‘Only The Brave’ Screens In Denver, Memorializes Lost Firefighters

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) – Hollywood A-listers walked the red carpet in Denver this week promoting a new film that puts often-forgotten heroes in the spotlight.

only the brave Only The Brave Screens In Denver, Memorializes Lost Firefighters

Only The Brave (credit: Di Bonaventura Pictures)

“Only The Brave,” starring Josh Brolin and Miles Teller, is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. That wildland firefighting unit lost 19 members in Arizona’s Yarnell Hill wildfire in 2013.

only the brave 1 Only The Brave Screens In Denver, Memorializes Lost Firefighters

(credit: City of Prescott, AZ)

“You don’t want to ‘Hollywood’ up their job,” Teller said at the red carpet event at United Artist Colorado Center on Colorado Boulevard. He plays Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the crew.

“It’s a gritty job and really takes a lot of perseverance and you have to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”

McDonough served as a consultant on the film. He says every detail in the film is accounted for — from the clothing to the dialogue.

“It’s very powerful and it’s just such a true, authentic story about our brothers and what the wildland community is all about,” McDonough said.

PHOTO GALLERY: October Wildfires Destroy Homes And Businesses In California

Jennifer Connelly worked daily with Amanda Marsh to portray her in the film. Connelly says Marsh helped to ensure that Marsh’s relationship with her late husband Eric was accurate.

“It was wonderful that Amanda was on board and the families were on board. It was important to me that she felt comfortable with the way she was being portrayed in the film and the way their marriage was being portrayed in the film,” Connelly said.

only the brave cast Only The Brave Screens In Denver, Memorializes Lost Firefighters

(credit: CBS)

The Granite Mountain Hotshot crew was killed when winds violently shifted and trapped them. Some accounts of the Yarnell Hill Fire estimate the fire advanced more than a quarter-mile a minute.

The film will be released in theaters on Oct. 20, likely while many wildland crews will be battling a series of devastating wildfires across the west.

RELATED: Colorado Firefighters Ready To Deploy To California

Brolin hopes the audience gains a new perspective and sensitivity to the men and women who for over a century have been battling wildfires.

only the brave bush brolin Only The Brave Screens In Denver, Memorializes Lost Firefighters

CBS4’s Stan Bush interviews actor Josh Brolin. (credit: CBS)

“You have to give constant kudos to who I’m playing and the others going out there putting themselves in peril for the rest of us,” Brolin said.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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