The Hollywood actor stars as real life photographer Greg Marinovich opposite Taylor Kitsch as Carter in The Bang Bang Club, which follows the story of a group of photojournalists working in South Africa during the fall of Apartheid.
The film was screened at New York's Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday (21Apr11), a day after documentary-maker/photographer Tim Hetherington and veteran photojournalist Chris Houndros were killed in the ongoing conflict in Libya.
Phillippe admits the news came as a shock and he felt overwhelmed by the tragic timing, telling reporters on the night of the premiere, "It's crazy that that incident happened yesterday and the film is released tomorrow. It's really unbelievable. I think it just shows you the risk and the chances that these people take to tell the stories that need to be told.
"There are so many other people losing their lives in Libya... I just think this happens to be journalists and renowned journalists. But every day there's civilians dying in Libya."
Filmmaker Tim Hetherington and photographer Chris Hondros were covering the ongoing unrest in the country when they were caught in an explosion in Misrata on Wednesday (20Apr11).
Akerman was stunned to learn of their untimely deaths as she promoted her new movie, which tells the stories of photojournalists who capture the violence that erupted during the Apartheid period in South Africa.
She tells MTV News, "It's crazy. No matter what, whether it be now or two years ago, the untimely death of Tim Hetherington and Chris is sad and really awful and incredible that it happened as this movie is coming out.
"It's never the wrong moment to shed light on it. It is incredible how relevant... this film is to what is going on in Libya. I hope people come out of this film and go, 'All right, let's look overseas and see what's happening and see what we can do.'"
And the actress is full of praise for snappers who risk their lives to cover dangerous stories: "They're crazy. They really are adrenaline junkies. I just saw Greg Marinovich, who is one of the photographers (who inspired the film), and he walks around at all times with two cameras... He never leaves home without his cameras. It's a limb for them, it's an extension of their bodies, it's what they live for."