In the new Universal Studios Home Entertainment release, Jarhead 2: Field Of Fire, Josh Kelly (Cutter, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) stars in a role he was made for. The son of a Naval officer and himself a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq prior to becoming an actor, Kelly plays the team leader for a group of supply Marines that get put into a challenging combat situation.
"The movie is about Marines banding together, relying on their training, and discovering purpose behind war," he says of the sequel to the popular 2005 film based on Anthony Swofford's similarly titled book about his pre-Desert Storm experiences in the Persian Gulf. "This one takes place in Afghanistan in modern time. It has a lot to do with the Taliban and restricting women's rights... it's pretty topical."
Although it's been a decade since Kelly was a man in uniform himself, he says that his own experience doing combat operations proved useful. "It was interesting I found my brain reverting back into team leader mode. I was becoming a lot more tactical as we were pretending to be tactical," he reveals of playing Corporal Chris Merrimette in the action-adventure film. "I pretty much became the tech advisor [on set] and made sure that everyone maintained tactical awareness."
Still being "in theater" is tough on everyone, even those who initially thought that they wanted to be in the thick of it. "Merrimette is a middle American, good guy who's got a pregnant wife at home. He's questioning whether or not he should be in the war and whether or not he's going to stay," Kelly previews. " So he is, I guess, kind of what I would've been like had I not wanted to become an actor and stayed in the military."
Look for the ensemble film, which also stars Stephen Lang (SALEM), Cole Hauser (ROGUE) and Esai Morales (CRIMINAL MINDS), to release direct to Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD on Tuesday, August 19, and watch a trailer by clicking here.