Triple Frontier may at first seem like your typical heist film, where a group of former elite Special Forces soldiers go on a mission to steal millions from a South American kingpin. Yes, that may the basis of it, but with Oscar-nominated director J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, Margin Call), a script by Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), and featuring an all-star cast of Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlune, the film dives in a little deeper than just five men on a mission.
Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck, Garrett Hedlune and Chuck Roven at the 'Triple Frontier' fan event in Singapore.
Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah / Netflix
Affleck, Hunnam and Hedlune, and producer Chuck Roven were in Singapore last week to promote the film and all three actors spoke about how the film showcases a strong sense of brotherhood and comradery. It also looks at how these ex-Special Forces operatives move on from military to civilian lives – not so great it seems – highlighting issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and having never been compensated sufficiently for their heroic service.
What makes this film so real for the actors was that of working and training with the film’s military advisers who were ex-servicemen from the elite Navy SEALs and Delta Force units. “The military advisors were so amazing on this. These guys abilities are the top of the top, and them sharing their experience and knowledge with us was amazing,” Hedlund said.
Hunnam continues, “One of the extraordinary things they did when they came on was to put us in live-fire scenarios. So, within 30 minutes of meeting each other, we were all doing live-fire exercises!” With these exercises, the actors were focused on the fact that this isn’t a game – that they learned that these soldiers will lay down their life for their brother at unexpected times. “There was a moment in the film where I sustained an injury and of course in true Hollywood dynamics, I was sort of over-acting the moment and he [a military advisor] came and gave me a couple of experience where he himself had sustained massive injuries and said this is just the reality. You need to hold it together.”
From left: Garrett Hedlune, Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, Pedro Pascal and Charlie Hunnam in 'Triple Frontier'.
Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon / Netflix
“One of the misconceptions that I had going in is that they were going to be this real, superhero military guy, drill sergeants, bullies or something. And instead they were the kindest, most open, humble men who taught us about inter-reliance on one another as the most important thing. And this notion that we all sort of move as one unit, one team together – rather than one person standing out, being the hero.” Affleck says.
While it isn’t mentioned specifically which part of South America the film takes place in, we’re thinking, from film title, the tripoint between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. But the cast and crew were filming mostly in Hawaii (where Ben Affleck was famously seen sporting a huge phoenix tattoo), California, and Colombia. Roven says, “So much of the movie was done very real, not on a sound stage, not with a lot of visual effects. It was very, very challenging not only in front of the camera, but also behind the camera what we put the crew and all of ourselves through. The elements were not always very kind to us even though there was a lot of outdoor shooting. While Hawaii was great, we had more rain there, it’s like historic rain, so most of the time we were there, even though thank goodness we had rain in the sequence, we were sloshing around in mud and mudslides and it took us a long time to get to work.”
Garrett Hedlune and Charlie Hunnam in 'Triple Frontier'.
Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon / Netflix
Triple Frontier is now streaming on Netflix.