  22. I can only imagine what it feels to experience having your husband in deployment, Military families give the most to our nation by sacrificing time together and parenting alone for the greater good. The movie seems very interesting and I’d definitely watch it. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  23. Wow, this was a wonderful post! Thank you for all the details about the movie and your candor. I am in awe of your strength and inspired by it. Can’t wait to see the movie.

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