CHRIS HEMSWORTH: The toughest day. Actually, the stuff on the ocean I kind of loved. It was difficult on the whale boats, because logistically getting on and off them was so tricky. And that was when we were at our hungriest. You were just sitting in the hot, beating sun; you’re either soaking wet or dry; you’ve got the beards glued on and falling off, and it was kind of uncomfortable. But I’ve got to say, being out in the ocean, and at that period of the shoot, I did kind of love it as well, as challenging as it was.
The hardest stuff, I thought, was in the tank in London. We thought the stuff on the ocean was going to be trickier, but I think the stuff in the studio ended up being more challenging, because you’re dealing with all the machines and so on. It basically felt like a theme park from hell – being shot with water cannons and flipped out of boats; Ron was on the loudspeaker and we couldn’t even hear. Whereas, with the ocean, we just had to adapt to whatever the environment was, and sort of get on with it, which was nice.
RON HOWARD: I feel like out on the ocean was actually working for the actors. And at the end of the day, I would apologize to everybody to say, I know this is tough. They would just say, ‘Well, first of all, it’s just a fraction of what the real guys that we were playing went through, and we get that, and secondly, it’s good for the performances. This is what we’re trying to play.’ But I did see the life kind of draining out of these guys. I remember saying to Ben, ‘We’re going to have to shoot a thing over here,’ and I looked over and Ben, who’s an unbelievably hard worker, was just staring down, just lost, you know?
And even by the end, when we were doing the stuff on the desert island, the little pathetic snacks that everybody would relish so much when they came out were just kind of a cucumber with some olive oil and an almond on it. But it was interesting, because everybody would just take it, go over and hunch down, eat it quietly, and kind of savor it. I felt both terrible and fabulous about it [laughs].
QUESTION: Ben and Tom, how was the diet for you? Were there any cheaters?
TOM HOLLAND: Oh yeah, of course [laughs].
BENJAMIN WALKER: It did get kind of competitive by the end. We tried to make it as fun as possible by keeping an eye on who was cheating and who wasn’t. In much the same way as Ron was saying, it did kind of make our jobs easier. We were miserable, cranky, emotional, and then, eventually, really kind of jaundiced, translucent and faint. And if you could remember your lines, it was usually pretty good.
TOM HOLLAND: The diet wasn’t really that bad for me because obviously these guys have got to eat way more than I do. We were on the same diet throughout the whole thing, so I didn’t really have it that bad. I was kind of lucky [laughs].
RON HOWARD: Exactly, for a while we were saying, ‘Don’t lose any more.’
TOM HOLLAND: But, no, even though it was difficult, we were doing it for all the right reasons because these guys we were playing really went through this. So whenever something was difficult on set, it felt right. I guess the diet kind of makes the movie really what it is at some point.