Today, was definitely the highlight of my blogging life. In fact, maybe my literary life. I got to hang out for 40 minutes in my cupboard, with Sebastian Junger. It was brilliant. I am still buzzing. He’s such a top bloke. He wasn’t actually in my cupboard, I managed to hook him up on Skype, and we did a live video interview. The sound quality and picture quality is a hardly HD but what the hell, I got to chat with him in person.
In the build up, I had been digging pretty deep into his bio. I had watched lots of interviews. He was a fairly steely faced guy and he didn’t really relax much. Now, I am not a political journalist, who is cutting her teeth in Fleet St. I am a military wife (ahem – military spice is what I accidentally referred to myself in one of the segments instead of spouse – but actually I have no problem being a military spice – I like to think of myself as nutmeg and cloves with a dash of chilli) who is writing about what it’s like being betrothed to the military, therefore all of my Restrepo interviews have really focused on the soldiers and not the geo-politics of Afghanistan. This interview was no exception. I basically bungle through it. Look, I don’t think The One Show will be calling me anytime soon. There are a few toe curling moments but what can I say he does release a fair amount pheremone, even over VOIP!!
In part 4 – I manage to nail an exclusive – Sebastian is in discussions over the film rights to War. He is fairly confident it will happen.
I knew from the minute that I saw the documentary that Hollywood would get their hands on it and then it would really catapult into the conscience of the world.
On the 18th October 2010 I wrote:
In The Times, on 3rd October, the Afghanistan correspondent, Tom Coghlan wrote an article on the film, and in The Sunday Times, journalist doyen, Christina Lamb interviewed the legend that is Sebastian Junger, whilst The Observer, celebrated the artistic perspective of the British born director, Tim Hetherington. Meanwhile, in the backwater of the British military swamp of rural Hampshire, blogger and wife of Chinook pilot, A Modern Military Mother aka Clare Macnaughton, interviewed from her cupboard for an office in her military quarter, one of the real stars of the film Major Dan Kearney.
Restrepo, is to some extent pre-hype and once the ball starts rolling and it wins the predicted Oscar, Hetherington and Junger will be heralded as journalistic literati greats by those who themselves hanker for the same legendary status and notoriety.
Eventually, Restrepo will be made into an Hollywood blockbuster, just like The Perfect Storm and soon over paid actors will immortalise the underpaid soldiers that appeared in the documentary. Undoubtedly, the actors will be applauded and awarded for their execution of realism.
Junger and Hetherington have created a brave and iconic piece of filmic history and they absolutely should be celebrated but whilst they flew in and out of the outpost, in the heart of bandit country, in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, Maj Dan Kearney was there for the whole 18 months, isolated by his rank and battling an aggressive brutal enemy, trying to achieve a nigh on impossible task. He and the men of Restrepo are the true stalwarts of the film and whilst the literati celebrate the work of their own, it is these men who are the ones that had their feelings stripped from their souls, who continue to work in their underpaid roles and continue their normal lives.
Yes, folks you heard it here first. War is going to be turned into a Hollywood movie!!
Here’s my dream cast so far:
Maj Dan Kearney – Matt Damon
Sgt Brendan O’Byrne – Jason Statham
Sebastian Junger – George Clooney
Tim Hetherington – Daniel Craig
Just as an aside – Sebastian Junger is hot but in my humble opinion Tim Hetherington is hotter but maybe I just don’t go for that older guy.
All of you Restrepo fans – what’s your dream cast?
(Also I just wanted to say thank you to my new BFF Licky who made this interview happen. That hottie Tim Hetherington was rubbish and didn’t set me up as he promised, plus he didn’t give me any insider questions. Fortunately, I was able to lure Brendan O’Byrne into my lair and after some ferocious tugging on his little back hair tuft he sang like a canary. Proving it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Thanks guys, and also to Lord Junger, himself, it was an honour and a privilege. I am still flushed!)
The Restrepo Trilogy – the ultimate gift for him this Christmas. Boys and men will love it. It’s not a girl film really but you do get to see fit blokes pumping iron and men being men in a male way, which is not unpleasant. AND it raises awareness of a conflict that should no longer be ignored.