Monday, August 10, 2020
Home Movie Interviews Michelle Monaghan Explores Military Life With Resonant "Fort Bliss"

Michelle Monaghan Explores Military Life With Resonant “Fort Bliss”

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.

Fort Bliss

“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:

Greg Srisavasdi
I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

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