So what did Logan teach you?
Restraint. He doesn't have to say everything on his mind. He doesn't need to let you know what he's thinking. I'm more gregarious and carefree. I also haven't dealt with loss in the way he has. I'm still young. It's amazing, after sitting down with the marines and learning the stories from their lips, and using your imagination to wonder what it would be like to come back to our lifestyle here, where everything feels so trivial.
You play a father figure for the first time, so how did that feel, and how did you get on with young Riley Thomas Stewart?
It was great. You just had to talk to him like an adult! I didn't really know how to handle kids, and I would talk to them like you would a little dog - "hey buddy!". Riley's a dude - I just treated him like he was up here. He was super, super talented and a charming young man. All the charisma and charm you see is real.
Nicholas Sparks said he didn't want the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to be portrayed as raging anger. Was it difficult to internalise it?
We wanted it to be honest. Logan is still a man of integrity - he's the most honourable character I've ever played, and he was written that way. He always takes the high road, he always does the right thing. He doesn't want his burden to impact anyone else. I felt that was very, very noble. Scott was great with that. We could have overdone the PTSD thing like a cliché. But when I was meeting the marines, they were very normal guys, other that their posture and the way they present themselves; this immense diginity that was just emanating from themselves. They're like machines. Never once did they let on how traumatising it was, until they started to tell the stories. Even then it was a weepie thing, you could just see it in their eyes that they had been there.
How was it being surrounded by those gorgeous dogs on the set?
Amazing. We were literally running a kennel. I was good friends with the dog trainers, as we would take the dogs for walks. He just hands me the pooper scooper and says "go to work". "Dude! Come on! Are you serious?" And then Scott ran over and started filming, so that was pretty fun. They lighten the mood - you never have to take anything too seriously when there are a ton of dogs on the set, and they just want to play.
AP London Junket
moviemaniacs.de with Taylor