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