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Nim’s Island in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Nim’s Island

Jodie Foster • Abigail Breslin • Gerard Butler
DIRECTORS: Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett

Abigail Breslin THE CONCEPT:
Twelve-year-old Nim (Breslin) has grown up on an isolated island with her scientist father Jack (Butler), surrounded by her exotic animal friends. She is inspired by books, her favorite literary hero being adventurer Alex Rover (also played by Butler). When her father disappears at sea, and it appears that the island is being invaded, Nim e-mails her hero, the author of the books, for help not realizing Alex Rover is really Alexandria Rover (Foster), a fainthearted recluse living in a big city.

U.S. RELEASE: April 4 2008, Nationwide • Rated: PG


Jodie Foster“I’ve been wanting to do a comedy for a long time, Maverick was such a great experience, I really enjoyed it. But I couldn’t find anything that was good enough. I read this script and kept banging down doors and lobbying for it. The first studio it was at was not keen on me at all, understandably; they knew me for my dark dramas.”

“When we heard that Jodie had read the script and responded to the character, we were beside ourselves, because for a director to work with someone of her caliber was just so thrilling to us. She had not done a comedy in a long time and I think that there was a reticence, perhaps on the studio level - they like actors to do what they’ve done before.”

Abigail and the sea lion“The best part of the movie for me was getting to work with the animals. I had to train with them a bit. The sea lions were the friendliest just because they come up to you and they give kisses. But we had animatronic turtles and an animatronic sea lion while we were on the beach or else they would’ve gone out into the ocean.”

“The sea lions are the best actors in the movie, they’re just amazing. They did everything that they were supposed to do. I mean, not only did he kiss me on the lips, but he held the kiss until somebody said okay.”

“Abigail was incredible with those animals. It was why she was so excited to play Nim, she had a natural rapport from day one with them and it was really impressive to see. She would take a fish and she would throw it to the sea lion, she created that relationship with those animals.”

Abigail Breslin and Jodie Foster“Abigail is great. Because I was a child actor from the time I was three, I do see bits and pieces of myself as a kid in her. She’s very well adjusted, she likes to just get on with it, and likes to do her job and not dwell on the acting. She has something that I didn’t have as a young person, which is she has this very strong access to her emotions. That’s so easy for her; she’s really just born to be an actress.”

“The stunt people called Nim 'Nimdiana Jones', so that was kind of funny. I thought I was a good swimmer and then once I got [in the water with the sea lion] I realized I wasn’t that great a swimmer. They had this black tent over the water for one scene and a metal pole and these huge tires, so that got a little bit scary. “

Gerard Butler“I think the biggest challenge for all of us, Gerry [Butler], myself and Abigial was the stuff that we did in the tank. It was three in the morning and it was the Australian winter, it was cold and there was a lot of underwater stuff.”

“Before Gerry joined up, we had given a lot of consideration to casting two different actors for the roles [of Nim’s father and the Alex Rover character], that he ended up playing singularly. It was actually Jodie that suggested it, that perhaps it could be one actor playing both roles.”

“Once we thought of Gerry, [we knew] he was the best case for Jack and he was the best case for Alex Rover. And I don’t think there was any other actor that we had talked about who we ever thought of that way. So it became incredibly exciting. It made the story more of a fairy tale in a really great way, and made everything seem much more fated, which was really wonderful – Jodie was right.”

“Gerry is hysterical. He’s a funny, funny guy. He’s always performing and always giggling, and I love seeing him in this movie because he makes fun of the characters that he’s played in dramas. I think that we’re both doing that in some ways. I’m making fun of my fearful characters and he’s making fun of his big hero characters. I think it was a blast for us to do.”

“Nim and Alexandra both conquer their fears and do what they don’t want to do, but in the end they realize that it’s okay and they feel better about it. I think that’s the most important thing in the movie.”

Marathon training on Hamstead Heath

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Summit Entertainment and Fox-Walden
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #695, May 2008 cover

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