ARIZONA NEWS

‘Only the Brave’ stars discuss playing fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots

Oct 13, 2017, 8:40 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2017, 2:47 pm

(Screenshot)...

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

PHOENIX — The stars of “Only the Brave,” the upcoming film about the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives in the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, discussed the challenges with portraying the fallen firefighters.

Actors Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and James Badge Dale, country star Dierks Bentley and former Granite Mountain Hotshot Brendan McDonough talked to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James on Tuesday, when the film premiered in Tempe.

Listen to the star’s experiences below, in their own words.


Josh Brolin

Brolin, 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.

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


Dierks Bentley (Soundtrack)

Bentley, who was born in Phoenix and resides in Tempe, had his song “Hold the Light” featured in the motion picture. Bentley said the 2013 incident was personal for him.

“The more you travel, the more you feel tied to your hometown,” he said. “So when something happens to your home state — and these guy’s community and something that you’re real familiar with — it hurt.”


Miles Teller and Brendan McDonough

McDonough, a former Granite Mountain Hotshot, said he and Teller, who played McDonough in the film, built up an organic relationship during the film’s production.

“He felt a duty to me to say, ‘hey, he would do it like this,’ you know. And that relationship was formed through just continuing to have conversations in an organic way,” he said.


James Badge Dale

Dale, who stars in the film, said he first became aware of the incident from a two-page article in the New York Times.

“Whenever you play a real person, there’s a different type of responsibility,” he said. “And the story is a special story, as we were just talking about. I was in New York the week of the Yarnell Hill fire. And the New York Times’ Fernanda Santos did a two-page article on them and how hard they worked to become a tier-one firefighting crew.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Person planting a 5 foot tree...

KTAR.com

Some residents in Mesa qualify for a free shade tree

Qualifying Mesa residents can now enroll in the city's tree shade program, which offers eligible participants the opportunity to plant a tree in their yard at no cost.

1 hour ago

Teen girl accused of attacking, robbing victim, Gilbert police say...

KTAR.com

Gilbert PD arrest teen girl accused of attacking victim in youth violence case

The Gilbert Police Department said on Tuesday it arrested a teen girl accused of attacking and robbing a victim in September 2023.

2 hours ago

Southbound I-17 was closed for a fatal crash on Feb. 20, 2024. (ADOT Photo)...

KTAR.com

Southbound I-17 reopens just north of metro Phoenix after fatal crash

The southbound I-17 reopened at around 6 p.m. after a fatal crash caused a shutdown, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

5 hours ago

Bob Sanders will officially become the Buckeye police chief on March 3, 2024. (Buckeye Photo)...

KTAR.com

Buckeye appoints new police chief to lead West Valley city

Buckeye announced Tuesday it had promoted Bob Sanders to police chief after serving a decade as deputy police chief in the West Valley city.

6 hours ago

Saiya, at First Avenue and McKinley Street in the Roosevelt Row area, had its last beam placed on t...

KTAR.com

Downtown Phoenix apartment tower Saiya reaches construction milestone

A downtown Phoenix high-rise apartment tower that has been under construction for nearly two years recently reached a milestone ahead of its anticipated summer opening.

7 hours ago

Peso pluma singing on Mesa's Sloan Park stage in 2023....

KTAR.com

Mexican singer Peso Pluma to stop in Phoenix on ‘Exodo’ tour this fall

Mexican singer Peso Pluma announced a stop in Phoenix on his upcoming tour, officials said.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

‘Only the Brave’ stars discuss playing fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots