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

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

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.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Dignity Health – Arizona Division Photo)...
Balin Overstolz McNair

Arizona mother makes stunning recovery from near death in 2017 Las Vegas shooting

Arizona mother Jovanna Calzadillas was struck in the head by a bullet during the nation's deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas.
6 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)...

I-10 closure in southeast Valley, I-17 closure among weekend restrictions

Closures across the Valley this weekend will hinder drivers as maintenance and construction resumes.
6 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Arizona Secretary of State’s Office hosting virtual ballot overview town halls starting Saturday

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will host three virtual town hall meetings to go over measures voters will see on the ballot.
6 hours ago
(Monster Jam and Cycle Avondale photos)...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Valley bicyclists can ride at Cycle Avondale, Hispanic Heritage Month continues to be celebrated and monster trucks are back in town.
6 hours ago
(Scottsdale Community College Photo)...

Scottsdale Community College to launch 7-week nursing assistant program

A new seven-week nursing assistant certificate program will begin in Scottsdale next year, launching students into a health care career.
1 day ago
(Phoenix Fire Department Photos)...

12 residents displaced after fire at Phoenix apartment complex

A dozen people were displaced after an apartment fire near Bethany Home Road and Interstate 17 in Phoenix on Thursday, authorities said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
‘Only the Brave’ stars discuss playing fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots