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ALEC BALDWIN
 

WHAT ENTICED YOU TO PLAY GENERAL DOOLITTLE?

Doolittle is somebody who--you can’t make him more heroic than he was. I think he’s probably one of the single most heroic people I’ve ever encountered in my whole life. The things that he did--he’s on par with Lindbergh and MacArthur and people like that.

Everywhere I went in doing research for the film--when I met military people and I told them what I was doing, they got excited. And when I told them I was playing Doolittle, they all wanted me to know how lucky I was to be playing Doolittle in the movie.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY YOU WOULD APPROACH A ROLE LIKE DOOLITTLE AS OPPOSED TO A FICTIONAL CHARACTER?

When you do a historic figure in a film, it’s interesting how critical people are; it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you mythologize the person, if you try to juice it up cinematically and dramatically with some kind of writing and some fiction and creativity, you’re going to get slapped for that.

DO YOU THINK THIS WORLD WAR II FILM AND OTHERS LIKE IT ARE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE THE INTENSITY OF THE REAL EVENTS TO A GENERATION WHO HAS NEVER KNOWN WAR?

Well, as long ago as this particular event took place in ’41--obviously that’s 60 years ago--I think you have an overwhelming audience where World War II history resonates in their lives. And in terms of the horror of war--from Vietnam, even--resonates in their lives, certainly.

So I think that there are people who--they’ll go see a film and they’ll recognize that this was a time in which what we did was going to be the single most important action, politically and militarily, that the United States had ever taken.

 

 
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