In “War Dogs,” Miles Teller has a tough job to do: Avoid cracking up every time Jonah Hill opens his mouth. Based on a crazy true story, the film finds the actor, 29, playing David Packouz, a young man who teamed up with a disreputable childhood friend, Hill’s Efraim Diveroli, to become low-rent arms dealers during the Iraq War. They had no experience, yet they found themselves peddling cheap goods to the U.S. army, making a fortune before their shadier dealings drew the attention of the feds.
Playing David, you have to walk a line between doing horrible stuff and still being likeable.
As an actor you have to find a way to justify what they did. But for me, I didn’t think it was a greed thing. It came down to money, which is something he did not have. It came down to being able to provide for his wife and kid.
And in real life, they didn’t do a lot of the crazier, globe-trotting stuff you two do in the movie.
In real life, those guys did a lot of the stuff behind the guise of a laptop. Whereas because we’re making a movie, we want it to be more entertaining. So you’re driving through the “Triangle of Death” [aka the deadliest part of Iraq during the war]. You’re gun-running. For the real guys, they felt safer doing it behind a computer.
If they’re just working on a computer it’s easier to ignore that they’re profiting off the war.
It could have been anything for these guys. It could have been calculators, if they were getting a good profit margin off it. They just felt they would get the biggest profit with weapons. There was a war going on — a war that’s still on-going — so it does add a certain gravity to the material than if they were dealing calculators. But that wouldn’t be as interesting. [Pause] I say, that and cut to a year from now and I’m doing a movie about selling calculators. I’ll be like, “It’s actually a really interesting world, man!” [Laughs]
You’d be surprised at how dangerous the world of calculators is.
Hey, there’s shady stuff going on everywhere.
That can be your next movie with Jonah Hill.
“Something Doesn’t Add Up: The Calculator Movie.”