On April 11, 1945, a Japanese pilot intentionally flew his plane into the starboard side of the USS Missouri, dying instantly and leaving a damaged exterior near where he was later buried at sea.
On Sept 10, 2010, mere inches away, I sat at a table, drank mineral water and interviewed the top Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Life is weird that way.
Brooklyn Decker plays “Sam,” a hiking enthusiast/girlfriend/daughter and if you saw her in the Battleship trailer, you probably thought to yourself something along the lines of “hubba hubba hubba.” Below are highlights from a roundtable conversation on the set of the film.
What’s the difference between shooting this film and your first one, Just Go With It?
This one is incredibly challenging. Physically, emotionally, I mean we’re talking about the end of the world. Obviously it’s a huge, daunting task ahead, but, I think that’s why I’m having such a blast on it; it’s such a challenge. I’m a new actor so I’m around these guys and feel so inadequate, but if you’re going to learn, learn from the best. I’m really happy to be here.
You mentioned you’re a new actor and watching Peter direct… he has a very unorthodox style. Can you talk about coming into this new world and having Peter as your guide so to speak?
Peter’s a completely unconventional director. You’ll be fighting an alien and he’ll throw things at you like, “order a cheeseburger and French fries!” and you’ll be like “what!?” He does it just to throw you off so you’re mind gets fresh again. Things like that make it fun and really exciting. You never know what he’s going to come out with. He comes from an acting background so he knows how to talk to all of us, which I think helps us especially with Rhianna and I who are new to sets. He just really knows how to get to us.
Are a lot of your scenes filmed on the ship or are you land?
No, I’m land. I’m actually one of the few civilians in the film. I play the Admiral’s daughter, who’s played by Liam Neeson, and Hopper’s (Taylor Kitsch’s) girlfriend-ish thing, whatever we are, and it’s very complicated with the script. They’re all on the ship having this incredible battle, meanwhile these aliens have invaded the United States as well so I’m on land trying to fight them from here. With these guns!
Do you wield a gun in the film?
Actually, yeah. I was going to shoot a gun and then I wasn’t so I was like, “guys, come on.”
What kind of gun?
I don’t know… but it’s a big one on the hip. We’re going to learn all that and it’s going to be great. Actually what’s cool is, and I know they prepped you guys for this but, we have an Iraq vet who lost both his legs in 2007 and we’re sort of side-kicks to one another in our story. With him being there, he’s really teaching me all this military lingo and how they do things and fight. His fighter instinct comes out so being around him sort of lights a fire under you.
What’s it like acting with him, though? Because he’s not an actor. . .
He’s not an actor but our thing with the movie is it’s a lot of banter. The story starts out and he’s this stubborn guy. He doesn’t want to walk, he doesn’t want to put on his prosthetic legs, and he’s just stubborn. He’s stuck in this sort of mental and physical rut and it’s my job to sort of get him off his butt and start moving. He and I have that dynamic in real-life so we sort of feed off each other. If we didn’t have Pete as a director I don’t think this would work but he’s so encouraging to actors, as far as improv and “do what feels natural to you.” You want to hit him? Go for it. And, I think for us, it makes him feel really natural and at home. He’s not intimidated, worried, or restricted.
Will you need any physical training for this?
I will, yeah. I did a lot of prep, because I’m a physical therapist, in military hospitals and I learned how to fix prosthetic legs, dislocated shoulders, and things like that. I definitely did a lot of training with that. As far as fighting, I’m going to go through fight training which should be fun.
How many days have you been filming?
Are you a big action-adventure or sci-fi fan?
Yeah, I am. I’m definitely a geek for drama and every genre really, but there’s something about this story that’s really sweet. We’re on this battleship, we have full military support filming this movie, and we have real veterans which makes this movie unique. It’s not all smoke and mirrors. We’re actually legit. Pete’s big on having us be prepared and have knowledge on the military and knowing the order of the ranks.
Did you do your scenes with Liam Neeson yet?
I did. Not all of them but we have started yes. He has such a great presence. First of all, physically, he’s this powerful big person and that lends itself perfectly to make this movie scary and intimidating. It’s my second day on my second movie, I feel like a fish out of water. Liam Neeson’s on set and I’m like this is not my life right now.
Do you feel like you and Rhianna are going to be close because you’re the only 2 females in this group?
Yeah. It’s funny because we’re both actually really big tomboys. It’s she and I and all the guys. There’s no we’re running off to get manicures together. It’s all guns and war, which is really fun. The boys are so cute and Rhianna is gorgeous, so the whole cast is… they definitely have a cute cast.
Did you play the boardgame Battleship when you were younger?
I think it was a little bit before me, but what’s funny is, I have it on my iPhone which is sort of a testament to the times. I have played it, not religiously or anything, but I have. But, on the iPhone, it’s totally different. You move it with your fingers and it’s a completely different game.
What’s the next boardgame movie?
I think they should make a Scrabble movie. A Scrabble action movie.