Armie Hammer And Dev Patel On Shooting 'Hotel Mumbai' In Adelaide
Asked what the actors thought of Adelaide, Armie Hammer responded: "Radelaide", with a knowing nod.
"It was awesome, it was a great place to shoot," Armie continued.
"It was amazing," agreed Dev Patel, but Armie wasn't done singing Adelaide's praises.
"I mean, just from a shooting perspective, the crews were amazing, all of the sort of film infrastructure there was totally conducive to shooting any kind of movie," he said enthusiastically, marvelling that they were able to shoot a film set in Mumbai in Adelaide.
"And it worked perfectly!" he exclaimed, adding that it wasn't just the working environment that he enjoyed.
"The food scene there is incredible, and the wine is world class, so that also made it easy," he added.
Hotel Mumbai is a gripping and relentless portrayal of a terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Describing the experience as "sacred", Dev said that he felt a strong sense of responsibility to "do these people justice -- not only the people who lost their lives but to the survivors".
And although the film is at times harrowing, Dev said that it "doesn't pull any punches".
"We’re not trying to turn it into a sort of Die Hard movie," he explained. "You genuinely fear for every single person in this, and there are things that happen that sort of break the usual Hollywood storytelling mould. I think audiences are gonna be gripped."
By breaking that Hollywood mould and having no character be safe, Dev said, it adds to the feeling of the film being real.
"Even in the casting and the languages, you’ve got Hindi, Marathi officers, it feels so authentic and so present and alive," he said.
Despite the film's serious nature and the actors clear commitment to doing the story justice, Dev and Armie kept things light throughout the interview, joking about with one another while answering questions.
Asked what attracted to the film initially, Dev replied: "Armie Hammer."
"Dev Patel," Armie fired back, exclaiming to Dev: "You were involved with it before I was! So that’s not even fair! I was attracted to it because of Dev Patel, but who’s NOT attracted to Dev Patel?!"
"Oh, look at him," laughed Dev, before getting back on track, reminding himself: "No, okay, serious -- serious movie".
Dev went onto explain that "being of Indian origin, having shot five or so films out there [and] visiting that hotel" helped him to understand "what it did to the country" which in turn made him want to "be a part of telling this story, and also making sure we do it right".
Armie then shared that he really did want to work with Dev, as well as director and co-writer Anthony Maras.
"I’d only seen the short film that [Anthony] did, The Palace, and it was incredible. I mean, it’s one of the most intense short films I’ve ever seen. It’s probably the second-best short film I’ve ever seen, next to Dev’s," he said.
"Which Armie’s in!" Dev interrupted, as they both laughed again. "So, let’s talk about that!"
Back on track, Armie went on to say that "it seemed like an amazing story" and that "after seeing the amount of research and care that Anthony had taken in his preparation for this, and then also seeing his short film, I realised that there probably wasn’t a better person to tell the story."
Moving on to discuss the film's portrayal of terrorism from a non-western perspective, Armie glanced at Dev, he asked: "Do you want me to take this one?"
Dev agreed, laughing.
"As the westerner?! As the American?! Okay fine, I get it, I’m the American!" Armie exclaimed, as they both cracked up.
"I really loved that about this film," Armie went on to say. "In almost every American film that deals with terror, the terrorist or the perpetrator are always these faceless, nameless, masks of people who are just cold-hearted killers, who are only hell-bent on executing and creating terror."
Showing the "humanity on both sides" as the film depicts "not only the effect that being the trigger-pullers has ... and what it does to them psychologically but [seeing] their belief system, in a way, be shaken to the core" was important to Armie.
He continued: "In this film, you see that the people pulling the trigger in this event were kids. They were misguided, lied to, kids, who came from abject poverty and were told ‘if you do this, we will provide the surgery for your dad, we’ll make sure that your brother is taken care of, your family will never want for anything, and they will be protected by us'."
Hotel Mumbai is in cinemas from Thursday, March 14.
Feature image: 10