Amazon Studios and Lionsgate hosted an early press screening of their latest release, “Last Flag Flying,” premiering in select theaters through Los Angeles and New York this weekend. The film stars Laurence Fishburne, (Mueller) Bryan Cranston (Sal) and Steve Carrell (Doc) in performances that are striking and eerily familiar. These three Vietnam vets are brought back together after thirty years apart; living as civilians but never being able to divorce themselves of their haunting pasts. Joining these three powerhouses is newcomer, J. Quinton Johnson, who portrays an enlisted soldier (Washington) who is still enthralled in the Iraq war. Quinton is also starring in Broadway hit “Hamilton.”
With the conversation of war, the LA sentinel sat with Quinton to share his reasons why “Last Flag Flying” is such a poignant and must see film for 2017.
Los Angeles Sentinel: How would you describe the film in your own words?
J. Quintin: A closer look at loss off of the battlefield and a closer look at the effects of war back here in the states.
LAS: What’s your experience with having relatives or friends in the armed services?
JQ: I don’t have any relatives that have served but I saw a lot of guys I didn’t know personally, going into armed forces, getting out of high school. I was in 1st grade when 9/11 happened, so I watched the “big kids” go off to war.
LAS: Why should your generation see this film?
JQ: They need to see the film because this story is important and the story of loss is important. It’s so easy, especially in my generation, to demonize war, to be anti-war, to question the reason and the purpose – because we don’t ever get to see this side of it. While we’re out here saying “no war”, people out here are really going through some […] and your small views on what war might be might not help them. It’s good for more perspective for any generation, but especially those people who haven’t been exposed to war before.
LAS: What did you learn working on the set with three acting giants?
JQ: That the work isn’t different. The work is the work. We did “Everybody Wants Some” and it was very much the same work as this movie. Even with the young guys in a more lighthearted movie and then working with these guys on what could feel like a drama at times – the work was the same. That’s good to know!
LAS: What’s next for you?
JQ: “Hamilton,” currently playing Hercules Mulligan and President James Madison. I’m also working on a new show in which I’m directing, music directing, music arranging and starring in (not by choice; everybody in NYC is busy). It’s called “Steadfast Tin Soldier”, based on the Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the same name. In addition to these upcoming projects, I’m continuing to audition for TV and Film.