Los Angeles – The name Roland Emmerich has become synonymous to epic disaster films – “Independence Day,” “Independence Day Resurgence,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and so on.
He just helmed the epic war film, “Midway,” starring Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Nick Jonas and Fil-Am actor Darren Criss. The story is about the US Navy sailors and aviators who fought the Japanese in Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway which was the turning point in World War II. The movie was filmed in Honolulu, Hawaii and Montreal, Quebec.
Roland said of Darren, “Darren Criss was a little bit of a surprise for us because we had talked to his agent about another actor for another part and then he said, oh Darren is interested in playing Lindsey and we said oh great. At that time, he had not won an Emmy yet. And I love that Darren. I think it was a real coup for us to have people like Darren Criss in small parts.”
Many people know about Pearl Harbor. But not that many people know about Midway. So how did he hear about it for the very first time and why did he find it fascinating?
“I knew a little bit about it,” he replied. “I knew there was a Battle of Midway, but I didn’t have any idea what it was. There was actually a documentary, which I saw on TV late at night here in the US. It was during the time I was shooting ‘Godzilla.’ And so, I just immediately thought it would make a great movie.
“Then actually I checked out the movie from 1976 and I said, there could be something more interesting. For me, it was very important to have Pearl Harbor attack too, in this film, because without the Pearl Harbor attack you don’t understand what really happened. And this was the first time an American territory, it was not a state yet, but it was an American territory, it was attacked by an enemy.
Naturally, it changed everything from one moment to the other in America. America was not willing to really get into the war but then because of this attack the next day people stormed nearly to line up to enlist. It was interesting because it also tells the story that they were not prepared for it; they were not as trained as the Japanese. They were the underdog and we totally forget that, that the Americans were actually the underdog.”
Since he wanted to make this movie 20 years ago, what kind of a director was he then and what kind of a director is he now? And who does he want to be in the future?
“Bare my soul now,” he answered. “Then I was an idiot. I was not so different. I think I’m a little bit older now. I understand a little bit more about life and I’m married. I’m 11 years now with my partner. I have a different outlook on life a little bit. I don’t take it so serious anymore. But I have to say; my passion for film was always the same. I live film. If they don’t let me make movies, if they don’t finance movies anymore, I will do one on my iPhone, in my garden. I just have to make movies and that’s just my life and I think it’s the best job in the world you can have.”