Belfast Telegraph

Marine filming leaves In The Heart Of The Sea cast thinner and wiser

Chris Hemsworth opened up about the bonding experience that the cast of new film In The Heart Of The Sea went through as they spent four months filming at sea.

He was joined on the blue carpet in Leicester Square by actors Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker and Tom Holland, who all endured a crash diet that saw them drop their calorific intake to just 500 to realistically portray their shipwrecked on-screen counterparts.

Hemsworth said: "It was an exhausting shoot, we had four months on sea, losing weight and on ships, wet 90% of the time. It was incredibly physical but incredibly rewarding too.

"All the cast (were) doing it together, all losing that weight, all training together and on this crazy diet, so there was solidarity in doing it together."

In The Heart Of The Sea tells the true story of the Essex whaling ship that inspired the novel Moby Dick. The ship is destroyed by a enraged bull sperm whale, leaving its crew shipwrecked for 90 days and thousands of miles from the nearest land.

Benjamin Walker who plays the Essex's captain George Pollard said their "excruciating" diet was a small tribute to the sailors who lost their lives on the voyage.

He said: "I'm never doing a crash diet again. It was absolutely excruciating, but it was least we could do to represent these guys who actually suffered and many of which didn't survive. You underestimate how it affects you emotionally and mentally; by the end you're brain dead and spontaneously crying for no reason so it was a harrowing event."

Murphy added: "These people actually lived through this and we were complaining like moany actors saying, 'Oh, I'm so hungry' but these guys had to do it for real so it does bring it home."

The cast certainly suffered for their art with Holland describing the day on set where he filmed his character Thomas Nickerson sliding into the carcass of a sperm whale to fish out the sought-after oil inside was "the single hardest day I've ever had on set."

"It was about this time about two years ago that we shot it, about two in the morning. I was covered in vaseline, it was freezing cold and I did it about 20 times and the worst thing wasn't doing the scene, it was getting back out again. It was so slippy that I'd just sort of slip back in again. It wasn't my most heroic moment," he said.

The 19-year-old agreed with director Ron Howard that the water-heavy filming experience has encouraged him to stick with dry land.

Howard, who used to have a phobia of water, admitted only a brilliant film script could convince him to even go near the ocean.

"I don't go to the sea for fun and recreation but if a story calls for it, I'll go there," he said.

Holland said, "I went on a cruise with my family which was great because it doesn't rock but I'm never going back to the ocean again. I'm happy on dry land."

One other thing the actors did agree on is which crew member they would eat if ever shipwrecked.

"Chris out of the crew because there's just more of him and he could go around," said Holland.

"Hemsworth - there's so much meat to go round. You live for years out on the ocean on him," agreed Walker.

But Murphy was not picky.

"Listen, I'm not fussy, any of them. I'd fecking eat myself. Anyone who's closest," he reasoned.


From Belfast Telegraph