Plus, Ben Affleck reveals how real special forces personnel whipped the cast into shape
Ten seconds into the Triple Frontier trailer and it’s impossible to look away: not only is the cast stacked with the biggest heartthrobs in Hollywood, but the high-energy plot of the film is equally as heart-racing as seeing Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal and Garrett Hedlund in army fatigues.
At a recent press junket for Netflix’s new action film — which drops on the streaming service March 13 — PEOPLE asked the stars exactly how they felt about the Internet crowning them as “The Sexiest Cast Alive.”
“It feels truthful,” Isaac quipped leading to an uproar of laughter from his co-stars.
Directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost, A Most Violent Year), the movie also features a breakthrough performance from actress Adria Arjona who becomes a key player in the narrative.
The action follows a group of five retired Special Forces operatives who reunite to pull off a heist on a South American drug lord. What starts out as a moralistically righteous mission for a group of men who put their lives on the line for their country and never received proper compensation, leads to a greed-fueled sequence of events pushing the band of brothers in a fight for survival.
To prepare physically and mentally, the male leads worked with real life Special Forces. Affleck told PEOPLE it was a humbling experience.
“They trained us and took us out to these firing ranges and put us through these exercises and then stayed with us as technical advisors on the film,” Affleck shared. “Interestingly it wasn’t so much about, ‘You’re gonna do this many push-ups and run this many miles and hike with a pack,’ as much as it was about trying to be to simulate the degree of excellence these people have in their chosen field which was being warriors.
“It was a little bit like walking onto a basketball floor with LeBron James, and him saying, ‘You’ll look like me in two weeks!’ So we tried our best but I think all acutely aware of how much we fell short. And how extraordinary they are.”
Hunnam recalled firing practice on set, praising the trust the soldiers put in the whole cast while filming.
“They put us all out on the first day of weapons training, out together, and I had no experience with firearms. They gave us live fire drills to do, which immediately created that sense of our lives and health being in each other’s hands, which of course, is the fundamental nature of what it is to be part of a military unit,” he shared.
For Arjona, playing the movie’s female lead who’s trying to rescue her brother from the South American cartel scene, was very empowering.
“I loved her bravery and her strength, and her toughness,” she said. “I read a lot of women’s parts and they’re not always portrayed that way. I love the fact that Yovanna is strong and independent and she was willing to risk anything for the safety of her brother.”
Triple Frontier premieres on Netflix March 13.