Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund on Realities of War in Bill Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Kristen Stewart from Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Kristen Stewart from Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hudlund Star in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

To prepare to play the sadistic Sgt. Dime in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” Garret Hedlund endured his own little corner of hell.

“We went through a two-week boot camp with the Navy Seals,” the actor tells Made in Hollywood reporter Damaris Diaz. “They put us through it. They said themselves they put us through about 80 percent of what they actually put the Seals through. I don’t know if they’ll actually ever do that again.”

Still, Hedlund calls appearing in the Ang Lee-directed film “the experience of a lifetime,” a chance to work with an esteemed director in a gripping war-and-homefront story shot with cutting-edge technology that lends a surreal clarity to the scenes.

Kristen Stewart Plays a Protective Sister in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn), “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” follows Iraq War soldiers home for an overblown hero’s welcome intercut with flashbacks of the horror of battle.

Kristen Stewart plays Billy’s concerned sister Kathryn, an anti-war activist who wants to keep him from being redeployed to the Middle East, thinking what he needs is not parades but psychological treatment for PTSD.

“She feels protective of her little brother,” Stewart says. ” He comes back absolutely fractured. He’s seemingly whole, but there’s something different about him. I think she recognizes that distance and is acknowledging the pain.”

As for the message the film sends to young people considering entering the military, Hedlund says “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is a complicated movie, defying the usual labels.

“It’s a particular story,” he says. “In some weird way I think it’s a little more reassuring than not. The brotherhood that that these guyshave and also what they’re fighting for and who they’re fighting for — that message kind of shines through, and I think it sort of promotes it more than it doesn’t. These guys sort of find a life overseas and find a brotherhood and camaraderie that they didn’t feel they had over here.”