Most directors do their best to prevent actors punching each other. But during last year’s U.K. shoot for the World War II tank movie Fury, filmmaker David Ayer had his five principals—Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña—start the day by engaging in fisticuffs.
“We put them through martial arts training and physical combat classes,” says Ayer, whose film is released Oct. 17. “It’s a great ice breaker for actors. There’s something very honest about being punched in the face.”