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It is the Depression-era, United States in the 30s. The people of Weehawken, New Jersey, dressed in the fashion of the time: men in hats, ties, ties and jackets, women in long dresses and floral, children in shorts and hats. People waiting for the parade of the Benzini Brothers Circus, whose promotional posters proclaim it as “the most spectacular show on Earth.” Everything would be perfect if you dont walk on the same road as technicians and production crew of the film, that break the illusion of a journey into the past.
This is the set of Water for Elephants, a 20th Century Fox movie filmed in Los Angeles, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine, 2005; I Am Legend, 2007), and is one of the most anticipated productions of 2011 due to its compelling storyline of romance, based on the best-selling novel by Sara Gruen (adapted by Richard LaGravenese), and especially its star cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.
The plot centers on the story of Jacob (Pattinson), who is about to graduate as a vet, drops out after his parents death. Fate leads him to join a traveling circus, where he becomes romantically involved with Marlena (Witherspoon), acrobat star and wife of violent tamer August (Waltz), which in semboca an ardent love triangle.
THE CIRCUS OF A SHOOTING
Before the interviews, the journalists stay in a convenient place to watch the circus parade, consisting of a band, clowns, strong men, dwarves, the trapeze artists and jugglers, and the different animals: a giraffe, lion, two camels, two llamas, three ponies, three zebras, some draft horses, a hippopotamus and trained dogs. But the highlight is the appearance of Reese, mounted on Rosie, the elephant, accompanied a few meters by Waltz and Pattinson. The great uncertainty of about 300 extras who have been called to this day, cheers to this truppa circus.
The filming of this scene, three cameras, is repeated several times until finally the director is satisfied. Then, some scenes are shot silent, where the extras should simulate the gestures of his claim. Later, the main camera changes location and the fields are shot and reverse shot, as the pianos of aspects and details. The implementation of this is the result of a long planned in conjunction with the director of photography, nothing more nor less than the Rodrigo Prieto (Amores Perros, Brokeback Mountain, Biutiful), which at one point giving is seen giving instructions to his assistants, with the meter in hand and watch the monitor as he shoots a steadicam.
At one point, Reese shows her skills as a gymnast and animal tamer. She has become friends with Rosie. With grace picks her for his trunk to reach the ground, and then to climb, is assisted by the elephant, which indicates an advanced job training.
“Of course I was scared”, she confesses later, “I screamed the first time I went, but then I took off. I learned her personality and I won her trust” she says.
Reese comes to talk with us, accompanied by Pattinson, who wears the clothes of his character, knee boots, panta LONES tight, button-down shirt.
“It’s very rewarding to participate in a movie like this,” says Reese, “where authentic settings, with real characters and a good story. No computer effects but a few. I think the audience is hungry for authentic stories with which they can relate. In addition, each specialist who has participated in this tape is a craftsman, the designer, the costume … it’s nice to see the work they do. “
It is very illustrative of visiting this day of filming, which Cinemanía was exclusively invited, since it’s one of the most colorful and spectacular scenes of the shooting: the circus parade through the town. A glance, one is dazzled with the costumes and setting of the first level, in this old scenario where classic films were shot like The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Hello Dolly! (1969).
“I always had a fascination with the circus” Reese told us. “I was also a gymnast, juggling, trapeze luck with, and things like that. “
“Yes, me too” said Pattinson, “but not particularly obsessed with this world. I think it caused me some concern when I was younger. I guess the circus caused a more profound effect on the times that are recreated in the film, when there was no zoo or TV. “
Both players are very friendly to each other, because despite the age difference, have been known for some time and make a good couple on screen, because Reese is down years. “I hate this story. It makes me feel so old [laughs]. We met in a movie. I was 24 and a young woman who had a son.” Reese blushes slightly, joking with Pattinson. “She was my mother,” he says, laughing, “It was in Vanity Fair. “
In any case, the two are very enthusiastic about their roles in Water for Elephants, seeing in them a rich and intense roles. “My character has a very interesting way” -it describes Reese, ” she started working since young, amid the Great Depression, when everyone is looking for a way to survive. She has the real attitude of a survivor. On the other hand, she finds herself in an abusive relationship with her husband, and Rob’s (Pattinson) character makes her see there are better things, better ways to have a new life. “
“What I especially enjoyed about my character is to be surrounded by animals,” says Pattinson. “I had never lived with an elephant. There’s something very gentle on her [Rosie] that I enjoy, ” he says.
In another conversation, Christoph Waltz com part a similar view: “A fascinating thing in old circus were the animals. There are almost no circuses because they are under increased protection [luckily, we say]. If you give a whip an elephant, surely you would receive another immediately. To have lived three months with an elephant is the most incredible experience you can imagine, they are very smart, “said Austrian actor.
Also jokes, remembering the test session they had before filming. “Rosie, the elephant, does exactly what she is asked” mentioned Waltz. “She very obedient and intelligent. Then I told the director: Dont you wish all actors were like her, patient and attentive? The perfect actors! [Laughs]. “
Waltz has a strong personality, some European elegance, a firm and a subtle humor that is evident in each of their responses. “I can not describe my character,” replies to my request, “or I don’t do that, because what I do for a living is play the character and what you do for a living is to describe a character. So let us keep our positions. ” But later, gives us some clues to understand the difficulty of his craft. “It’s a therapeutic exercise to like a nasty character,” says Waltz about his character. “I would not say that this character is negligible because it would be a trial. What I do is translate your rit mo in actions and emotions. If I give an opinion on my part, I seem downright boring. I think the opinion should be formed to see how it develops, ” he says ..