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Chris Pine has spoken about the responsibility he felt portraying a member of the military for his latest film role and how important it is to shine a light on the mental health issues that can face returning service personnel.
In The Contractor, the Wonder Woman star plays a special forces sergeant who is involuntarily discharged from the Army and forced to take work with a private underground military force in order to provide for his family.
The film addresses the problems that can face soldiers when they return home, including the high rates of suicide, and Pine said it felt like “a huge issue”.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s something we talked a lot about while we were filming… I think more soldiers die from self inflicted gunshot wounds than they do in theatre, and it is very important to talk about it.
“I’m glad that we raised it in our film, and we could have spent more time on it, but at least maybe it’ll make people think and ask some questions.”
Pine also discussed how different training and preparing to play a soldier is compared with other action roles.
He said: “You feel a responsibility to the technical advisory, you feel responsibility to the community, because these are people that are using these techniques to in life or death situations.
“I also just nerd out on it. I remember when I was a kid my mom gave me a Barbie doll and I ripped off its head and I turned it into a gun. So I love all that technical stuff and the using of the stuff and how you load it, because it’s all pretend for me, I don’t actually have to go to battle.”
His co-star Ben Foster added: “The Army has a different procedure of entering a space than the Navy does, and finding those unique signatures in an accelerated learning process, drawing upon previous training, you start building a physical ability, you hope.
“Because the biggest nightmare for what we do – and it’s not such a huge nightmare, it’s just soul crushing, is that somebody in a green beret is like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t move like that’.
“And the people helping us on set, who have lived the life, it’s on their heads too, so we can’t let them down.
“So so we’re all very motivated to at least give a sense of the culture that feels lived in.”
The Contractor is released on Amazon Prime Video on May 6.