Actor John Krasinski, who plays security contractor Jack Da Silva in the drama 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, criticized both Democrats and Republicans for politicizing the film.
In an interview with The Daily Beast at the Sundance Film Festival, Krasinksi called out both Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio by name, but also accused both sides of using the Michael Bay film to score “political points” against one another.
“I don’t care if you’re Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton herself,” said Krasinski, “all of them can safely say that if the movie succeeds in portraying these guys as heroes, then that’s an important thing that we should all acknowledge.”
During the Jan. 14 Republican debate in Charleston, South Carolina, Cruz invoked the film, when he said, “Tomorrow morning a new movie will debut about the incredible bravery of the men fighting for their lives in Benghazi and the politicians that abandoned them.”
Rubio has also cited the movie on the campaign trail.
“She is disqualified from being president,” Rubio said of Hillary. “You want to know why? Just watch 13 Hours.”
Krasinski said he is not surprised that the movie has created controversy.
“Now here comes my political spin on it: even Ted Cruz, for him not to say it acknowledges our heroes but to make it about that night and connecting it to Hillary, you’re allowed to do that, just say how heroic these guys are first,” he said.
“Give them their due,” Krasinski added. “And then say, ‘And now I’m going to talk to you about how it relates to Hillary Clinton.’ But for the most part, that’s not what’s happened.”
“I think it’s a shame that a movie like this would be used so much as a political football,” he said. “Now, I’d be naive to say that people weren’t going to take this politically. If that was your agenda, and you wanted to see this movie politically through your own lens, you were going to do that whether we want you to or not. And that’s your right.” Krasinski added:
What I don’t think is fair, and what I think is a shame — and actually I’ll go so far as to say a total dishonor — is to not at least acknowledge what this story is: acknowledging these six guys. These six guys need that acknowledgement, and they represent the men and women who serve all around the world. So by just taking this as a political football or ‘this movie is a total propaganda piece,’ you are robbing people of the ability to see what these men and women are actually going through.
“The truth is, we should all be proud of these guys, and the moment you politicize it, the more you’re moving us toward a world that I don’t want to be living in; a world where people want to score political points at all costs,” he said.
Krasinski concluded: “On either side, this is what I hope people learn: In moments like this, when we’re talking about the military, don’t score points. We should all be on the same page.”
Read John Krasinski’s full interview with The Daily Beast here.
Krasinski’s wife, British actress Emily Blunt, caused waves last year when she mocked Republicans in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. When asked about the current crop of presidential candidates, she said, “I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, ‘This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?’” Blunt later apologized for her disparaging remarks, which may have contributed to the poor box office showing of her recent film Sicario.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the story of the U.S. special forces heroes who were forced to stand down by bureaucratic red tape during the Sep. 11, 2012 terror attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The film is in theaters now. Watch a trailer below: