Hitting theaters on March 6 & premiering globally on Netflix on March 13 is the action film Triple Frontier, directed by J.C. Chandor ((Margin Call, All Is Lost, A Most Violent Year) ) and starring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal.
Co-written by Chandor and Academy Award winner Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), a group of former Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.
While promoting the film in New York City, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal participated in a roundtable discussion regarding their experience on the film.
How was it on the set?
Pedro Pascal: There was a lot of testosterone in the film.
Oscar Isaac: One of the first things we did is that we went out to the desert, to a shooting range in California, I think it was the first time we all got together in Simi Valley and we met Kevin Rance and Nick John, who are these incredible Special Forces Advisors. For me, that was the most important part of this whole thing. Nick John was with us every step of the way building our confidence and helping us take these things seriously and focus on what really matter; not necessarily how many push ups we can do but how to think in a tactical way. By the end of the day, they gave us live ammunition and trusted us with that.
Pedro Pascal: Yes. Our first shooting was with live ammunition. In the shooting range, we didn’t do any blanks.
This film shows the bond between theses characters. Did your bond come out through this training?
Garrett Hedlund: All of us have known each other in different facets. This is my third film with Oscar. We’ve known each other for ten years. Me and Charlie (Hunnam) have been pals for 15 years. We’ve always wanted to do something together so when J.C (Chandon) had approached Charlie about it, the character we both play weren’t initially planned to be brothers. I think he was looking for something for me and Charlie because he saw a similarity. Two other characters were going to be brothers and he flipped the script and made us brothers.
How was shooting in the locations that you went to?
Oscar Isaac: There was an interesting difference between living in Hawaii, which is incredible and amazing, and working in Hawaii, which is most exteriors. As Garrett was saying earlier to someone else, the climate would change so quickly so there was often a lot of waiting where it would be sunny at first and then suddenly it starts raining. Very muddy and lot of insects. The mountains too was severe.
There is a song in the film that you sing. How did you approach it?
Garrett Hedlund: It was interesting in that the day before J.C had approached me with this whole song to sing the next day. We knew we would be dragging a body up the hill and it gave me the freedom to go back home and condense it because it was definitely going to be long. What was interesting is that some of the crew members, in particular, our first AD’s father was an Air Force Ranger and I remember after the first take, he came up and had tears in his eyes. It meant a lot to him and other people that have approached me about it. So it’s been special to me to see the effect that it has had.
Which of the locations was the most extreme for you?
Oscar Isaac: The mule work was challenging.
Pedro Pascal: I loved the mules and they loved me, but the mountains kicked my ass.
Garrett Hedlund: I seem to remember that I was one of the few that swam with the mules.
Oscar Isaac: That’s right. We abandoned you in the pool.
Garrett Hedlund: J.C had come to me and Charlie and asked, “Would you guys mind swimming with the mules because these idiots don’t want to swim with them because they might poop or pee in the water.” To the other guys, he says to them, “You guys are off the hook because those idiots are doing it.”
Oscar Isaac: The mountains were difficult because it was loose rocks and huge boulders. It was Ben’s last day and I remembered they had us on this side of the mountain and they had harnessed in and they had us go up there. We were talking and we went up there and we were freezing. It was like two hours and we noticed there was no crew and no cameras anywhere and wondering what’s going on. I think they forgot about us up there. Then they came with the cameras. It was definitely a challenge with the weather and the rocks.
Garrett Hedlund: I think it’s very interesting that when a mule enters the water, he definitely doesn’t want to be there and swims as fast as he can to get to the other side. So with Charlie and I doing it, I jumped in there first with my mule and Charlie’s mule was trying to keep up to my mule, and watching Charlie trying to keep up to his mule was probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
Can you detect your own charisma in the character each of you play?
Oscar Isaac: I can definitely detect my own charisma.
Pedro Pascal: I think there is so much serendipity that will go into a project. With this one, there were a lot of changes in cast and some meant to be ultimately. I did my first professional play in New York with Oscar 14 years ago. I know Garrett through Oscar. I know Ben through Matt (Damon). Charlie and I met when he was 19 and was coming out to LA. The fact that all of these connections puts this ensemble cast on the mountains, in the jungle, and in the water. Every job teaches you something and then you have to find your entry way through that, in terms of opening your souls to the character; which is something that you hope happens.
Garrett Hedlund: I remember when Oscar called me and says, “Come on, are you going to jump on this mission buddy?” I’ve known J.C from Cannes when he was doing “All Is Lost” and he allows improv and collaboration. There’s room to build on these characters. We can all organically grow, but at first I was, “I did ‘Four Brothers” and now I’m 34 and I’m still playing the younger brother.”