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Hollywood star Austin Butler helps play Spin to Win


Hollywood star Austin Butler helps play Spin to Win

The stars were shining on today’s This Morning…

Dermot O’Leary and Sian Welby were joined on the ITV show by a star-studded lineup as Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Kevin Hart swapped Hollywood for the studio.

After Austin surprised callers by helping Dermot and Sian with a game of Spin to Win, he and Callum discussed the new Apple TV+ drama ‘Masters Of The Air‘ – inspired by the 100th bomb group in World War II.

Callum explained: “It’s about the people who saved the world. These guys really changed the direction of the war and without them, we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing now. To honour them, play them, and tell their stories – it’s a beautiful thing.” 

When asked about meeting American actor Dale Dye, Austin replied: “I was quite starstruck by him. Captain Dale Dye, he led the bootcamps for Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Band of Brothers.” 

Callum added: “He was the guy that Tropic Thunder is based on. So that kind of gives you an idea of what we did for our training.”

On speaking about the responsibility of actors to play these stories right, Callum explained: “These guys, what they did, was for us. There is always a level of responsibility when you’re taking on a real person. You have got to honour their legacy. I am so grateful to them for what they did…. “My grandad was in the war. He was sixteen years old when he came home and he gave my grandma a piece of paper to sign and said it was for a school trip but it was to join the army. He went up when he was sixteen”

Discussing new technology to recreate scenes during filming, Austin explained: “In the past you might have done this with just green screen but we had this technology with high-definition screens in a horseshoe shape and we’re in a gimbal that’s 50 feet in the air, so you’re suspended and you’re able to see fighter pilots and flack in the air. It’s kind of incredible.” 

Callum joked: “We were up there for like seven hours at a time and we would joke we had jet lag!” 

Callum also added: “But that was matched with the old school way of doing things so they built the barracks, they built the officers mess, I think they built like 81 buildings and the place was so big, they had to give us a map and they said, ‘This is where that is and this is where this is’ and then we had the runway which was just gigantic. Steven Speilberg said this was the biggest production he’s ever worked on.”  

Discussing the responsibility of telling a story like this, Austin said: “To be in your mid-twenties and to be leading a squadron, some of those guys were 16 you know. They were so young and the bravery, it was the most treacherous conditions you could imagine.”

Callum agreed: “They had a seventy-seven percent… You’d either be shot down or end up in a POW. Twenty-three percent survival rate every time you went out so the bravery what these guys had and what they were able to do against the adversity they were facing, it’s truly astonishing.”  

Discussing how much time they were able to spend with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg during filming, Austin said: “This has been such a huge part of their life and it was so special on camp when Tom came and gave a rousing speech for all the guys there. It’s the best team in the business.”  

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart, and British star Gugu Mbatha-Raw also joined Dermot and Sian to catch-up about their new action-packed Netflix movie ‘Lift’. 

Discussing celebrations the night before, Kevin revealed: “It wasn’t a crazy night, I just drank some stupid stuff. I drank a whole bottle of tequila. Vintage tequila! I’m not at a party atmosphere, I’m not in the nightclub – just at a dinner, we decided to drink it. It was smooth there but I’m paying for it today. But it’s okay, look how I pop up for you guys. I’m here, I’m ready!”

Coming to the rescue, Phil Vickery brought over a hangover cure of Bloody Mary cocktails and hash browns from the kitchen and Kevin said: “This is called a welcome package!” 

Moving away from playing comedy roles, Kevin said:  “The thought of actually getting to the space and place to play an action at this level, it’s always been a want, but it’s just something that you have to be patient about. You can’t just throw yourself into it and expect your audience to understand or to gravitate towards it and I think my trajectory towards this point has kind of been mapped out. 

“You know, when you look at the other side, when you look at ‘Upside’, ‘Fatherhood’ and you look at ‘True Story’ – these are more serious roles, where I kind of stepped away from the comedy a little bit so now, getting to the point where ‘Lift’ and not that it’s a serious, serious movie, but my character is more of a straightforward leading man.” 

He continued: “I’m not responsible for the jokes at all. That’s now given to the other cast members  and you know, that’s the direction that I’m now in and leaning more towards at this point in my career, just trying to find success there.” 

Gugu also said: “As you grow in your career, and I know Kevin you’re all about stretching yourself as well, but for me it’s about you know, using different skills, working with different artists, trying different genres, trying to expand your skill set. I think on this movie, as I say it’s light hearted, there are a few laughs in there, but you know, I’m still a straight woman, I don’t have to kind of carry the humour but it’s nice because I think when you work with people with different skill sets, you grow as well and this ensemble is really impressive.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV1, STV, STV Player and ITVX

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