Chris Klein

We Were Soldiers

Interviewed by James Mottram

Was this a good film to work on?

"We Were Soldiers" was quite cathartic. I had the chance to work with a seven-week-old baby as I play somebody who was a new father. And at 22-years-old, hopefully that's nowhere near my near future at all. I play Second Lieutenant Jack Geoghegan. It's the first three days of the very first American involvement in the Vietnam war, just outside of Cambodia. They dropped a 100 troops on top of the headquarters of an entire battalion of North Vietnamese. America said that we won, but the death toll ratio was 8:1. That's when they decided to go to war.

How was it working with Mel Gibson?

Awesome. An amazing teacher, but also a hero. To a young actor like me, that guy is a God. It was very exciting watching him.

Where did you shoot the film?

We were up in the desert, just off the central coast of California, about two hundred miles south of San Francisco. It was hot. Oven hot! There was no wind and it was sunny every single day - 115 degrees at noon! The scope of the movie was ridiculous. They were feeding about 600 people two meals a day.

"We Were Soldiers" will undoubtedly increase your fame. How do you feel about that?

Well, fame is different from success. If you're measuring your success by your fame, you're not going to last very long in Hollywood. Every time out, you take a chance. The only secret to success is that there are no secrets, and no rules. The only thing that I can do is be as prepared as possible when I get in front of that camera, and be at my best. That really is the key. If you can go to your job everyday, and be at your best all the time, then good things will come. You certainly can't live in fear.