Most directors do their best to prevent actors punching each other. But during last year’s U.K. shoot for the World War II tank movie Fury, filmmaker David Ayer had his five principals—Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña—start the day by engaging in fisticuffs.
“We put them through martial arts training and physical combat classes,” says Ayer, whose film is released Oct. 17. “It’s a great ice breaker for actors. There’s something very honest about being punched in the face.”
So who was the best fighter out of the quintet? “Jon Bernthal,” Logan says without hesitation. “Jon is actually the most experienced. He was really a boxer for many years—still is. I mean, that guy would go at it to the point where he’d have blood running down his face. Him and Michael Peña went at it pretty hard. He’ll kick any of our asses in a fight, but he was very nice to all of us.”
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