Tommy Lee Jones
, the man who hunted The Fugitive, sees combat as both a soldier and a lawyer in the upcoming movie Rules of Engagement
For the Vietnam War sequence, Jones and Co. were put through their paces in mock boot camp. "It wasn't really boot camp," Jones tells TV Guide Online. "All we did was slide around in the swamp wearing uniforms, carrying guns that shot blanks [but] mainly just learning how to wear the clothes."
Playing a real-life G.I. Joe certainly earned the Oscar-winning actor his combat pay. "We got a very good idea of how difficult it is to be cool under fire."
The action eventually switches from the hell of war to the hall of justice in Engagement's trial scene, and Jones admits his character is no Perry Mason ? in or out of court. "Colonel Hodges is a lousy lawyer ? pretty much a failure at life," he says. And Jones, who's turned in some pretty flawless screen performances, is drawn to playing flawed characters like the addled attorney. "I guess that's the most interesting kind to play."
Does Jones think lawyers are merely actors in pinstripes? "I don't know. I haven't seen a lot of trial attorneys in action, but I've seen probably too much forensic drama. I think [director] Billy Friedkin did an excellent job of avoiding the clichés so that the audience stays interested and has the feeling they're looking at something original." We'll be the judge of that.