‘Only The Brave’ Actor Sam Quinn Talks Fighting Fires
Sam Quinn discusses his fiery experience on the set of “Only the Brave.”
Portraying one of the real life heroes of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Sam Quinn takes the time to discuss his latest film role in “Only The Brave.” During the discussion we discover many of the hardships while preparing for the role as well as many of the behind-the-scene elements that put the film into motion.
As a key character in the film, Sam Quinn learned much about his character and was enlightened to learn about this elite team of firemen.
“The [Granite Mountain] Hotshots are elite wild land firefighters. They’re kind of like the Navy Seals of firefighting. These guys are really good at what they do.”
A lot of work went into preparation for the role. In addition to learning about the characters and the Hotshots, there was a lot of physical requirements attributed to playing the part.
”One of the things they did to prep us, to get us ready, to portray these guys and give justice to the job is they actually put us through bootcamp training for a week and half before we started shooting. So we were spending a lot of time together hiking five miles first thing in the morning carrying forty pound bags on our backs…”
The real life job of fighting wildfires is extremely dangerous. Working on set had its own dangers as well.
Creating the environment to capture the elements of nature was an intricate process but added value in the arena of practical effects rather than relying solely on CGI.
”First off it was filmed in the dead of summer in the hottest part of New Mexico and there happened to be a lot of wildfires around the area. Director Joe Kosinski wanted to accurately portray that destruction, the epic size of these fires. So he took a helicopter with a B-camera team and actually captured these real fires.
And as far as on set goes, we built a sort of small mountain set in one of the back lots that was rigged with propane pipes interlining the trees so that we could control the amount of fire at any given time.”
The real life wildfire firefighters put their lives on the line regularly. Of course it’s a risk and some have lost their lives doing their jobs. Working with the families of the firefighters that gave their lives established another layer of emotional intensity that was a challenging process for Sam.
“It’s a sensitive process as you can imagine. You just wanna do right by them and do right by this great guy. I think the main thing is keeping an open mind to things if [the family] has suggestions or thoughts.”
Overall Sam felt that the role was more than just a job, it was an experience.
“It was such a humbling experience and it really took all of us back because we were portraying real life heroes that had families. And we’re actors, the best that we can do is portray this story. But these are the real guys, they are the real heroes.”