With the much-anticipated latest King Kong movie opening in theaters around the world in two weeks' time, its Hollywood stars share their experiences of filming in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Vietnam.
“It’s very surreal,” Brie Larson said in an interview on Monday with Access Hollywood about spending around a month in Vietnam.
The Oscar-winning actress was among around 120 crew members and an all-star cast, including Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston, who touched down in Vietnam in February last year to shoot at famous sites in the central province of Quang Binh's colossal caves, the northern province of Ninh Binh and the world-renowned Ha Long Bay. Parts of the film were also set in Hawaii and Australia.
“It’s just not every day that you get the opportunity to film at these places,” she said. “We had to shoot in real parts of the jungle that hadn’t been touched by man.”
Larson said that in Vietnam, she had to have fake cuts and get her fingers and hair as dirty as possible for the role, which added challenges on her return to Los Angeles for the 88th Academy Awards, where she won her first Oscar for best actress in Room.
She said her team had to literally scrub dirt out of her fingers, fake blood off her shoulder and wash her hair five times.
She returned to Vietnam the next day to resume the filming and said that was itself a “surreal” experience.
“I had no idea where I was. I had no cell service. I couldn’t figure anything out. Was that a dream?” she said, describing her impression when she was driven to the set and woke up for the first time after the flight.
It was exactly like Cinderella's trip in her pumpkin, she said.
As the biggest movie to be filmed in Vietnam so far, Kong: Skull Island is expected to provide Vietnam with a global stage to show its unique beauty.
At least Hiddleston was impressed.
The best part about making the film was “going to these extraordinary locations,” he told Access Hollywood.
“They were quite remote, places of natural beauty of completely different scale.”
Quang Binh Province last month also published a video promoting itself as an exciting destination, reminding viewers that it was the set for the Kong blockbuster and featuring the testimony of the film’s director Jordan Vogt-Roberts himself.