Leaping into action films isn’t an easy task, yet most of the Red Dawn cast makes it look that way. It takes a lot of strength and stamina to keep up, but it can be done. One of the film’s leading men, Josh Peck, spoke with ScreenCrave about getting in action hero shape, and Red Dawn’s bumpy road to theaters.

What was it like working in such an action-heavy environment?

Josh Peck: It really brought us all together. We were in the same circumstances where we were forced to kind of throw out any kind of vanity or idea of comfort out the window. [And] Just band together and realize that this was a daunting experience for all of us. The only way it was going to work was if we just abandon ourselves to the roles and really dug in.

You’re also dealing with a director whose background deals heavily in stunt work. Was he cool and supportive or did he tell you to stop whining and get back in there?

Josh Peck: He definitely didn’t coddle us in any way. I mean sometimes we would have apprehensions about things and I could tell there was a part of him that wanted to say “Suck it up.” It was sort of comforting in a lot of ways knowing we were with people who had operated at such a pedigree, such a high level for what they did. We had the best stunt team, coordinators and our director was always going to capture what was happening. I think sometimes it’s disappointing where you do something that’s really tough, then it doesn’t look as cool as you knew it was in real life because they weren’t fully able to capture it. But we knew that with Dan [Bradley] it was going to look as cool or cooler from his perspective. In a lot of ways that was freeing.

In regards to the reboot, what do you hope people get out of this particular version? 

Josh Peck: I hope that people are just able to abandon their preconceived ideas of what this movie is and can go in with an open mind. In many ways, it pays homage to the original and there are those touchstone moments that happen in the original that we have now that are a bit re-imagined but still stay true. So, I hope the true fans feel satisfied in that respect. And for the people that are new to the movie, I hope they can just enjoy it for the big action blockbuster that it is.

In the movie,  your onscreen brother is played by Chris Hemsworth. Granted it was awhile ago, but what was it like working with him?

Josh Peck: The idea of sharing any genetic code with Chris Hemsworth is an honor cause the man is dreamy. To be even thought of anywhere in his family tree, even if I was a second cousin three times removed, would’ve been an honor. That I get to be his brother… What I love about Chris is that he’s just a real dude. I’ve known some guys like that that have obtained a lot of success and had great looks, all of these things and just weren’t half the man that Chris is. So the fact that he’s been able to stay so true to who he is… and then he had all of this success and was still humble… I’m proud to call him my friend so it’s really nice.

This is your breakthrough into action movies. Were there any lessons that you learned during the process?

Josh Peck: It was nerve-wracking and the film was a marathon. It was four months of shooting and three months of training. I had never been faced with that experience before so I had to really learn how to sustain my energy, to stay in it and not sabotage yourself. With every new experience professionally I think there’s so much to take away from it, whether it’s working with new actors or learning from them. There’s such a wealth of information with every new experience like this. I try to take in as much as I could but yeah, I took away a lot.

Thank you for talking about this in general because its been a while since you guys shot the movie.

Josh Peck: Yeah. I mean listen, we’re just in the efforts business and whatever the result is… there’s just a lot of anticipation and it’s a long period of time between when you shoot something and when it inevitably comes out anyways. Usually it’s a year at least, maybe two, but three years it was like… It was something we were proud of and also for people that were involved like Dan the director, who lived with this for two years of pre-production, that’s huge. He first and foremost deserves for this movie to come out.

Red Dawn is playing theaters everywhere now.

Will you be seeing Red Dawn this weekend?