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Posted on Jul 11, 2008 in Books and Movies

Generation Kill – The HBO Miniseries; an Interview with Evan Wright and Eric Kocher

Gerald D. Swick

(ACG/HN): Generation Kill is a grunt’s-eye view in which higher command often doesn’t come off well, especially in the miniseries. Yet your book won an award from the Marine Corps. Have you caught any flak for your depiction of the upper echelons and the logistic screw-ups described in your book?

Wright: I wish I had another 50,000 words in the book, let alone the miniseries. Yeah, I wrote about the bad officers and the things that were less than stellar, but I was always impressed by the way the whole thing functioned.

I’ve had a lot of office jobs; a lot of people worked above me who were incompetent. Why should the military be any different? No institution is perfect. With my depiction of bad officers, I also included in the book Alpha Company, which always shadowed us, because it had a really great officer, Captain Bryan Patterson. I wanted people to understand that, yes, we had some incompetents, but we also had these really great officers.


(ACG/HN): How did you feel watching yourself being portrayed by an actor?

Kocher: The guy (Owain Yeoman) was more nervous when he met me. I spent a day with him. He did a phenomenal job. I let him use the dive watch I’d had for five combat tours, as a prop. He did so well I gave it to him. He has a heavy Welch accent but you’d never know that because he was meticulous about portraying me accurately.

Wright: I loved the actor (Lee Tergesen). He was great, but it makes me really uncomfortable because good reporting depends on anonymity. My reporting is so the opposite of television reporting, which is about the reporter—here’s so-and-so reporting on Hurricane Katrina. My reporting is the exact opposite. Fortunately, my character only has a few lines. Ray Person (a member of First Recon and a technical advisor on the miniseries) watched it and said to me, "You talked and rambled a lot more than he did."

* * *

As ACG/HN was preparing to post this interview, we received the following information about a project to send care packages of requested items to troops in Iraq:

In honor of the Marines of Generation Kill, and all of our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, HBO and its partners are sending care packages overseas containing the items troops most frequently request. The troops have determined the items—YOU determine how many are sent.

Donations can be placed at no cost to you by going to and following three quick steps.

The donation drive starts NOW and will continue through the finale of the Generation Kill miniseries on August 24th. All donations will be shipped overseas this fall.


* * *

Generation Kill from HBO Films, is a Company Pictures and Blown Deadline production. Executive producers are David Simon and Ed Burns—who formerly teamed for the acclaimed HBO series The Wire—along with George Faber, Charles Pattinson and Anne Thomopoulos. Directed by Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones. Consulting producer Evan Wright. Written by David Simon and Ed Burns with Evan Wright.

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  1. Its good and real as can-be, my sister son is in Iraq been in that place for 2 years, U.S.Army combat unit 82nd AB.

  2. In your opinion, what’s the best movie ever created?


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