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Josh Brolin: ‘Only the Brave’ shows spirit of Granite Mountain Hotshots

PHOENIX — “Only the Brave,” the upcoming film about the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in an Arizona wildfire, captured the spirit of the elite firefighting unit, star Josh Brolin said.

“With these guys, I have such high respect for them … there’s that extra onus of … wanting them to be OK with it at the end of the day,” Brolin told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James.

“I think we put a lot of emphasis on accuracy. We put a lot of emphasis on, ‘We’re never going to get this perfectly right, but we want to get the spirit of it right.'”

The star — who lived in Prescott and worked as a volunteer firefighter in the state — said he understood how close the hotshots were and wanted that to come across on the silver screen.

“I think it’s fairly accurate, at least from the reception that we’ve gotten,” he said.

To create that sense of realism, Brolin and other stars would hike six to eight miles per day at high altitude, just as the hotshots would. The cast also slept and ate together regularly.

“It was also about creating that community,” he said, adding that the cast has kept in daily contact since filming wrapped.

Brolin also said the crew was constantly checking with hotshots advising the film to ensure events were accurate.

“Please be brutally honest with us and let us know when we’re going off into sensationalizing in some way because that’s what we do — we’re storytellers, not hotshots,” he said.

Brolin said the entire cast and crew knew the movie would have no bigger impact than in Arizona.

“For the people in Arizona, for the people in Prescott, it’s a very personal experience to them,” he said. “It’s unlike the kind of moviegoing public at large.”

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