Hollywood just went to boot camp — surface Navy-style.
The task of getting the cast of the forthcoming movie Battleship to look and speak Navy fell to the retired Navy captain who served as the film’s technical adviser. It was no easy task.
“Is that your war face? What kind of a face is that!” retired Capt. Rick Hoffman, who in real-life commanded frigate DeWert and cruiser Hue City, shouts at one actor in jest during a movie trailer released April 3. “Wipe that smile off your face, sailor!”
This is all part of what he called “Capt. Rick’s boot camp.” In the film, all that stands between the alien horde and human annihilation is, yes, the Navy’s gray warships. So making the actors believable surface warriors was of the utmost importance. To get them ready, Hoffman ran a sort of SWO-101. Key the radiotelephone before speaking! Get standard commands right! “Don’t fall off the boat!”
Yet despite the tough love, Hoffman was a cast favorite.
“Rick was wonderful and he loves sharing this information,” said star Liam Neeson, who plays Admiral Shane in the film.
And for his work, Hoffman got a bit of a promotion: a cameo as the fictionalized four-star chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The film opens May 18 in the U.S.