Jimmy O. Yang and Themo Melikidze on Getting the Story Right in ‘Patriots Day’

     January 13, 2017

When Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg decided to make a movie about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, many wondered if it was too soon, or even if it was a story that needed to be told. As someone that grew up near Boston and thought they knew what happened, I can tell you I’m glad they made Patriots Day. Not only is the film extremely respectful to the real life heroes and victims, the movie shows what really happened behind the scenes and highlights the importance of community and heroism. In addition, I had no idea what really transpired on the streets of Watertown between the police and the Tsarnaev brothers, and the film puts you front and center in the middle of the battle which turned into a war zone. Just so you know, typically when police engage someone the ensuing encounter lasts 10 to 15 seconds. The battle between the police and the brothers lasted almost eight minutes and involved semi-automatic weapons and bombs.

patriots-day-mark-wahlberg-posterFor those not familiar with the movie, Patriots Day is based on the account of Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis. Mark Wahlberg stars as Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders who joins survivors, first responders, and investigators in the hunt for the terrorists responsible for the act before they strike again. Patriots Day is a collaboration between CBS Films and 60 Minutes, with senior producer Michael Radutzky serving as a producer on the pic. The movie is not only based on the life rights of Davis, but also utilizes other details surrounding the event based on the 60 Minutes story in which Davis appeared. Scripted by Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer, the film also stars Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons, John Goodman, Michael Beach, Jimmy O. Yang, Themo Melikidze and Michelle Monaghan. You can read Perri’s review here.

At the Los Angeles press day, I sat down with Jimmy O. Yang and Themo Melikidze for a video interview. They talked about the responsibility of telling this story, the incredible battle that happened on the streets of Watertown, what it was like working with Peter Berg, and a lot more.


Image via CBS Films

Check out what they had to say in the video above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by some images from the film. For more on Patriots Day, watch the trailer or click here for all our previous coverage.

Jimmy O. Yang and Themo Melikidze:

  • They talk about the responsibility of playing these people and getting the story right.
  • How even though you might have heard about what happened the movie reveals a lot of details you won’t know.
  • What it was like working with Peter Berg and having cameras everywhere and working without a net.

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