Orlando Bloom has spent a lot of time in the Caribbean in recent years, and not just filming pirate adventures. The British hunk stars in and produces “Haven”, an indie thriller set in the Cayman Islands about a a disapproved of love affair in paradise which turns deadly.
Shot a few years back, the film had difficulty finding distribution until the Yari Film Group, the same company behind last month’s Summer sleeper hit “The Illusionist”, picked it up and is now unleashing it on the world. Bloom, and his co-star love interest Zoe Saldana, sat down recently to talk about the film:
Question: How was it producing and having the film pushed back?
Bloom: That’s really a question Bob Yari because he’s the guy getting the movie out now. He wanted to, he set up a distributing arm for his company and he wanted to distribute the movie himself, so that’s what has happened, and this is the time for the movie to be released. And I’m very, very happy because I’ve been talking about this movie for a long time, we all have, and I feel very happy that the movie is coming out now. I’m really proud of it, it’s an honest little movie; it was a real labor of love on the part of everyone involved. It doesn’t pull any punches, it is what it is.
Saldana: It’s totally guerrilla filmmaking where everybody’s collaboration was really the inspiration every day. I’ve never been on a set where, the sad part came when you had to wrap for the day. You were like, ‘Let’s just do one more; we can squeeze this other take.’
Question: What was it like on your off time down there?
Bloom: We had a lot of fun; we were a bunch of kids playing in the sand really with lots of cameras – not that many, but – it was only a small movie; we had a lot of fun. I certainly didn’t have a lot of off time; I remember the first night of shooting, I was on the phone to my manager going, ‘I’ve got eight scenes to shoot tomorrow.’ I mean, I’ve never had eight scenes to shoot in a day before. The thing about a big movie is that they allow a lot of time because there’s a lot of time to set up the stuff, and this was like, ‘We’re shooting it now.’ If you’re not in the moment, the moment’s gone. So you gotta be there and ready to go, and I loved that. I love independent movies, I’ve always loved independent movies, and I’ve loved all the movies I’ve been involved in. I’ve had great good fortune to be involved in them, but this one came from the heart because it was really a family effort.
Question: When you read the script, what jumped out at you?
Bloom: Frankie did this film called Swallow, really emotional, beautiful film. And he brought this script to me, and he actually wanted me to play the character Fritz, which I didn’t really kind of relate to. And I said, ‘Look, I like the character of Shy, but he’s a young Caymanian kid.’ He said, ‘Give me 24 hours; let me mess around with it.’ He came back, and I kid you not, the shooting script that we have is the one he came up with 24 hours later, and it was done so well. It didn’t feel like, “Okay, this is a star vehicle moment; we’re going to get this and do this like this.’ It was done with a lot of integrity and it really gave I think Shy and Andrea a heart.
Saldana: More depth.
Question: Were there any discussions on how ugly to turn you after the attack?
Bloom: I wanted to lose an eye; I wasn’t allowed and I should have been because I’m the producer, right? Actually, you know why I didn’t? Because there wasn’t enough time; the makeup girl did – she’s amazing. I work with her all the time and she did an incredible job of doing that scar, which I thought was really effective. But to lose an eye and everything else, it would have taken too long.
Saldana: We would have needed three more weeks of planning or something. I think also with the scar, it didn’t matter how intense or how gory it could have gotten because he was known on the island. There were references in the script and the story where he’s just a charming man, everybody loves him; whether because the girls think he’s very attractive or because he’s very graceful. And the same people who put him up on that pedestal, when he loses his looks, those are the same people that isolate him because they don’t know how to treat him, so he doesn’t really know where to go. It also goes to show where we put our priorities – that a person’s heart lies in the features in his face, and if that’s disfigured then what’s inside.
Question: In the film, paradise turns out to be hell. Do you think Hollywood fame is like that?
Saldana: Yeah, I’m from the Caribbean, so that’s what I loved about this story was how accurate Frankie was in terms of the social structure of it and how there’s no middle class: you’re either rich or you’re poor. And the ladder to success is not really a ladder, it’s a chain; once you reach a certain level, you can’t go back and you can only keep going forward. And also, how accurate he was by showing where we really base our principles; it has nothing to do with the color of someone’s skin, it has to do with money and their class. And I think it is very similar to Hollywood; it’s a very interesting, symbolic sort of parody – it’s beautiful on the outside, everybody wants to be in it, everybody wants to live in Cayman. I mean, I want to be a waitress. The average waitress makes $75-90,000 a year, and she doesn’t have to report it; that’s amazing. So everybody wants to be a superstar, but once you’re living there, you realize you become very comfortable, very spoiled and you start abusing the resource you the privileges that you have.
Question: Do you want to continue producing more films?
Bloom: I really enjoyed the creative; yeah, I do. I really enjoyed the creative process of being part of this movie – from the beginning, talking to Frankie about his character with Shy and developing that and whether it was the music or the posters or the artwork or whatever, we all collaborated, we kept the balloon rolling. But I really enjoyed the process of doing that.
Saldana: Nurturing something and caring for it and watching it evolve and delivering it.
Bloom: Yeah, it made me much more emotional.