Michelle Monaghan “Fort Bliss”

Michelle Monaghan “Fort Bliss”

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

“I felt very compelled in terms of being a working mother myself,” Michelle Monaghan told Hollywood on the Potomac at the  screening of “Fort Bliss” at The Women in Military Service Building at Arlington National Cemetery.  “The grass is always greener – damned if you do, dammed if you don’t.”  She was, of course, referring to the struggle between motherhood and career, a prevalent conflict in the movie.


Michelle Monaghan

“Fort Bliss,” which stars Monaghan, is about a decorated US Army medic and single mother who struggles to rebuild her relationship with her young son after returning home from an extended tour in Afghanistan.

Michelle’s take on the duel roles:  Interviewed at the G.I Film Festival

We also sat down with director Claudia Meyers who discussed the role of, the respect for, and the complexity of war.  “I think there’s a sense that the men and women that came back from Vietnam were treated terribly,” she said,  “and I think there’s an embarrassment about that in terms of the political disagreement about the war that bled over to the veterans that were returning; and I think that also there was a lack of discussion.

I’ve interviewed veterans of the Vietnam war – women in particular – and there was a consensus that they didn’t want to discuss their experiences. I think that was part of the political climate as well as the psychological climate. I think now the army to its credit, and the military more broadly, are really making an effort to try and find ways to build resiliency, but that’s not always easy.”


Claudia Meyers and Michelle Monaghan

Meyers was drawn to the project first and foremost because she is a mom.  “I became interested in the stories from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said.  “I was just impressed with some of the people I met and their strength.  They didn’t want pity, they wanted respect and they wanted to share their stories.  They were brave, they were smart, they had lived through incredible experiences and I was totally drawn to some of the people I met.”

The end of the film is so interesting (we’re not giving it away).  “I wrestled with the ending very much like the character wrestles with the decision.  I knew I was onto something good when I couldn’t figure out what I wanted the ending to be because I felt so conflicted and I think that is one of the best things about writing this story creatively.  I created a problem that had no good answers,” she concluded.

Director Claudia Meyers:

  In her absence (Maggie) the boy has attached to his father and his new girlfriend played by Emmanuelle Chriqui.


Emmanuelle Chriqui, Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, USAF, Ret. and Michelle Monaghan

Emmanuelle who plays Alma, ‘plays’ off of Maggie, played by Michelle Monaghan:

Gbenga Akinnagbe was born in Washington, DC


Gbenga Akinnagbe plays St. Butcher

“I was amazed to be reminded how young they are.  They’re kids. …. pimples on their faces, braces….”

Pablo Tell Schreibe is a Canadian-born American actor.  His American father, Tell Schreiber, was an actor, as is his half-brother Liev.


Pablo Schreiber plays Staff Sergeant Donovan

“I think what it does best is it doesn’t pull any punches”

The Official Trailer: “Fort Bliss” opens in theaters today, Sept. 19th