Dwayne Johnson Stars in Earthquake Thriller Opening Friday

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson is starring in the earthquake thriller, San Andreas. Johnson plays a rescue pilot in the movie which will be opening in U.S. theaters Friday, May, 29.

Johnson, 46, rode on a fire truck with a fire department helicopter overhead to the San Andreas movie premiere on May 26. He said he spent a lot of time at Fire Station 27, in LA to prepare for his role as an emergency helicopter pilot. Now that the movie is out, he wanted to arrive at the premiere in-style and give honor to the first responders. Johnson said he hung out with them, ate great Hawaiian food, and then they traveled to the premiere. Director Brad Peyton commented that Johnson makes the best entrances. He said that when he arrives Peyton either steps out-of-the-way or aims the camera.

Reuters interviewed Johnson about the re-creation of the magnitude 9 earthquake. He said it was more of a challenge than the Fast & Furious movies he filmed with Vin Diesel.

 What would attract audiences to this movie?

Johnson said, the movie presents Mother Nature at her most intense, creating the largest earthquake that has ever been recorded. The audience can experience this movie on an extreme level. These events could actually happen. The audience will be entertained and have the wind knocked out of them. When they leave the theater, people are going to talk about it and consider what they would do in an earthquake emergency.

Is Johnson interested in earthquakes?

Johnson said, he finds earthquakes fascinating. He really appreciated the experts that were on the set. There were seismologists and scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Southern California (USC). Earthquake specialists made sure the script was accurate, challenged the actors to make it look real and continuously made corrections to make the movie true to life.

Out of all the sets he has been on, what sets this one apart for Johnson?

Johnson stated that they relied on practicality, not green screen. The film was shot in San Francisco Bay outside AT&T Park in the world’s second largest water tank. Everything was shot to scale. He said, after feeling the destruction, in movie form, it is clear and unsettling that the film depicts only a small piece of what a magnitude 9 earthquake could really do in real life. He said that being on set with Vin Diesel is challenging but this blows him out of the water.

Dwayne Johnson

 Was he scared?

Johnson said, never. He said he knows the cameras are on. The answer is always never.

The movie plot.

The two leading ladies in San Andreas, are Alexandra Daddario and Carla Gugino. They are involved in the thrills just as  Johnson, when California is decimated by the cataclysmic earthquake.

Gugino plays the character, Emma, who is the estranged wife of Johnson’s character, Ray, a rescue helicopter pilot. Daddario plays the daughter, Blake. When the earthquake hits San Francisco, Blake is there with Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma and Ray are in Los Angeles.

Even though Blake is separated from her family, she is with two British brothers, maneuvering through the broken city. Daddario says she enjoyed playing Blake. She believes that Blake evolves and becomes stronger in the movie, nevertheless, she is still human and a young vulnerable girl.

That is not all the movie offers. The movie also sends the audience through the experience of after-shock, a tsunami and fires.

Is releasing San Andreas so close to Nepal’s travesty respectful?

Movies are planned years in advance so it is not possible to predict real-life scenarios. Nepal’s destructive earthquakes has left the question for this movie, just as it did when Paul Walker died before Furious 7 was finished, “How will real life affect this movie?” Johnson believes that this movie was made with a clear understanding of the content. He stated, in today’s world, things happen, like a movie about a destructive earthquake hitting California, when it actually happened to Nepal. He continued saying that believing that if the people involved in the movie follow their soul and heart, and make a good movie, it can respectfully be released.

Peyton said that the movie was created realizing the significance of what a real earthquake, that size could truly accomplish. The movie is not about earthquakes but about a family coming back together.

By Jeanette Smith

Sources:

Reuters: A Minute with-Dwayne Johnson on Shaking, Quaking  ‘San Andreas’
Fire Engineering: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Rides Fire Apparatus to Film Premiere
Boston Herald: Dwayne Johnson Plays Chopper Pilot on Rescue Mission in ‘San Andreas’

Photos courtesy of:
Erik Scott’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Dave R.’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Erik Scott 2’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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