WHAT ENTICED YOU TO PLAY GENERAL DOOLITTLE?
Doolittle is somebody who--you cant make him more heroic than he was. I think hes probably one of the single most heroic people Ive ever encountered in my whole life. The things that he did--hes 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, its interesting how critical people are; its damned if you do and damned if you dont. 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, youre 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 thats 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--theyll go see a film and theyll 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.