From: Silver Screen

“Midway” stars Ed Skrein and Luke Kleintank discuss brotherhood and the importance of remembrance

“Midway” stars Ed Skrein and Luke Kleintank discuss brotherhood and the importance of remembrance

Dick Best (Ed Skrein, left) and Clarence Dickinson (Luke Kleintank, right)  

“I’ve got three brothers, so that sense of brotherhood...I know that,” said Luke Kleintank, leaning forward on the couch. “I feel like when we [Ed Skrein] first met, we hit it off. We come from the same mentality about life, about family, and the artistry of everything that we do.” 

The comfort and shared respect between Kleintank and Skrein was evident. As Kleintank confirmed, actors don’t necessarily have to connect with co-stars on film projects. As per the nature of the craft, they can just act like that chemistry is there. 

However, for the cast members of “Midway,” the sense of brotherhood was somewhat emblematic of the real-life military leaders, Dick Best (Ed Skrein) and Clarence E. Dickinson (Luke Kleintank), they portrayed. 

“The kind of camaraderie and brotherhood on film sets is amazing. Same thing with the crew. It’s like everyone is working towards one goal and putting themselves second. You see the power of human spirit and human synergy and human togetherness... and what we can achieve when we work together,” said Skrein.

Celebrated action director Roland Emmerich’s grand portrayal of the Battle of Midway, the World War II battle between the American Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy, was 20 years in the making from conceptualization to the final product. The film was a passion project for Emmerich, as he said it is important for younger people to know about “those who fought for their freedom.” 

This sentiment was very personal to Kleintank and Skrein as both had family who served in World War II. Skrein opened up about his search to understand “transgenerational trauma,” the idea that those who fight in war often suppress their experiences once home, while the silent pain they carry is sensed and passed down to future generations of their families. 

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“It’s something I’ve really been looking into this last year...and how it affects me now, and how it’s affected my parents, and so on and so forth. I think it’s so important that we remember the past, the horrors of war, the sacrifices and bravery of these men so that they can never happen again. So that whatever traumas we have, they’re not on this mass continental level - this world wide trauma,” said Skrein. 

A part of properly capturing and paying homage to the truth and horrors of the war was capturing both American and Japanese sides. Envisioning a fresh look on the battle, Emmerich created three storylines which depict three different perspectives on the battle, including one with Japanese officers. 

“We never wanted to vilify anybody… All of these men were soldiers, they had a duty to do, they were called upon to do it. I respect every single man on the Japanese and on the American side,” said Kleintank.

Skrein added that the importance of remembering the past is so that we don’t recreate it, and so that we can live peacefully with empathy and love for other nations and for others.

“Instead of building up walls, we can break them down, and enjoy each others’ different cultures and histories, and respect them,” Skrein said.

“To let people experience this battle and to know it in this medium ...now we have the technology to do it, it’s remarkable,” Kleintank said. 

Skrein agreed with his co-star: “I’m glad we have blurred the lines between creativity, entertainment, and history, and history lessons. And that’s a beautiful thing.” 

“Midway” is set to release in theaters on Nov. 8.

dharvey@theeagleonline.com


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