Michelle Monaghan played a mother enlisted in the army in the indie movie Fort Bliss, and the actress hopes Hollywood took notice of the role.
The 38-year-old actress, a wife and mother herself, said she believes that Hollywood has often tackled movies about veterans but rarely featured women.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Michelle Monaghan said there are plenty of stories to tell about the women serving on active duty.
“I certainly know that stories about female vets are nearly absent from our culture,” Monaghan said. “Yet over 200,000 women serve on active duty — they’re on the front lines and women are dying. Over 40 percent of them are moms. And so, what Fort Bliss focuses on is a mother’s passion to serve her job — a woman who loves her career who’s really, really good at it and has a strong sense of duty to her country but yet is also a devoted mother.”
Monaghan added that there are some additional challenges that female active duty members face, noting:
Society says, “Well if a woman decides to leave home and leave her child, she’s a bad mother. But if a man decides to serve his country or leave home then he’s honorable and he’s doing a good thing because he’s providing for his family.” And that’s the double standard that I think permeates all of society — not just the military. That’s something that I think has to change.
To prepare for the role, Monaghan took a medic course and met with a number of female veterans, saying she came out with a greater appreciate for the job they do.
“I appreciate what these women are doing and I think this sheds some light on the sacrifices they’re making, taking time away from their families to serve our country and to do something they’re so very passionate about,” Monaghan said. “But also the cost of war at home.”
Michelle Monaghan has now moved on to a new role, starring in the Nicholas Sparks-inspired The Best of Me, playing a woman reunited with her high school sweetheart after being apart for 21 years. But she said the cause of female veterans is still close to her and she hopes to see more movies like Fort Bliss in the future.
[Image via Phase 4 Films]