Navy SEAL comes to defense of Oscar-nominated 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Mitchell Hall was advisor for movie

SAN DIEGO - A Navy SEAL who played two roles in the controversial and Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty" is defending the film's content.

Oscars Special Section

Director Kathryn Bigelow helped bring the historic manhunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to the silver screen. Navy SEAL Mitchell Hall was a technical advisor on the film, and he worked closely with Bigelow on the assault scene of the last 30 minutes of the movie.

"It's an incredible story; one of the biggest moment we'll ever see in our lifetime," Hall said.

"I went from no entertainment background to sitting over an Academy Award-winning director's shoulder for four to five straight weeks," added Hall. "We would watch a scene and look at each other and say, 'Is it good? What can we make better, what can we do to improve that?' Sometimes it was good and sometimes we would re-shoot."

To his surprise, Hall ended up with a speaking role in the film.

"I was in the scene where there is a crowd gathering outside the compound and I had to get on the radio and tell the bosses, 'Hey, look it's getting nasty out here.'"

The depiction of torture in the film has some Hollywood stars actively campaigning against the Oscar contender.

"One of the controversial moments of the movie was the torture scene and if it did or didn't lead to the capture of bin Laden. Kathryn went back and forth on if she should include it, but it happened, it's part of the story whether you like it or not," said Hall.

"Zero Dark Thirty" is up for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain) and Best Original Screenplay.

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