In his next film, Only the Brave, Kitsch takes on the role of real-life story of Chris MacKenzie (known as “Mac”), a 30-year-old wildfire specialist who died in the devastating Yarnell Hill blaze that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in 2013.
Based on the GQ article “No Exit,” written by Sean Flynn, Only the Brave tells the harrowing story of 19 “hotshots” (a term held to the country’s top wild land firefighters – the Navy SEALs of firefighters if you will) who are specially trained to tame monstrous wildfires who died that day. Kitsch had some recollection of the Yarnell Hill Fire when it occurred, but didn’t learn the full story until he got the script.
“I didn’t even know what a hotshot was,” he tells Vanity Fair. “The beauty of this job is you get to really envelop yourself in these kind of beats,” Kitsch told VF.com. While preparing for the film, Kitsch and his Only the Brave costars went through grueling hotshot training. “Long hikes, 50-pound backpacks,” Kitsch says. “You’re carrying the fuel and the chainsaws. It really is an art form to fight these fires.”
In this video interview Taylor Kitsch, with his co-stars James Badge Dale, talks about making the film and the responsibility they have to the families of these fighters.
Only the Brave movie opens October 20 and stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.