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Ryan Phillippe Says the 'Risks & Chances' Journalists Like the Late Tim Hetherington Take Are 'Unbelievable'

Fri, April 22, 2011 9:27am EDT by Add first Comment
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Ryan’s film The Bang Bang Club provides new insight into the peril photojournalists put themselves in every day.

Ryan Phillippe‘s latest role — as South African journalist and apartheid-era chronicler Greg Marinovich — is both timely and tragic, given the April 20 death of renowned British journo Tim Hetherington in Libya. He told exactly what the experience of filming The Bang Bang Club revealed to him about what it takes to be that kind of combat-exposed journalist.

“Its really unbelievable. I think it just shows you the risk and chances these people take to tell the stories that need to be told,” Ryan told us at the Tribeca Film Festival and Cinema Society premiere of his film. “There are so many other people that are losing their lives in Libya and you can’t weigh one against the other and say this is more important. I think it happens to journalists, renowned journalists, but every day civilians are dying in Libya. The whole thing is a mess.”

Phillippe, who described the experience of shooting Bang Bang as emotionally draining, plays Pulitzer Prize-winning South African journo Marinovich, who shot many of the most incendiary and infamous images of political corruption and violence during the apartheid era.

— Chloe Melas