TOM HOLLAND: I think the most important lesson I learned from this film was actually from Ron, which is that that you could never be too prepared. In everything that you do, the more preparation that you do, the better is the process of making the film. And reading the books, and learning to sail, and getting into shape, and losing the weight, I really think is what makes this film what it is. For me, yeah, the most valuable lesson from this film is, you can never be too prepared.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: That’s why he didn’t read Moby-Dick.
TOM HOLLAND: See I learned my lesson. I was learning it on this film.
RON HOWARD: This answers your question about how tough of a taskmaster I am.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: Yeah, it’s not like we were going to have a test. I’ve got three kids, so…
QUESTION: Chris, with the popularity of your Thor films, are you always looking for something that might be different? And can you talk about why you brought this project to Ron?
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: Sure. Whether it’s Thor or whatever, I’m always looking to do something different, that contrasts the last thing I had done – more for my own interests, and what I’m passionate about. I think the only way you can truly do something justice is if you are in love with the material and have a strong, passionate opinion about it. When things start to feel familiar is, I think, when it gets sort of dangerous, you know? You get lazy.
In terms of this project, I loved a lot of the stuff that Ron was talking about, about why he was attracted to it. This was set on an epic visual, adventure scale, but at the heart of it there’s this beautiful drama about these relationships between the men and the horrific circumstances that they’ve endured and the effect it had on them; who they were prior to these events, who they were after. There were a lot of complexities, and interesting character traits and ideas, and questions it raised. But, very simply, I just loved the script. I try and hold on to that first impulse, before I sort of dissect it and ask why. I just remembered being swept away in the story, and then still thinking about it afterwards.
QUESTION: So you got the script originally?
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: Yeah. Paula Weinstein was talking to my manager, Will Ward, who is a producer on the film, and they brought it to me, I think, around the time I’d done Snow White. Then we shot Rush, and Ron said to me, ‘Look, if anything else comes up, if you have anything you’re interested in, let me know.’ And I said, ‘Oh, actually I do. I have this, and if you’re not sick of me, let’s go again.’ And, thankfully, he shared the same.
RON HOWARD: I was so surprised by the script. First of all, I had no idea that – to use a comic book term – there was an origin story for Moby-Dick. I like American history, and thought I knew something about history. And, as I said earlier, it was not only perfect casting but a chance to surprise audiences – to offer something that had that scale it’s got adventure, it’s got action, but it also had some of the ideas and raised questions within the drama. It was just such a great combination of things that I felt, ‘That’s a movie that I’d like to see.’
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. But that told only half the story. “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.
Breaking into UK cinemas on December 26, 2015.
Find out more at the official website