LOS ANGELES – Jesse Kove and Weston Cage Coppola may have famous fathers -- Martin Kove and Nicolas Cage respectively -- but the longtime friends have forged their own paths in Hollywood separate from their A-list dads, auditioning "constantly like everyone else" and explaining that despite their names, they didn't have doors "opened" for them.
Now, the 28-year-old actors are set to star in a film they're super proud of titled, "D-Day," which tells the story of the Normandy landings during World War II.
Kove and Coppola spoke to Fox News about their upcoming roles, what it was like growing up on movie sets, the advice their dads gave them about navigating the industry, as well as how they want to continue to carry "the torch" for their families' acting legacies.
Fox News: What is “D-Day” about?
Coppola: Well, we had the honor of depicting and portraying real-life characters. These are heroes in World War II in the battle of Pointe du Hoc, which is a lesser-known battle that occurred concurrently with the Omaha Beach invasion. I got to play Lt. Colonel [James Earl] Rudder and Jesse played [First Sgt. Leonard] Lomell.
Kove: Yeah. It's a great story about the men -- the first Army Rangers -- that were trained by the British that were sent in to destroy these artillery cannons that were aimed at Omaha Beach. They were victorious and it was a very dangerous mission. They had to scale these cliffs and take out bunkers on top and then move inland to destroy these cannons and they were victorious. It's a lesser-known story on D-Day. So it's fantastic.
Coppola: On the top of the cliffs, it was one of the most dangerous Nazi defensive positions. So not only were they defying the basics of battle, where you don't want to enter a situation where the enemy is on higher ground, they were also were dealing with heavy artillery and very well-trained soldiers.
Fox News: Why is it important to share this story now?
Kove: I think that there's so much going on in America right now, and I feel like there's a bit of displacement going on. I think it's really nice to kind of go back to this time where everyone was, you know -- as horrible as war is there's still there was this camaraderie in America that everybody was aiming towards extinguishing this evil and everybody kind of worked together to exterminate that and it was just a different time.
Fox News: What was training like for the film?
Coppola: Well the filming itself was like training because it was one of the most arduous and physically taxing things we've ever done.
Kove: We were exhausted.
Coppola: We were exhausted. We really got to tap into our characters and there was a lot of running on the beach. We're really emulating that invasion.
Fox News: How did the physical preparation impact both of you while filming?
Kove: I think, you know, we worked together a lot and we helped push each other along and we'd talk about [it] all the time on set. We would talk about how the real-life, these real-life heroes, what they actually had to go through during that day and so, in reality, we didn't have anything to complain about you know? So finally, when we were exhausted, I mean that's how they really were at the time, so we felt when we got to that point that we were actually really doing these guys justice and honoring what they went through.
Coppola: Absolutely. There were moments when we were in that simulation of the battle and we would look at each other and we just were realizing how people actually went through this in real life. How it's a true story ... and the authenticity of all that went into everything in the filming and how real it looked. It really allowed us to tap into those characters and to feel for them. We feel like, hopefully, we brought some more honor and some more awareness to these people, these amazing men.
Fox News: Did you do anything particular to prepare for your roles?
Coppola: We did a lot of research, and of course, through researching and through all of the steps that we took to really construct our characters, I think we really let our imaginations take over. I know Jesse at one point was playing real war sounds through his car full blast while driving and screaming through that so that he could feel that and I was meditating with an image of Lt. Colonel Rudder and just asking that the universe aid me in truly becoming that individual.
Fox News: You guys have been friends since high school. Did your friendship impact filming in any way?
Coppola: Absolutely. Absolutely. Our chemistry has always been there. We met 12 years ago in high school in theater talking about what we love most in life and our priorities, one of which is true love, and both Jesse and I have finally encountered that. Hila, my love, I love you beyond the confines of the universe.
Kove: Ainsley, I love you, my love.
Coppola: We have that and we always dreamt of working together in the arts and film. We both auditioned for this movie without knowing that we were auditioning for it. I texted Jesse, 'I thought I did well today in an audition.' He said the same thing: 'I think I did well,' and I said, 'Oh, amazing. Mine is a World War II movie,' and he said, 'Mine too.' So just from the universe, another miracle that we were doing this film together ... We had no idea.
Kove: And two days later, we had a table reading. It was just, it was amazing. Stuff like this never happens. But yeah, definitely the friendship helped tremendously. You know, having that connection with each other in this sporadic environment that was basically created to be war. I think having that comfort within each other, knowing what we could give each other and help each other with was really incredible for both of us.
Coppola: It's not like I just got to do it with any friend, too. Jesse's like a brother to me. Best man at my wedding. I mean, this is just exceptional.
Fox News: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Kove: I think for me, you know, having both of us growing up in the business, it was always kind of an interesting battle to kind of follow the shadow of, for me, the shadow of my father or his father. I didn't get into it until I was about 18 and my father didn't really push me to get into the industry. And having grown up on movie sets, I think I just kind of had a natural love for it. I always say movie sets were like my second home and that was something that we would always talk about together when we first met in high school. We had that understanding of each other, what that was like, not many people really understood that. And so it's a great creative space. And I think we both share that connection for that as well.
Coppola: Most definitely.
Fox News: Do you feel like you learned anything from growing up in Hollywood and on sets that helped you on your first audition?
Coppola: I think we definitely got an understanding of production etiquette and the terminology used and the basics from growing up in that environment. And definitely there's a comfort that we feel, so I think it aided in a lot of ways. And, at first, of course, growing and wanting to achieve a career in acting, coming from a family that does it and has notoriety for it, you can see it as a shadow or you can also see it as a way of carrying on the torch and I think that Jesse and I have seen it as that because the shadows can affect the fire and we'll carry the torch for our families.
Fox News: Some critics might claim that you guys must have it easy as actors, given your names. What's the reality?
Coppola: We audition constantly, like everyone else. And I'm glad that we didn't get a door opened for us to where we could just get pushed in. I'm glad we got to experience that and that we're able to speak for ourselves.
Kove: Yeah. It's funny, actually. My dad came to visit one day and I said to the writer, 'Hey, can we just throw him in for like a quick scene or something, you know just have him on the beach? He's jumping in or saving someone.' And they were like, 'Wow. Would he really do that?' And I was like, 'Yeah he'd do it for free. Like, he'd love to be in this.' And so it was fun to just bring him in and they wrote a part for him and it was the three of us acting together and it was just beautiful. It was my dad's first World War II movie, funny enough, and it was just fantastic to be able to give that to him.
Fox News: Did your fathers ever give you any advice on navigating the industry?
Coppola: My father always told me to make sure I keep my integrity and to have control of my voice, my imagination and to really understand my expressions as an actor and I feel like I've really taken that with me.
Kove: Yes. Very similar. You know, being very relentless, but also doing it with class and as a gentleman in this industry.
"D-Day" is out in theaters and digitally on-demand on September 13.