Nick Jonas talks about making new movie Midway

Boybander-turned-actor Jonas talks working with Hollywood legend Roland Emmerich on his World War II epic

Nick Jonas talks about making new movie Midway

In June 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Battle of Midway took place, changing the course of World War II. Roland Emmerich’s Midway, out in cinemas across the Middle East from Thursday November 7, pulls together an all-star cast to tell its story, with Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart and Patrick Wilson numbering just a few on the billing.

The director, who helmed the bombastic likes of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, is no stranger to dramatic big-screen outings. But with Midway receiving no financial backing from studios (Emmerich's ;ast studio outing was 2016's Independence Day: Resurgence), and put together on a US$100 million budget, Emmerich is now set to deliver one of the most expensive independent films ever made.

Midway also stars Nick Jonas (of Jonas Brothers fame) in his first major dramatic role, playing military man Bruno Guido. We talk to the emerging actor about how he got on in the role, working under the direction of one of blockbuster cinema’s biggest names.

What drew you to Midway?
I have an affinity for stories where there is brotherhood and camaraderie at the centre of them. Maybe that's because I am close to my brothers and understand the dynamic in that relationship. But also because this is just the story that I think needs to be told. You know, I learned a lot about it, having read the script and then just adding in more on the ground here on the set, just trying to be a sponge and trying to learn as much as possible. And give honour and respect to the veterans and our military men and women.

Who is Bruno Gaido?
Bruno Guido, as far as I know him is a really brave guy who loved life, from Long Island and that Long Island accent is within him which is close to home for me, given that I'm from the northeast as well, from Jersey and spent a lot of time in New York. And, you know, I am a bridge and tunneller, if you will, and, and Long Island is, is similar. So it's, it's sort of a world that I know well, and some of those personalities, people that really care for country and God and family and friends and I think at the core that's the story I wanted to tell and do justice to Bruno himself because he was a real American hero.

Tell us about working with Roland for the first time – what was that like?
Roland is incredible at seeing the big picture before it's a big picture, and finding a way to have these moments that feel larger than life, but then suddenly make it feel very personal. Working with someone like him has been a dream of mine. And the way it all came about was very funny as well, serendipitous. I was in Hawaii with a friend – playing golf actually – who knew Roland well and we were at dinner. And he said, "Roland is making a movie that you should be in, so I'm going to go introduce you." So I went and sat down with him for a little while and five minutes turned into ten, 20, and 30 minutes later we're still talking about the movie. Immediately he said, I think Bruno could be a really interesting role for you and I'll send it to you. So a week later I read the script and was so excited and happy that it all came together. Because you never know about some of these things, if they're actually going to turn into anything, but it did so here I am.

What was your initial reaction when you read the script?
I think the thing that really drew me initially to this story was first that I was learning so much that I didn't know. And then in addition to that, the impact that these men had and the importance of this battle specifically in World War II as a whole. And I understand this was a really pivotal moment. And then within it seeing this really human story.

Is there anything in that story that you read that you thought, ‘that must be Hollywood’ but then you found out it was real?
One of the things that I read that I thought had to be Hollywood or, or made to be perhaps more than it was, was actually a part that I got to do which was Bruno's big reveal as a very brave individual. And from all that I've heard, it's true, which amazing.
Midway is out in cinemas on Thursday November 7.

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