Dese Hollywood was present at the recent Los Angeles press conference for the new action drama 12 STRONG. The story is based on real events, centering on an elite U.S. Special Forces unit sent to Afghanistan shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

Stars Chris Hemsworth, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Navid Negahban, director Nicolai Fugslig, producers Jerry Bruckheimer, and author-executive producer Doug Stanton shared insightful information and opinions, but let’s focus on what the Australian actor -who plays Captain Mitch Nelson- had to say.


“I’ve done a lot of stuff in the superhero world, in fantasy. It has been a lot of fun, but I desperately wanted to do something with a real heart and more grounded. This script came along a few years ago. My first instinct was that I couldn’t believe that it was a true story. I knew about this conflict, like a lot of people in the world, but not about this mission. Learning about the details was fascinating, and then having the pleasure of speaking with the real people throughout the process, with honesty, openness, humility and lack of dramatization. They are real heroes. They put themselves in harms ways, for the sake of our safety, and that is something beyond admirable. It’s inspiring. I am honored to play this character, and being part of this story. I definitely felt the weight of that responsibility, I think that we all did. It was an incredible experience that I will remember for a long, long time.”


“The way that they were able to adapt, evolve and embed themselves in this world, working with the local people, not against them, and fighting a common enemy, the brotherhood they formed among the Afghan people and themselves, it was something that kept coming up during this experience.”

“Walking up the hill, my lungs were burning. It’s funny, we had this truck moving people up and down the hill, and occasionally I would say ‘Nah, it’s cool. I will run up there!’ Then you take 3 steps, with all of the gear on and the altitude… Bring the truck back! We did 3 or 4 weeks of military training, weapons training, and for me it was very important. There is a technical side, but that connective tissue, the bond and friendship that we formed, came from that training.”

“A big thing that I took away from this experience, talking with the real guys, was that for their own survival, when they got there, they had to convince the local people that they weren’t there to occupy the country. A number of the people we had there from Afghanistan, living in Albuquerque, came to us saying things like ‘Thank you for telling this story. I was there fighting with the Americans, but the whole world thinks that I am a terrorist. It’s important for people to know that we are on the same side, and that the real invading forces are the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.’ They wouldn’t normally want to be involved in films like these. It meant a lot to us.”

12 STRONG is now playing in theaters nationwide.


The True Story of the Army’s Special Forces “Green Berets”, who within weeks responded to the 9-11 attack. Green Berets and AFSOC took over the country and allowed other Special Forces and the rest of the conventional military to begin the real war.