Midway is the latest World War II epic from Roland Emmerichand features a series of complex scenes portraying the infamous battle that occurred in the Pacific Theater between the U.S. Navy and the Japanese fleet in June 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Patrick Wilson, who plays Lieutenant Commander Edwin Layton in the film, explained to uInterview exclusively why the battle scenes were so challenging to shoot by saying the most difficult part was “imagining things that weren’t there.”

“When you see the amazing technological achievements of these explosions, then you cut back to the eyes of the actor, you wanna feel that as an audience members,” said Wilson.

Wilson added shooting scenes out of sequence was also challenging because it made the process of trying to ensure things “matched” longer.

“You’re trying to give as many different kinds of takes as you can so they have something to work with when they go back to the editing room,” Wilson said.

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Roland Emmerich, Ed Skrein & Luke Kleintank on ‘Midway’ 

The actor also explained that his character was the head of Navy intelligence during World War II, which he emphasized was extremely “archaic” compared to modern standards and thus the U.S. Navy were only able to develop a rough counterattack plan against the Japanese at Midway following Pearl Harbor.

“When the Pearl Harbor disaster happened, [Layton] really wore the scars of that because it just seemed like an incredible intelligence failure,” said Wilson. “So him being the head of it, he took great responsibility for that even though it was not his fault.”

Wilson also revealed he believes the message of Midway ultimately relates to ideas of loyalty to one’s country and to the importance of making sound decisions, as these could potentially impact the state of the country and the world at large.

“[The message is] patriotism over politics and what made the greatest generation the greatest generation and understand that freedom isn’t free,” said Wilson. “It’s always important to remember where you came from and why these freedoms are so valuable.”

Midway is now out in theaters.