PEARL HARBOR, HI, UNITED STATES
Story and photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Pacheco Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Sailors and Airmen attended a red-carpet premiere of the new film “Midway." They met with stars of the film including Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, and Patrick Wilson, who held a question-and-answer session before screening the movie at Sharkey Theater Oct. 20.
The production, centered on one of the most pivotal battles of World War II, aims to remind viewers just how precariously America’s future teetered in the early 1940s, and what cost, sacrifice and luck were required to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“Most people are going to see this movie and they’re going to take that for history,” said actor Dennis Quaid, who plays Vice Adm. William 'Bull' Halsey in the film. “This is a battle which really changed the world. If it had been a different outcome, it’d be a different world.”
Prior to the screening, the actors, cast and crew toured Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), met with the crew, toured the ship and posed for photographs.
“Seeing the cast of this movie get to tour the ship that was literally named after such an important figure in this story was really great,” said Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aja Bleu Jackson. “Seeing the actors who portrayed these historic figures, who played such important roles in Pearl Harbor history, was really special and I think the crew of the ship really enjoyed it as well.”
The movie aims to be an accurate representation of the Pacific in the opening months of World War II and help people understand the value the Navy had historically, as well as today. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) also helped support the writing of the script and production of the film to help ensure historical accuracy.
Actor Woody Harrelson plays the role of Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander who assumed command after the attack on Pearl Harbor, through Midway, and remained in command until after the end of the war.
While preparing for the role in Pearl Harbor, Harrelson worked with Rear Adm. Brian Fort, who was the commander of Navy Region Hawaii at that time. Harrelson said he wanted to understand the decisions the fleet admiral took in those critical months, and also wanted to get a sense of the type of naval officer and man Nimitz was.
“The thing that was most exciting for me is that I got to spend a lot of time with Sailors,” said Harrelson. “Nimitz is a fascinating guy. He really was the right guy for the job at that time. To strike that blow – Midway – was a huge thing.”
“Midway” opens in theaters everywhere on Nov. 8.