Midway finds Nick Jonas in role of Bruno Gaido of the American Fleet during World War II
Having been decimated by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor only six months earlier, the US Navy was desperately outmanned and outgunned heading into the Battle of Midway. But it held on to its one great advantage — its intelligence operations and collective grit, were strongly underestimated. Midway takes audiences deep inside the complex decision-making of the United States’ tactical command — and then straps them inside a bomber cockpit to experience a visceral on-screen telling of one of the greatest battles in US warfare history.
The film centers on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and Imperial Japanese Navy, which marked a turning point in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, it tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to overcome the odds. It’s a real-life story of brotherhood and camaraderie, and the determination and sacrifice of real-life military heroes, to secure an American victory.
Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers) plays Bruno Gaido, a Naval radioman, who is extremely brave, and very confident about it. He catches the attention of Admiral Halsey through an act of astonishing courage on a carrier, prompting Halsey to promote him immediately. During the Battle of Midway, Gaido is forced to bail from his plane and winds up on the deck of a Japanese destroyer.
Excerpts from a chat with the 27-year-old musician/actor:
Why did you choose to do this film?
I have an affinity for stories where there’s brotherhood and camaraderie at the centre of them. Maybe that’s because I am close to my brothers and understand that dynamic in that relationship, but also because this is just a story that needs to be told. I have learned a lot about it, having read the script and just diving in more on the ground on the sets. I’ve been trying to be a sponge, learn as much as possible and give honour and respect to the veterans and our military men and women.
Tell us your understanding of your character, Bruno Gaido?
One of the things that I read — I thought had to be Hollywood or made to be perhaps more than it was — was actually the part that I got to do, which was Bruno’s big reveal as a very brave individual. And from all that I have heard, it’s true, which is amazing. I am referring to him getting in the SPD and shooting one of the planes down that was meant to attack the ship. His bravery in that moment and his out-of-the-box thinking in a moment of real necessity was key and he jumped up and did what he had to do. Apparently it’s true, but I also feel it’s going to make for a really exciting moment on screen as well.
Did you have any tough scenes that you had to shoot during the course of the film?
When you are filming a scene as intense (where it is Bruno’s big moment where he gets in the back of the plane and shoots down another plane that’s coming in to attack) there are two things I am thinking about as an actor — I don’t want to mess this up because you only get so many takes. When it’s such an important moment to set up mistakes for the character of the story, you want to get it right. With the wet floor and seamlessly jumping to the back of the plane and grabbing your machine gun out of the back — there’s a lot of moving parts. But what I have learned is that slow is fast, and fast is slow. So, I take my time in those moments, and know that as long as it looks smooth, it’s alright. The other big aspect is that because it’s one of those moments that can feel larger than life, and perhaps like it was made to be more for the screen than what really happened, I try to keep it as real and as intense as possible. I live in that moment. I do that throughout the whole day — staying in that frame of mind and letting those mistakes sit with me because we want to bring the audience all of the feelings and all of the emotions, a heightened sense of reality in those moments.
Tell us your thoughts about the director Roland Emmerich
Roland is incredible at seeing the big picture before it’s a big picture, and finding a way to have these moments that feel larger than life. But then suddenly, he makes it feel very personal. As a filmmaker that’s something I always look for when I am looking at different projects and things I want to work on. Working with someone like him has been a dream of mine, and doing this film with Roland is kind of a dream come true.
What can audiences look forward to in Midway?
Authenticity is key to this entire film. I am seeing that everywhere I look — the clothes are a prime example of that. This is exactly what they would have been wearing, exactly how they would have been wearing it. It’s incredible to see the level of detail that’s gone into all of it. When you walk around the sets, you realise that it takes up almost two whole studios — and its just a portion of what the actual ship would be.
— Team Indulge