Lance H. Robbins
Q: How was Don Johnson chosen for the lead role?
A: We all agreed that the lead had to be believable as someone who was involved in the Vietnam War as a leader, as well as a corporate executive. This character is strong, silent and secretive. I've always loved Don's work and knew his range. He lends a tremendous credibility, and his performance in the courtroom is captivating. Sharon Lawrence and Jeanne Tripplehorn are also wonderful in the film. Don's son, Jesse, plays the lead character as a young lieutenant in Vietnam. He has a lot of similarities to his father--like the raspy voice--so this also lends credibility to the story.
Q: What are the challenges to bringing a best-selling novel to the screen?
A: The biggest challenges are to not disappoint the readers and determine how to bring 50 to 60 characters to the screen. You can't have that many main characters in a film, so it's up to the writers and the producers to decide which are the key and most interesting characters, which characters drive the story and which characters to combine or delete. I think we accomplished this quite well.
Q: Why is the main character's "word of honor" important to him?
A: We've all heard the proverb, "A man's word is as good as his bond." The main character gave his word to protect these men he felt he was responsible for and should be loyal to - men who put their lives in his hands, his leadership. Don's character, Ben Tyson, felt he should stick to his word out of respect to the people who died and for the need of the ones who walked away to move on. Letting go and moving forward is a prominent theme in the book and relevant today. Even though our country has been involved in war since the Vietnam War, that war is still very well known and talked about in our culture, but there is also a need for the people who were involved to have closure in order to move on with their lives, to move on to retain their sanity. Ben Tyson strongly believed that they had to move on.