DEVOTION Cast and Crew Discuss Friendship, Family, Sacrifice
By Movieguide® Staff
Actors Glen Powell and Jonathan Majors starred alongside one another in the new movie DEVOTION, based on a true story about a pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots who risk their lives for the safety of America during the Korean War.
The movie, which is based on a true story and book of the same name—authored by Adam Makos—shows the importance of friendship, sacrifice and patriotism.
“This is a story about friendship, the highest form of that,” Joe Jonas, who wrote the song “Not Alone” for the movie, told Movieguide®.
For the talent and crew involved in DEVOTION, the true story inspired them to reflect on their own families and friends.
“I’m grateful that I have great friends and family in my life that look after me,” Jonas said.
Powell, who plays the role of Pilot Tom Hudner, added: “The best thing about my life is that I have a wonderful family. I have a wonderful family that I can lean on for anything.”
Powell’s acting career took off after his role in the chart-topping movie TOP GUN: MAVERICK. Powell said that family is what grounded him during his journey in Hollywood.
“This journey has not been filled with a lot of successes and only now is it starting to trend that way, which has been really fun, but your family keeps you grounded,” he said. “Your family, in good times, bad times, they’re there for you. My family keeps me grounded and devoted.”
Majors, who plays the role as Jesse Brown, said that it was important to tell the truth of the soldiers’ real life.
“When you play someone who’s walked and talked and lived and loved in the world and it’s made an impact in the world… that’s all you have to do is tell the truth,” he told Movieguide®. “As we all know, telling the truth is quite difficult. It takes time, it takes patience, so this is the handshake for Jesse and Tom.
“We’ve not seen this story before and so the amount of attention, it’s necessary to not just get it right but get it truthful and put it in an orbit where everybody can relate and touch it and feel it,” Majors continued.
Director J.D. Dillard added: “You want to make sure that you honor the real legacy of the folks that you’re telling the story about and at the same time you’re trying to make a movie. Those two things, they don’t always agree.”
Also dedicated to telling a truthful story was author, Adam Makos, who wrote the book the movie is based on.
“I always believe in going to the places where history was made,” he told Movieguide®. “For DEVOTION, I started out where the two main characters were from. Hattiesburg Mississippi where Jesse Brown came from, I had to see what it’s like to grow up as a sharecropper, what’s it like to be in circumstances that tough. Then I went to where Tom was from the country clubs of Rhode Island. I got to see the life he came from and then eventually went to North Korea for this story. That’s where the story was set, that’s where the battlefield was and to really understand the Korean War I don’t think you can write about it from your desk in the safety of America so Tom and I flew across the world, he was 88 years old, and we went to North Korea and we came out alive.”
“There’s this incredible common thread and it’s selflessness,” he continued. “It’s so amazing when you look at it from today’s perspective because so many of us are just concerned about where’s my career going and how do I look and how many likes did I get, these guys wanted to fly to protect America. They wanted to defend us from some really bad actors in the world.
“Jesse Brown, he didn’t try to become the first black airline pilot. He could have. He could have been a pioneer in a lot of different places. He said, I want to be a Navy carrier pilot. I want to fly into danger to protect the people of this country and the amazing thing is the
the country at the time didn’t quite love him back,” Makos explained. “Some people did but a lot of the country didn’t believe in Jesse Brown. He never lost sight of what he believed in; he believed in America.”
A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads:
DEVOTION tells the true story of Jesse Brown, the first African American Navy fighter pilot, who fought in the Korean War. Transferred to a new base, Jesse meets Lieutenant Tom Hudner, a white fighter pilot who’ll be his partner. All his adult life, Jesse has heard he isn’t going to make it as an aviator, because of his skin color. Jesse perseveres in the midst of adversity to become an incredibly talented aviator. When he and Tom start fighting in the Korean War, the jeopardy skyrockets. Will Jesse make it back safely to his family?
DEVOTION is a powerful story with lots of suspense and jeopardy. It has a strong Christian, moral worldview with strong patriotic content. The two fighter pilots support each other, are committed to their families, sacrifice for others, and always want to do the right thing. The movie’s overt Christian content includes prayer and a Christian character wearing a cross. It could have used more Christian content, however, since the true story is about two men of great faith. DEVOTION has too much cursing. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
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