Marcus Luttrell, the former U.S. Navy Seal whose heroics inspired Mark Wahlberg's new movie Lone Survivor, has heaped praise on one of the film's stars, insisting he has what it takes to become a real-life war hero.
Wahlberg portrays Luttrell in the film, based on his book about the failed 2005 Operation Red Wings mission to capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd, but it wasn't The Fighter star who impressed the real-life combat survivor the most - it was actor Ben Foster.
Luttrell tells Wenn that the 3:10 to Yuma star's dedication and intensity really left a mark on him.
He explains, "(Director) Peter (Berg) picked Mark Wahlberg to play me and I didn't have a problem with that because when it came down to it, he's the professional at what he does. It's like telling a heart surgeon how to work on your heart.
"But Ben Foster was the guy that I really gravitated towards. He's probably one of the best actors in Hollywood and nothing against Taylor (Kitsch) and Emile (Hirsch); I love those guys like brothers for what they did, but there's something about Foster and his portrayal of Matt Axelson; that's him when you see him on the screen. He's just like Ben Foster, real quiet but when he threw his kit on and grabbed a rifle he was the most lethal man you've ever met.
"Ben, with all his talent, had attention to detail which really does mean something in the Seals. He captured that and was always asking those questions. When we got done filming, if we got into a scrape and something went down, I could throw Ben a rifle and he'd go to work.
"When we put a live weapon in his hand, shooting at a target at 25 metres and I challenged him to hit it at 700 metres... When we got done he was shooting targets at 800 metres."
And Wahlberg admits he had to fight to get Foster in the film, giving up part of his salary so Berg could hire the actor to portray the heroic Navy Seal who died in combat.
He tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "I was with the Axelson family and I said, 'If you think people know who your son is now, just wait. Ben Foster just brought your boy back to life'."