'I had that guilty, trivial feeling': Battleship's Brooklyn Decker reveals how spending time in Pearl Harbour put things into perspective
15:04 GMT, 6 April 2012
She may be a beautiful swimwear model and now an actress, but Brooklyn Decker is more than grateful for what she has in life.
The 24-year-old star recently spent time at an army medical hospital to try and prepare for her role in upcoming film Battleship and admits that it opened her eyes.
The young blonde not only visited a facility in Pearl Harbour, but she also spent a lot of her time at Brooks Army Medical Hospital in Texas.
Feeling trivial: Battleship star Brooklyn Decker said she felt guilty after spending time with 'real-life heroes' in Pearl Harbour
'I did a lot of visiting with the troops,' Decker told MailOnline. 'I sat down and talked to a lot of them who had just come back from overseas and had either burns or lost limbs or had been injured.
'One guy in particular was 22-years-old and he'd been in Afghanistan and lost two legs and an arm. He told me that he had a two-year-old daughter and here I am at the time at the same age as him and it's like “well I'm filming a movie,” it felt so trivial compared to what he was doing.'
Decker – who plays physical therapist Samantha Shane in the action movie – went on to say that she couldn't help but feel guilty about the situation.
'I really wanted to do these guys justice, and I feel like one of the unexpected things you see in Battleship is the light we shine on all these heroes.
'They're showcased in such a cool, new and beautiful way on a really big stage and I think that's one of the things I'm most proud of is the spotlight we put on these heroes.'
But Decker wasn't the only star of the film who spent time with real-life professionals.
Action man: Taylor Kitsch plays Lt. Alex Hopper in Battleship and spent time in Pearl Harbour to prepare for the role
Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch, who
plays Lt. Alex Hopper and Decker's onscreen boyfriend, also met with
someone who works a similar role.
shadowed a guy who lives what I play in this film,' he told MailOnline.
'He fights the ship, so I was working with him quite a bit.
went on to say that this really helped him when it came to sitting down
with director of the film, Peter Berg, and 'creating the base of Hopper
and the emotional thing that he’s going to go through in the film.'
'And then of course when you’re working in Pearl Harbour and surrounded by all these vets and naval officers, its quite infectious and so you’re taking from whatever they’re giving you.'
The X-Men Origins star went on to explain that he feels it is vital for big-budget action movies to include some sort of love story.
Physical lady: Decker plays therapist Samantha Shane in the film and says she was drawn towards the 'tough character'
‘I think it’s very important because
you don’t want action for the sake of action,' he said. 'Just watching
s**t explode for no reason.
stakes kind of dissipate quite quickly if you don’t like who the
characters are and if you don’t care for them, so I think its everything
to it really.'
Kitsch was more than familiar with the
demanding hours that come with shooting an action film, but added:
'There's a lot less pressure on Pete's sets than there would be on a lot
of other directors.'
Decker, who made her film debut in
last year's Just Go With It, added that being on the set was a very
'intimate experience' but admitted that the process was exhausting at
'My role was quite
physical,' she explained. 'I play a physical therapist who's eventually
fighting this battle in the mountains. We were hiking every day so it
was tiring working 15 hour days but it was one of the best experiences
of my life.'
The former model went on to say that she found it very rewarding playing a strong female character rather than the damsel in distress, and would love to play those types of roles in the future.
Certainly no damsel in distress! Rihanna makes her acting debut in Battleship playing Petty Officer (GM2) Cora Raikes
'I think the cool thing about acting is that you can go back and fourth between someone who might be weak and someone who could be strong,' she said.
Another tough female character in the film is Petty Officer (GM2) Cora Raikes who is played by singer Rihanna in her acting debut.
But chances are the glamorous pop singer didn't find it as easy to slip into the gritty role as what Decker did.
'Personally I'm a bit of a tomboy and a
tough girl,' she continued. 'So I'm drawn to those really strong characters and I'd never
played one before so I was really excited about that.
'I had fun being physical and I could see myself doing it again in a heartbeat because it just was very fulfilling and I had a blast doing it. That said, not every character you play can be strong.'
'Great experience': Decker, pictured here with her co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna at the Tokyo premiere, said she would do an action movie again in a heartbeat
And speaking of future roles, both Kitsch and Decker will be busy for the rest of the year promoting their upcoming films.
Decker will star alongside Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz in What To Expect When You're Expecting, while Kitsch will be working with Berg again on a movie called Lone Survivor and also stars in the crime drama Savages.
'Savages is going to be a great film,' he said. 'And it's with an incredible cast and Oliver stone directed. It’s a fun, gritty and unapologetic film.'
Battleship is released in cinemas across the UK on April 11