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by Nigel M Smith
December 5, 2013 10:28 AM
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Emile Hirsch Dishes on John Belushi Biopic at 'Lone Survivor' Awards Lunch

Emile Hirsch at awards lunch for "Lone Survivor."

The same day it was named as one of the National Board of Review's top 10 films of the year, "Lone Survivor" was celebrated with a luncheon yesterday in New York, hosted by Universal Pictures. Emile Hirsch, one the film's ensemble players, learned of the good news via his co-star in the film, Mark Wahlberg.

"This means so, so much," Hirsch told Indiewire, clearly moved by the honor. "More than any film out there, this is about something that's going on now. It's relevant, it's in the news."

Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of the same name, Peter Berg's powerful film follows four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Hirsch plays one of the real-life SEAL members, alongside Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster, all of whom were in attendance, along with Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir.

"Lone Survivor" Universal

Despite the solemn nature of the film, Hirsch was in great spirits, no doubt bolstered by the NBR mention. In between showing photos of his 1-month old son Valor (he wrestled between Valor and Valour but went with the former to avoid sounding "pretentious") and catching up with his castmates, Hirsch was excited to dish on his upcoming (and as of now untitled) John Belushi biopic in which he plays the beloved comic superstar.

Asked if he's nervous about embodying the icon, Hirsch said "no," despite not getting Jim Belushi's blessing. Jim told TMZ that while he thinks Hirsch is a "terrific actor," his own son would be better in the part. Hirsch admitted to being a little irked by that response but stressed that film, which chronicles the early life of the comic, also plays to those not familiar with the late Belushi. Also worth noting: Hirsch confirmed that recreated "Animal House" scenes will factor into the film.

"Lone Survivor" opens in select theaters on Christmas Day and goes wide Jan. 10.

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