Ron Howard has been calling the shots from the director’s chair for 46 years. In that time, he has directed films such as The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13, The Grinch and Rush.
He latest outing in his glittering directorial career is In The Heart of the Sea, a biographical adventure based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 book of the same name about the sinking of the whaling ship Essex in 1820; the event which inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It stars Chris Hemsworth in the lead role as Owen Chase, a First Mate assigned to the Essex under the less experienced captain George Pollard Jr., played by Benjamin Walker. During their voyage, the Essex is caught in a storm and then destroyed by a large sperm whale. The crew of the wreck must survive on minimal resources whilst trying to find a way home.
In an interview with ComingSoon.net, Ron Howard talks more about the filming process, particularly the weight loss of the actors: “They have their clothing and you don’t realize while they’re doing the storm, while they’re doing the whale attack, they’re also in there with the trainers and already having their calories restricted and beginning to drop the weight so when we shift over to the post-wreck scenes, you’re already beginning to see it in their faces“.
A photo of Chris Hemsworth has swept the internet, showing the shocking lengths to which the cast went to achieve a realistic look. Howard also talks about not wanting to make a real-life Moby Dick classic, but rather wanting to make the film appeal to an audience in a contemporary way, stating that many of the themes are “very modern… and very relatable. I didn’t want it to feel like a classic movie you’d see at arm’s length“. With awards season fast approaching, many will be keeping an eye on Howard’s ‘not Moby Dick’. In The Heart of the Sea will be released on December 11, you can watch the trailer below.