On paper, Netflix’s latest production Triple Frontier may read like your typical heist flick: a group of former special operations soldiers team up to devise a grand scheme to steal a drug lord’s million-dollar fortune.
But despite its seemingly conventional plot and male-dominated cast, this testosterone-drenched action thriller brings more to the table than just guns, intense action sequences and all things machismo – as we found out during the press conference held earlier this month at Marina Bay Sands.
In town to promote the highly-anticipated original film (now streaming on Netflix), the three hunky cast members Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund alongside producer Chuck Roven met with members of the media where they gave us an inside look on their filming experiences, how they prepared for their roles, and most importantly – what Triple Frontier is all about.
#1 It’s anything but predictable
Even though the premise of Triple Frontier tends to borderline on cliche, producer Chuck Rovan manages to take the familiar and “turn it on its head”. Instead of focusing on the narrative of soldiers in combat, the story revolves around ex special forces who were past their peak. He shares, “When you’re in the special forces, you are truly the best in your endeavours. But now, you have to make the decision where you’re going to take those skills you haven’t used for years and use them for your own benefit.”
#2 Neither is it all about the masculinity
Before you dismiss it as another testosterone-charged boys’ club, actor Ben Affleck (who’s best known for his role as Batman in the male-dominated superhero blockbuster Justice League) might just change your mind. “You know, this movie kind of reflects not so much about the all-male story or masculinity, but more so on the factually-rooted truth that vast majority of the special forces are men thus it’s natural to tell a story about them.”
#3 It’s really about the teamwork
Think of military soldiers and you would probably expect them to be tough, aggressive and obnoxiously hierarchical when presented in stereotypical terms – so did Ben Affleck, until he met them in real life. “One of the misconceptions I get is that these guys are gonna be some sort of drill sergeant bullies or something, but they are the kindest and humblest men I’ve ever met.”
“They’ve helped me to understand that true strength comes in compassion, empathy and teamwork,” the actor said. “Instead of one person standing out as the hero, they wanted to get across the notion that we all should move as one unit, one team. I thought it was a beautiful lesson and it was one I took to heart because we tried very hard to come together and make it work.”
#4 They trained like real special ops soldiers
To help sell the part, the cast had to go through intensive training under the supervision of special operatives – and this meant shooting with real bullets. “Pre-production was short, so we only had about four days to get familiar with the military equipment where we conducted live fire exercises with each other,” shared Garett Hedlund, who takes on the role of mixed martial arts fighter Ben Miller.
Charlie Hunnam, who plays his brother Willian Miller, explained the decision behind training with live ammunition, “One of the big themes in the film is community and inter-reliance within our brotherhood, so part of that is taking responsibility for each other’s safety and willing to lay down their lives for their brother in a moment’s notice. We know very little about guns, so to be out there doing live fire stuff is a nice introduction to the serious nature of the work they do.”
#5 They conquered the great outdoors
Unlike other action films that would typically involve a lot of visual effects, Triple Frontier was mostly shot on location – which saw them going from Oahu in Hawaii, up to the Californian mountains, and then down to Bogota, Columbia. “It was challenging not just in front of the camera, but behind the camera too,” producer Chuck recalled. “Hawaii was great, but there was a lot of rain so we had to work in flooded conditions. We were slushing around in the mud and mudslides most of the time.”
He also added, “The movie is exciting to watch, but also exciting to make.”
Catch Triple Frontier starring Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and more on Netflix now!