The Hollywood Reporter came out with a story earlier this week that hit a nerve in the SEAL community. Former BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) trainee-turned actor Dan Bilzerian was suing the producers of Lone Survivor regarding a reported $1 million he put into the project in return for a role in the movie.
“According to the suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, producers Randall Emmett and George Furla agreed Bilzerian could play the role of Sr. Chief Healy in the Navy SEAL drama, and that he would “appear recognizably” in the film for at least eight minutes and speak at least 80 words of dialogue. But Bilzerian says he appears in the film for less than one minute and has just one line.” from the Hollywood Reporter
For those of you not familiar, Lone Survivor is a movie based on the best-selling book written by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
Our first coverage on the lawsuit blew up in more ways than one, the SOFREP Facebook page turned into a complete shit show, and out of respect for fallen Navy SEAL Dan Healy we yanked the post.
We received a number of reports from the SEAL community about Bilzerian when the Hollywood Reporter article came out, some of which stated he was a DOR (Drop on Request). I also received a message on Twitter from Dan asking for a phone call. When we spoke on the phone, he asked SOFREP set the record straight about his BUD/S training, and gave us the following statement:
“I completed hell week in 229, got rolled then dropped 3 weeks after for compound stress fractures. Went back in 238, made it 2 days before graduation on the island and, got rolled back to beginning of second phase with 239, got a couple of weeks before graduation and got admin dropped for no real good reason. The producers begged me to put the million dollars into Lone Survivor as they couldn’t meet their budget, and had I not done so, the movie prob wouldn’t have gotten made. I requested to play Dan Healey as he was the guy who pulled my friend Laz Cor off the chopper and took his place. He died trying to save Marcus, and they weren’t even going to mention him in the movie. He died not because he was ordered to, but because he demanded to go. I met with Dan’s mother, visited his memorial, and the family was happy he was represented in the movie, after all he gave his life, I think a cameo is the least they could do for him. The producers and directors promised me eight minutes of screen time, and for Dan to have a memorable role in the movie, this was not honored, so they will be sued for a breach of contract.” -Dan Bilzerian
I’ve verified that Dan was in BUD/S 229, 238, and 239 before being dropped from training with class 239 for a safety violation on the shooting range. To address the “no good reason” comment from Dan, in my opinion it’s likely that his instructors felt that he wasn’t a good fit for the SEAL community and were looking for any excuse to drop him from training. This why we call it a “selection” process, and it doesn’t end, even when you get to your SEAL Team. Dan, as a former instructor myself, I know that your instructors did have a good reason. Reflect on the reason and become a better man for it. After all, you did complete 99% of one of the hardest military selection courses in the world.
I’d encourage you to read the full legal complaint here.