By now you’ve probably heard a lot about “Edge of Tomorrow.” This Doug Liman-directed sci-fi thriller featuring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Countless men and women will fight and will be lost to the “Mimics,” and as much as the United Defense Force tries, it’s going to take a lot more to end the alien invasion.

The movie opens tomorrow, June 6, 2014, and promises to be a summer blockbuster. Ahead of the opening, we spoke to Bill Paxton, who plays Master Sgt. Farrell, a military man through and through, tasked with shaping up Tom Cruise’s character, Cage. Paxton is an exceptional actor known for his work in films such as Apollo 13, Weird Science, Twister, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic. He also starred in the HBO series Big Love (2006–2011) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

Although he has a very impressive resumé and is considered a veteran in the acting world, he’s very humble and fun to talk to. He was authentic, real and very interesting to listen to. Not to mention he was a gentleman. He was very enthusiastic to talk about his new project, a mini series with Latin American origins, and he was very passionate while talking about “Edge of Tomorrow.” Once we were connected on the phone, Paxton immediately greeted us with incredible charm.

Latin Times: Hi Bill, how are you?

Bill Paxton: Hola! Mucho Gusto. I’m speaking to you from Durango, Mexico. I’ve been here for two weeks, we’re shooting “Texas Rising,” a miniseries for the same network and producers we did “Hatfields & McCoys.”

LT: Will you be speaking in Spanish at all?

BP: I will be. I will be speaking some Spanish. I’m playing Sam Houston. So I’m leading the Texans, the Tejanos and the Anglos against Santa Anna. We’re down here, it’s all 1836 and it’s the whole battles leading up to The Alamo.

LT: We can’t wait to see that. It sounds amazing!

BP: It’s gonna be great! It’s a big American and Hispanic cast. Some great Mexican actors we’re working with on this. And I think it’s gonna be very cool because most people don’t realize that when Santa Anna came to Texas it was to punish not just the Anglos, but also to punish the Mexican citizens who were kinda revolting against Santa Anna because he had drowned out the constitution in 1824, shortly after Mexico had declared its independence. So really it’s a story of two cultures. We’ll have to definitely talk about that next year!

LT: So you’re basically going from war to war, since you were just playing Master Sgt. Farrell in “Edge of Tomorrow."

BP: Yeah! A life-long career soldier as a platoon Sergeant. The guy who believes in the sanctity of battle. You can be redeemed on the battlefield. And Tom Cruise becomes my perfect candidate. Here’s a guy who’s a coward, a deserter and he’s been impersonating an officer, but instead of being down on him, I say to him: “You have a chance to be born again” which becomes the whole theme of the movie as he keeps dying and born again. I had a lot of fun working with Tom, and I had a lot of fun working for Doug Liman, the director. I loved all the actors and the J Squad, and Emily Blunt. We shot the movie entirely in England, at the studio where they shot the Harry Potter films. And boy, we had some big battle sequences particularly on the beach. I had never had that many explosives going off around me. Some of them were CGI, but a lot of them were practical effects. And those suits were very punishing. Those suits weighed about 35 kilos, those Exo Suits we wore in battle.

LT: How long did it take you to get used to them and to walking in them?

BP: I never got used to them, because you didn’t wear it, it wore you. They were so heavy that after about 20 minutes, after we do a few takes, whenever they changed angles or when we had any time off at all, they had these steel frames, cages that they could hang us up on our shoulders to take the weight off of those so we could sit there and rest between the shots.

LT: That was an exercise itself, just being in those suits!

BP: It really was. You just had to be very patient, and know that it wasn’t going to be comfortable, but in some point the sun was gonna go down and you get to go and soak in a nice, hot tub and drink a very cold beer.

LT: Did it take a long time to put the suits on?

BP: They got it down where they could strap us into the suit within about 10 minutes. Let me put it this way: it beats working for a living.

LT: So what made you accept this particular role?

BP: I’ve always liked leadership roles, I’ve enjoyed playing military guys before, and I really thought the script was a lot of fun, and again, it was an opportunity to work with Tom. Tom and I have known each other for several, several years, and he’s always been very personable to me when we run into each other socially and I leaped at the chance to work with him, and I’m also a big fan of Doug Liman, so I definitely took advantage that an old colleague of mine was one of the producers, and he was encouraging Doug to hire me for the part… It was a nice, nice role and a colorful part, and I loved the idea that I got to be this reactive character, I come on really strong, and all of the sudden I get kinda perplexed as it goes along, cause Tom’s character keeps pulling the rug out from under me. So it was fun to go from kinda a demonstrative character to being a very reactive character. And it just seemed like a fun movie and I enjoy the science fiction genre. I’ve done a couple of science fiction movies over the years.

LT: Do you feel like you as Bill and Sgt. Farrell have anything in common at all?

BP: Ha! I’d like to think so. But I think I’d be more the Tom character in that situation on the eve of a giant invasion. In my fantasy life I’d like to be the Sergeant for sure. But I appreciated the Sergeant’s attributes. He’s the guy that’s been tested in battle, he’s a father figure too. You know, these are some lines that I found in military books, I found some great quotes like “There’s no courage without fear” so I say, “It’s ok to be scared, there’s no courage without fear.” So there’s a bit of a fatherly guide there too, and it’s a good character. For me it was like a homage for all the men and women who are in the service and who have been trained by guys like Sgt. Farrell. So there’s a whole part of the military that owes a great debt to these guys who are the training sergeants, the platoon sergeants, they’re kinda the liaison between the enlisted men or women and the officers. They’re really the backbone of any military strain, because they’re the ones who really teach the importance of training, so when an order comes down the line you don’t have to think, you just react. I loved Sgt. Farrell; I wish I could be Sgt. Farrell, but no, I’d be Tom.

LT: How would you define “Edge of Tomorrow,” and why would you encourage people to go see it in the movies?

BP: Why would I encourage people to go see “Edge of Tomorrow”? Because it’s a fun kick-a** summer movie and Tom Cruise is great, and Emily Blunt’s great and the guy who plays Sgt. Farrell kicks some a** too!