by Gill Pringle

The screenplay writer of American Sniper, Jason Hall, turns to familiar territory for his directing debut, Thank You For Your Service, based on a David Finkel novel about Iraq War soldiers returning to their families, most often psychologically damaged, and discovering that life is lonely back home. It’s a pretty safe bet, which you could make at casinos online like Novibet, that this is going to be highly affecting material.

For his lead role, Jason Hall recruited one of this generation’s best actors, Miles Teller, who tells us that this story resonated strongly.

“I have 10 friends who I was in high school with who joined. One of my good buddies was a former marine. He passed away but not combat related. It was a road accident, he was a riding his motorcycle and got hit by a car. One of my buddies just got back from deployment…”

In Thank You For Your Service, Teller plays real-life character Adam Schumann, and confesses that he was quite anxious when meeting him. “I was pretty nervous because he’s a guy who has achieved so much and really represents the country in such a profound way. He’s a sergeant, he’s a ranking officer in the military and I am some guy from Hollywood who just came to meet him and play him in a movie. Luckily for me, he’s an exceptional person. We bonded very quickly. I did not have a list questions but there were a lot of holes to fill in because a movie like this is not for you to take liberties and instincts with. It’s a very high bar that we set for ourselves. Having Adam welcome that experience and to just be such a wonderful resource to support me and everyone means a lot.”

Even though Jason Hall had previously worked on American Sniper, according to Teller, Thank You For Your Service offered a completely different picture of the modern military. “These guys are fighting a different war, they come from different backgrounds, they are younger and did not experience the same kind of training as the special force had.”

One of the most surprising casting choices in Thank You For Smoking is comedienne Amy Schumer in her first dramatic part. “She’s great!” confirms Teller, who also tells us that Schumer donated her salary for the film to veteran services. “She gives an incredible performance, she’s a wonderful scene partner. She felt very passionate about the story and just wanted to be a part of it, even a small role.”

Before we end our 10 minutes with Teller, we ask him about his upcoming role in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Amazon series Too Old To Die Young. But as per its creator, the answer is as elusive as ever.

“This is not a TV series,” Teller quickly asserts. “Nic described it as a 10-hour long movie. If you have seen any of his works, he’s an intense person and an incredibly magnetic director and writer.”

Thank You For Your Service is available on DVD from December 5, 2018


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