[Ed. – Bless her heart.]
[DB] The film doesn’t show any of the more controversial practices at Gitmo—like waterboarding, sleep deprivation, force-feeding, etc.
[KS] It alludes to it. But if we showed all that stuff, people would instantly demonize the film. You see something like that and it becomes so polarizing. Yes, it was cool to be in a Gitmo movie, it was cool to play a soldier, and it was cool remind people that this still exists, but I also thought it was cool to play a simple, American girl who wanted to find her line and aspire to something bigger than her—only to find that things aren’t so simple. Most people in every state think, “Well, of course it’s a great thing to sign up for the Army,” and there’s no question asked beyond that—ever.
She really gets swept up in all the post 9/11 patriotism and signs up for Gitmo duty, only to find that it isn’t what she thought at all.
She’s simple, not very smart, and really socially inadequate—but a good person. So, if you can sign up, put a uniform on, and erase yourself, you don’t have to consider yourself anymore. You can take the individual out of it and say, “Well, this dignifies me. I’m good because of this.” And when that doesn’t end up being true, you actually have to contend with who you are. All she wants is to think, “They did 9/11, they’re bad, f**k that, I’m going to do my job and I’m going to do it well.” But then she gets down there and just can’t accept it; she can’t conform to that.
Right. The mistake we make is not viewing these detainees down there as people, too. We’re all people.
That is essentially so f**king evil, it’s crazy. It’s a ridiculous idea for you to think that you know anything for sure in life—other than to take care of your fellow people. Where the f**k do you get off thinking otherwise? These two people couldn’t be from more different worlds and perspectives, and probably disagree fundamentally on most things, but there’s a through-line for all of us—and that’s what people forget, and that’s what makes people capable of doing terrible things to each other. What makes you different from any other person that walks the earth?
This is a pretty ripped-from-the-headlines film. What issues are you passionate about in the news?
I don’t want to talk about that s**t at all.