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Local Veterans, Martial Arts Performer Play Mercenaries In Batman Movie

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — During the filming of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Pittsburgh last year, a call went out for military veterans and martial arts specialists.

They were needed to play the roles of villain Bane’s elite corps of mercenaries.

Filming took place on very hot days in Oakland, and in Heinz Field.

“Ninety degree weather, 90 degree humidity,” says Navy veteran Ryan Stolar. “You’re sweating like crazy. But it’s such a rush doing it, you really don’t think about all that.”

Army vet Richard Dudzik says his military training helped.

“Working with the weaponry and the martial arts and hand-to-hand combat puts us in the mindset to know exactly what time to work and what time to play,” said Dudzik.

Martial arts performer Matt Friday says they also know how to pull their punches.

“In my martial arts training, we were trained very well at self-control,” Friday said. “You know, to come practically close to hitting someone without actually hitting them.”

However, Army veteran Mike Vanno admits it didn’t always work out that way.

“But there are some times that people did get punched and bled and all that fun stuff,” he said. “It’s just inevitable, it’s going to happen.”

The “mercenaries” from Pittsburgh did so well that New York casting directors invited them to take part in the penultimate battle on Wall Street.

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