Behind the Scenes at “Safe Haven”

Kristin NC.jpg Last summer Rolemommy had the chance to fly to North Carolina to meet Nicholas Sparks and tour the set of his new movie SAFE HAVEN in theaters February 14, 2013. When I flew in to North Carolina, I was met by a local towncar driver who whisked me away (well, I was running late) and we started on the hour journey to get to the parade scene in the movie.
On our way I learned all about Southport, North Carolina’s history (in 2010 when it was announced that billionaire hedge fund manager, Louis Moore Bacon, bought this huge mansion called Orton Plantation), the other films that have shot in NC (Hunger Games, Iron Man 3 and soon to be released We’re The Millers) and his divorce and kids (what can I say, people tell me everything!). We already knew why Southport, NC was the perfect spot to film SAFE HAVEN but taking a walking tour with Nicholas Sparks was something we did not want to miss….
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: The really interesting thing about North Carolina, it’s one of the reasons why I set the stories here and why this particular place is perfect is that it’s a very unique state in that, unlike virtually every other state, the big cities are off the coast because of the hurricanes.
The entire eastern part of the state is dotted with small towns. Biggest town is Wilmington, about 150,000. And that’s huge. I mean, you know, Southport has a population of 1,500.
So here is something very typical of outdoor dining in these small towns. And it’s a great place where someone like Katie could wander in and, you know, there’s never going to be anyone from Boston that you’d ever happen to bump into here.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: You’re at the mouth of the Cape Fear River here. Over there is Oak Island, where they were filming the parachuting scenes for Iron Man 3.
People here are watching fireworks and people diving from the sky over there. Poor little Southport, right? Southport is interesting. Wilmington was the last open port in the, as they say here, the war for Southern Independence.
Charleston had closed, and everything else had closed, New Orleans had closed. Southport was really the last place that everything came in. And this was the south port, hence the name that they change it to in about 1887. It was originally called Smithville. There’s your North Carolina history lesson.
Most people don’t know, but the last major battle of the Civil War was fought in North Carolina, it was fought after Robert E. Lee surrendered.
This is true, the Battle of Bentonville, which was fought by Joe Johnson because Robert E. Lee, he was just in charge of the armies of Northern Virginia, which was the main army, but you still had the North Carolina regimens–.
Rolemommy: I think this such an amazing experience -it’s fun to see the actual place your filming, and then to see it on the big screen, I know it will look so different.
Nicholas Sparks: yes, it always looks different when you frame things. That’s called movie magic.
We walked down the street to the set of “Ryan’s Port Market” which was fully built from scratch. *Plot spoiler alert* Unfortunately, the very cool-looking market did not stay there in keeping with the plot of Nicholas Sparks’ book they burnt it down.
Nicholas Sparks: The one side of the store is here. This is where they entered. Now it’s burned down, people were sad that it was gone. One of the great things about North Carolina are these live oaks. I love these trees, they are very interesting because they don’t shed like regular oak trees. They stay green year round, they shed three times per year.
And so, they’re always as beautiful as this. It’ll be this green throughout winter, these little leaves just fall all the time.
Normally when they grow let’s say, in Virginia, they don’t look like this because it’s not quite as wet and humid. It’s the moisture in the air that causes these trunks to twist and to spread out.
So if you buy a live oak in a nursery they won’t look the same. The sad thing they do now is they kind of force them to grow straight and spread.
Nicholas Sparks: So, the best way to get a live oak for your yard — that’ll look like this — if you live outside of North Carolina – is to go out to the forest, find someone with some forest land, and you dig up one that’s already kind of growing like this.
And then in about 60 years when you’re dead, you’ll have a fabulous tombstone there. And people say, “Man, that is a great tree.”
I mean, I think this is one of the most beautiful towns. Ten years ago, I was here for the filming of “A Walk to Remember.” I remember walking down here and I said, “I have to find a book for this place one day.”
So get ready for Nicholas Spark’s SAFE HAVEN in Theaters February 14, 2013
In the meantime, click here to see the trailer and the beauty of North Carolina….
 

Role Mommy interviews Danny DeVito

Lorax_DeVito.jpg This Friday, March 2nd Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax opens in theaters! The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Danny DeVito lends his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax and Rolemommy sat down with him to discuss going green at home and going orange on screen….
Question: We asked Danny if he read The Lorax to his kids when they were little?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. Well, I have three kids so we started out with all the books without any words and mostly the really cool pictures And then, we started moving into the picture books with words, and that natural progression took us right to Dr. Seuss because especially when you come home at night and you’ve been working and you want to read the kids to sleep and give them that book in the bed, and you can sit there and go and da-da-da-da-da-ba-ba-ba-da-da-da-boom-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-dum you know? But, Dr. Seuss always gave you a really cool story. And so, we did all of the normal Green Eggs and Ham and the this and the that. We also loved Horton Hears a Who and then, of course, when we got hip to The Lorax, it was really cool.
Question: We asked Danny what did you think about The Lorax character before you took on the role and did you indentify with him?
And so, a lot of people don’t know about Dr. Seuss. It’s kind of subversive a little bit in a way because it’s not just a simple message. It’s a message about the environment and there are controversial things in it, and same thing with Matilda, which I like. I like that there’s a little bit of an edge to it. It’s not just a simple story.
And The Lorax, I didn’t identify with the character as much as I dug him. I thought he was really cute and cool. And it wasn’t until two years ago or so when Chris Melandandri [Producer] called me and asked me if I would be interested.
Question: It’s no secret that you resemble The Lorax in real life so we were wondering if you ever thought about growing a huge mustache to get in to character?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. I didn’t think I’d ever get it quite as beautiful as The Lorax’s mustache. That guy’s been living in that stump for a long time.
Question: Now that you have played the role of The Lorax, do you feel an even great responsibility to speak for the trees?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. I’ve never been as environmentally wacky as my friend Ed Begley [Actor, Environmentalist]. He’s my dear friend. But, I was one of the first people back in the days when they gave you the EV1 car, the zero emissions car, I was one of the first people to rent that car. Rhea [Perlman] actually rented it for me for Father’s Day, and I loved it, and I drove it everywhere. I own right now, and it’s out in the parking lot, a Leaf, which is an amazing car. It’s a Nissan car. They’re building factories right now for the batteries and for the parts and everything in the United States. But, the greatest thing about it is there are zero emissions, I plug it in at my house at night. You have to put a 220 in or some line because it charges it faster. And I plug it in.
And the other thing we don’t have in my house is napkins. We have cloth napkins in my house. We just started about a year ago. At Christmastime, we bought everybody in the house reuseable water bottles, all the people, even the people who work around the house to come in, we give them their own bottle with their name on it. And they fill it up. We have filtered water, and we fill it up with tap because water is going to be the real big issue.
Question: Do you see any of your children in the characters of Ted or in Audrey in The Lorax?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes, in the film. Well, I’ve seen my son look do-eyed at a young woman and win her over. He’s a romantic. And my daughters are also. I don’t know how it is with you guys, but in our family, the girls talk to me and we have a great relationship. They’re 28 and 26 now, and both have boyfriends. But, we’ve never talked about anything like dating or what would you. I gave them all kinds of really good advice, and Rhea too has given them all kinds of good advice.And you all know what that advice is because you’re all aware of the fact that it’s a different world out there, and we have to make sure our kids are protected in every way and give them the opportunity to be protected. I thought that was a sweet romance in the movie and done really well. The younger guy and the girl who he looks up that he really likes. And there you go. Just looking at it now in hindsight, you say romance and matters of the heart can really change the world.
Question: How depressing would it be for The Lorax in the real world?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes, it was bad when I had to let the animals find some other place to live. That was pretty sad.
It is a mirror in a way to what’s happening all over the world, in the rainforests and in our country. And the more we can protect parks and trees and it’s not an “anti logging” message at all because the main thing is what the Once-ler didn’t do and how he redeemed himself was saving that seed.
And when he gave the seed to the kid to take to plant, that’s the message really of the movie, for us to be aware of the fact that we can make a difference, and we can still be commercially viable, and we can still do all the things that we naturally do as long as we’re not hurting the environment.