With director Nicolai Fuglsig’s 12 Strong opening this weekend, I recently sat down with Chris Hemsworth and Michael Peña to talk about the incredible true story. If you’re not familiar with the material, the film is based on the best-selling book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton and recounts how in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a group of US Special Forces are sent to Afghanistan to score a crucial victory in the early days of the War. While there, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to form an alliance to fight the Taliban, overcome their cultural differences, and fight the enemy with limited resources. Some movies might exaggerate a situation for dramatic effect, but 12 Strong shows how our soldiers actually fought the enemy’s tanks on horseback. Like I said, it’s a pretty crazy true story. 12 Strong also stars Michael Shannon, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Austin Stowell, Ben O’Toole, Austin Hebert, Kenneth Miller, Kenny Sheard, Jack Kesy, Laith Nakli, Fahim Fazli, Yousuf Azami, Said Taghmaoui, Elsa Pataky, William Fichtner, and Rob Riggle.
During the interview Chris Hemsworth and Michael Peña talked about the incredible true story, what they were surprised to learn, how the group achieved such a big military win in only three weeks, and what it’s like working with stunt horses on a movie. Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is the official synopsis, followed by some images from the film.
“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.