Opening in theaters and VOD September 19, Fort Bliss centers on Maggie Swann (Michelle Monaghan), a dedicated U.S. Army medic who returns home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Although Maggie puts her life on the line for her country, her honorable sacrifice comes at a huge price when she must slowly regain her 5-year-old son’s (Oakes Fegley) trust and love. Lending solid support is Ron Livingston, who co-stars as the son’s father, with Emmanuelle Chriqui playing Livingston’s girlfriend.
“It’s such a collaborative experience that everyone has when you’re doing an independent film,” said Monaghan. “Because they’re so hard to get made. It’s a very inclusive process – everybody’s position is embraced.”
During this week’s Fort Bliss interviews, I asked Michelle Monaghan how she is able to bring a seamless, emotional access to her roles (for proof, check out her standout performances in Trucker, True Detective, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Balancing studio driven films and indie projects has been a staple in Monaghan’s career, and although I’m more than happy to watch escapist fare such as Mission: Impossible III and Eagle Eye, the character driven stuff resonates on a much different level.
Here’s Monaghan’s response to my question:
“I just say it’s being present. I feel grounded. I’m the most emotionally honest when a character feels very real to me. It’s somebody next door. It’s somebody’s sister or mother or wife…it’s a total testament to the writing and the material that’s been given to me.”
Monaghan’s complete answer, in which she also praises Fort Bliss writer/director Claudia Myers, can be heard in the following audio clip: