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Why Jimmy Fallon Had To Be Pushed Around In A Jeep For Band Of Brothers

Though it came out in 2001, HBO's Emmy and Golden Globe-winning war drama Band of Brothers is still remembered today as one of the best miniseries ever made. Based on the story and experiences of E Company — also known as "Easy Company," the 506th Infantry Regiment that fought in WWII – Band of Brothers is a dramatized take on the lives of these men. Some of the real soldiers featured in the show include Major Richard Winters, played by Damian Lewis, Captain Lewis Nixon, played by Ron Livingston, and all their fellow Easy Company soldiers.

Band of Brothers was executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The show has an extensive cast of characters, and is well-known for its fantastic casting. The show features many actors who went on to have very successful careers. A few of these recognizable names are Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, and James McAvoy, who all had small roles in Band of Brothers. Another name many people will recognize is Jimmy Fallon of Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon fame. The late-night host worked as an actor for many years, and Band of Brothers happens to be one of his early projects.

Working with such big names on the miniseries turned out to be a lot of pressure for Fallon. The actor later revealed that his nerves on set led an episode's director to have to adapt a bit, with Fallon ending up having to pretend to drive a jeep while others pushed him around.

Jimmy Fallon was so nervous for his role that he couldn't drive the WWII Jeep

In episode 5 of Band of Brothers, called "Crossroads" and directed by Hanks, Winters leads the soldiers to an important victory against the enemy Germans. Near the end of the episode, Fallon makes his grand entrance. Returning from the front, Fallon's character, Lieutenant George C. Rice, rolls up in an old Jeep with more ammo for Easy Company. He unloads the ammo and recounts the troubles faced at the front, warning Easy Company that they will be surrounded by enemy forces soon, before driving off.

Though you wouldn't guess it, Fallon was extremely nervous for his role. When interviewing Juliana Margulies on The Tonight Show in 2018 (via Parade), Fallon reminisced about working on Band of Brothers, revealing that he was so nervous that he had trouble driving the Jeep that his character rides in. The team behind the series tried to be as historically accurate as possible, so they used real WWII-standard transmission Jeeps. Even without the added pressure of acting in such a big show, stick-shift vehicles are notoriously difficult to maneuver, and according to Fallon, he wasn't a good driver to begin with.

All Fallon had to do was "drive a Jeep and say [his] line, 'Good luck, boys,'" and "look really heroic." When Fallon couldn't manage to make the Jeep move, Hanks had to resort to getting two men to push the Jeep from behind to move it. While he might not have looked too heroic getting pushed around on set, Fallon got the job done, successfully bringing to life the TV version of real-life war hero Lt. Rice in Band of Brothers.