“I drove crazy in Atlanta. I rented the same car that Emory drove, and I drove with one hand like Emory drives,” Haze says of the man who inspired his character, Michael Adam Emory, in Jason Hall’s new veteran drama, Thank You for Your Service.
Haze plays a soldier who gets shot in the head in Iraq, and to prepare for the role, he gave up walking during his time filming in Atlanta. Similarly, to researching his character, Emory, Haze traveled with real-life Emory to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “They didn’t know that I was bringing the same guy whose rehabilitation funding they cut off,” Haze says. “They were shocked. After that experience, Emory got his rehabilitation funding started again.”
Generating goodwill comes natural to Haze lately, with a string of movies that have a capital-M Message, like Only the Brave, about a crew of firemen battling a deadly wildfire in Arizona.
“After [TYFYS] and Only the Brave and Mully… it’s harder for me to get excited about things that don’t really have a purpose,” he says.
For the documentary Mully, in theaters this month, Haze stepped behind the camera. Executive producer and Atlanta businessman John Bardis introduced Haze to the story of Kenyan business tycoon Charles Mully, founder of Mully Children’s Family and surrogate father to more than 12,000 kids in Africa. Haze screened Mully at the 2016 Atlanta Film Festival and describes the city as having some of his favorite, craziest moments.
“I love Atlanta,” Haze says. “When I think about [my time in] Atlanta, I think about how I’m on a mission to do something that can hopefully change the world.”
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