Interview by Rafy Mediavilla, w/ Actress Rebecca Romijn From “Endangered Species” Movie. Out Now In Selected Theaters, Digital, Blu-Ray & DVD. #EndangeredSpecies.
Starring Rebecca Romijn (X-Men) and Jerry O’Connell (Showtime’s “Billions”) this gripping adventure tale unfolds beneath a brutal African sun. Jack Halsey takes his wife (Romijn), their adult kids, and a friend for a dream vacation in Kenya. But as they venture off alone into a wilderness park, their safari van is flipped over by an angry rhino, leaving them injured and desperate. Then, as two of them go in search of rescue, a bloody, vicious encounter with a leopard and a clan of hyenas incites a desperate fight for survival. Out Now In Selected Theaters, Digital, Blu-Ray & DVD.
Criticologos: What drew you to this project?
Rebecca Romijn: I’ve been to Kenya many years ago, and so I first got the script with a note attached that said :“Would you ever consider shooting a movie in Kenya during a Pandemic?”, and I thought: “I cannot believe that Kenya is open as a country”. They said you could bring your husband and your children, we’re gonna be there for five weeks.
M.J. Bassett, our director, has spent most of her life in Kenya. She used to be a wildlife photographer. I knew it was gonna be cinematic and beautiful no matter what the script was. The script is really fun; it’s an action-thriller, but there’s also family-drama, but there’s also a lovely message about the illegal wildlife trade which is an important message.
You know twenty-thousand elephants a year are still killed for their ivory, and rhinos are in the endangered species list for they are still killed for their horns. It’s still a really big issue; with my daughters who are twelve, it just felt like exactly the right moment for all of this to come into play
Criticologos: How much of Lauren is you and how much is it just you following the script?
Rebecca Romijn: What was interesting is that she’s an empty nester. You know my daughters are still younger, but in the movie, my kids are grown. It’s a wealthy american family taking this dream trip in Africa, a safari gone wrong. She’s diabetic, her insulin gets shattered in the accident, the rhino attack, and so she’s facing her own mortality.
Basically she’s dying the entire movie, and she’s given up her dream as a doctor to raise children instead. But now her children are gone, needing her husband but also not living correctly ????
I think there’s a lot of questioning your own mortality, which is interesting. Actually during this whole last year; the pandemic. Which is like: “What is the point? Why am I here? What am I doing? What’s happening?”. This is what we’ve all been doing during this whole pandemic
Criticologos: There are scenes where they have to deal with wild animals, how difficult was it for you to deal with these specific scenes?
Rebecca Romijn: We shot the entire movie in Amboseli National park in Kenya which is one of the bigger national parks in Kenya. Amboseli means land of death in swahili. All the animals, except for the rhino attacks, and the leopard attacks; everything was real. There was no CGI, we were literally in their territory.
Criticologos: The chemistry between the cast, to me it felt that all of you clicked instantly. How was the chemistry in the set?
Rebecca Romijn: We were in this beautiful lodge way in the middle of the bush. The lodge was off the grid; limited Wifi, limited electricity. We were like a family living in this lodge together. We were having all of our meals together. We were spending all this time. Our whole five weeks was a safari.
Criticologos: How much does it mean to you the message behind the story of raising awareness over the conservation of wildlife?
Rebecca Romijn: I’m a big animal advocate. I work more on a local scale but I’m a big advocate for animal rescue, but that extends to the World Wildlife Federation. My mother was very active in the World Wildlife Federation and it extends. We must protect our animals, that’s what we can do as humans. Protect other species and each other. That’s important for me as a mother to teach my girls, and as an advocate to share with people. I’m thrilled to be part of that message.
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