The world was shaken to its core when the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, took place at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Following the deadly moment, President George W. Bush declared war on Afghanistan. 12 Strong chronicles the direct aftermath of that executive order, and the courage it took for U.S. soldiers to combat the Taliban.
Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, the film is inspired by the book, “12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of The Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton, which details the journey of how 12 U.S. soldiers battled Al-Qaeda and the Taliban on horses.
In the film, the group is led by Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth). His co-star Trevante Rhodes (Ben Milo) plays a pivotal role in the film highlighting the most humanizing aspects of war, like bonding with an Afghan boy while still in the thick of turmoil.
In hindsight playing Milo has allowed Rhodes to learn another point of view on war and army life in general. In doing so, his acting talents are shining brighter. “I think that just being honest in whatever you’re doing that’s distinct from everything that you have done – you’ll grow within the understanding of what that perspective is,” he tells VIBE of what he’s learned from this role since starring in Moonlight. “In this one, it was super unique because obviously, we were alive during this time. I have my perspective, and the one that was written for me to have.”
Rhodes also discussed how his perspective on the military has centered around respect. Watch the full interview below.