|BBC Band of Brothers Interview|
The British actor Dexter Fletcher (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Rachel Papers, Press Gang) plays Sergeant John W Martin, one of the soldiers who fought so heroically for Easy Company during the Second World War. The actor was thrilled to be involved in Band of Brothers.
"The drama reminds our generation that a lot of young men made a huge sacrifice," Fletcher declares. "As a man of twenty, I don't know if I'd have been able to do it. It's hard for people of our generation to imagine what it must have been like, but hopefully this series captures some of it and will make people today think 'could I have handled that?'
Fletcher found it very useful to draw on the real John Martin's advice about portraying him.
"Before I played the role, Johnny helped me a great deal," he recalls. "I learnt what kind of a man he was. I understood that before the War he was put in charge of a team on the railroads, and that when he joined the Army that experience made him a very effective sergeant. He was tough and he didn't suffer fools, but he was one of the men."
Fletcher was flattered when Martin told him that he had got the portrayal "pretty much right". "I was pleased because I want his family to be proud. They tell me now that they've got a good idea of what Johnny was like as a young man."
Throughout the filming, Fletcher never lost sight of what makes Band of Brothers so powerful - the fact that it is a true story. "On the first day of our boot camp," he remembers, "Tom Hanks gave a speech to us all underlining the importance of what we were about to embark on. He said 'one day, you'll be sitting in an airport somewhere and someone will come up to you and say 'you played my father. Thank you for telling his story'. That had a real impact on me.