Director Burger talks “The Lucky Ones”
By Matthew Price
Director Neil Burger missed his country. So the homesick filmmaker wrote and directed “The Lucky Ones,” which follows three soldiers on a road trip across the United States.
“I did a movie called ‘The Illusionist.’ It was shot in the Czech Republic, so I was gone a long time, about six months,” Burger said.
“You come home as a filmmaker and you want to do something that more speaks to your time.”
In “The Lucky Ones,” three Army soldiers travel across the country in a rented van after a blackout shuts down flights out of New York.
Michael Peña, Rachel McAdams and Tim Robbins play the three soldiers.
The actors hadn’t met prior to being cast, which Burger said worked well for the film.
“Like the characters in the movie, they’re three strangers who then form this tight-knit bond, and that’s really what happened with the three actors as well,” he said.
A growing interplay and camaraderie among the three leads was critical for “The Lucky Ones,” and Burger was pleased with how his cast came together.
“You can’t manufacture chemistry,” he said. “As a director, I can push them in the right direction, but, you’re never quite sure. And you’re hoping to get it. But these guys were great together.”
The actors attended boot camp to make sure they knew proper military terminology and procedure. McAdams, who doesn’t have any scenes in which she is on military duty, nonetheless jumped wholeheartedly into boot camp.
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