Video Interview: Real-life heroes at center of ’12 STRONG’ speak to film’s authenticity


Preston Barta // Features Editor

As I wrote in my review over at the Denton Record-Chronicle, 12 STRONG is a surprisingly profound modern war drama. It follows the true story of the Special Forces operatives that stepped up during an intense time of terror, the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Chris Hemsworth portrays Captain Mitch Nelson, while Michael Shannon is Hal Spencer. Both soldiers’ names were changed for the screen, but we sat down with the two real-life heroes that Hemsworth and Shannon play: Mark Nutsch and Bob Pennington.

Check out our video interview below:

12 STRONG is now playing in theaters.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.