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The Cast Of Home Of The Brave
At the heart of HOME OF THE BRAVE are the battles waged by its main characters – both in Iraq and inside their own souls as they try to find their own individual ways to begin their lives at home again after the rigors of combat. Right from the beginning, Irwin Winkler knew he would need to cast actors capable not only of embodying the grit and guts of soldiers but of going beyond action to create viscerally real portraits of men and women facing the toughest crises of their lives. 

To play the medic Will Marsh, a family man who performs with tremendous skill and devotion in Iraq but returns unable to relate to his wife and rebellious, anti-war son, the filmmakers always felt there was no better choice than Academy Award® nominee Samuel L. Jackson, whose work has ranged from the cult classic "Pulp Fiction” to the action comedy "Snakes On a Plane” to the dark drama "Black Snake Moan.” "We knew that Sam Jackson could bring the emotional resonance we needed for the character,” comments Winkler. 

Upon reading the screenplay, Jackson immediately felt that HOME OF THE BRAVE would be both a timely and important project. "Over the last few years, I've met with and talked to a lot of soldiers, on airplanes and various places I've been, and it seems nobody is telling their stories,” he says. "At first they were on the front pages of the newspaper but they've since been buried deeper and deeper and there hasn't been a lot of talk about all that they have gone through. That's why I think a film like HOME OF THE BRAVE will really resonate with audiences -- because it gives you a much greater understanding of what's really going on in the war from a strictly human perspective.” 

As he explored the character of Will – a process that included reading up on the history of battlefield hospitals – he developed an intense empathy for what such a perfectionist man and physician would go through in trying to re-adjust after being in a constant struggle to save lives hanging by a thread. "Will is a healer by nature,” Jackson explains, "but he has issues with the kids he wasn't able to save in Iraq and when he comes home, he's tormented by it. He feels inadequate inside and he finds he can't be the person he wants to be after all he has seen. War changes everything, including relationships, and the harder he tries to be with his family, the more he starts freaking out.” 

Another major draw for Jackson was the chance to work with Irwin Winkler. "Knowing Irwin's reputation and knowing all of his amazing films it was a real honor for me to work with him and also with this cast of up and coming actors,” he says. 

Jackson was especially impressed by the way the script tied together so many different experiences of the Iraq war without ever dipping into the political divide. "I think it's a pro-people, pro-soldier movie about people who experienced something that affected them profoundly,” he says. "It addresses the idea that it's not just the chaos of battle but also the chaos of coming home after battle that impacts soldiers. You might leave American with a good relationship and come back to a broken one, or you might leave America with your best friend and come back without him – there are a myriad of stories, and in HOME OF THE BRAVE we start telling just a few of them.” 

Will is eventually contacted by a desperate young Spokane soldier whose life he saved in the field – Vanessa Price, the cargo specialist who entire future is instantly changed by a single exploding bomb, played by quickly ascending star Jessica Biel. Named "Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire Magazine, Biel shows another side of herself in HOME OF THE BRAVE with a powerfully moving portrait of a once strong, self-assured woman trying to come to terms with a self esteem-shattering injury. 

Biel was excited to have the rare opportunity to portray a devoted and coura

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