Who is responsible for making “The Interview” – and where and when was it filmed?
Of course, the comedy about assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wasn’t filmed in North Korea. So, where was it filmed?
How about Vancouver, British Columbia?
The entire movie was filmed in and around Vancouver last October to December. (We’ll note some of the exact locations below.) O, Canada!
North Korea actually believes the United States government made the film. In fact, it was largely made by Canadian tax payers, who footed most of the bill! Ha!
As Canada’s Global News notes, “‘The Interview’ was made in Canada by Canadians with the help of Canadian tax credits.”
That strikes Canadians pretty funny, since they feel at least 90 percent responsible for the controversial movie; it’s funny as long as all those threats to strike the White House, Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland and target President Barack Obama are just blarney.
Perhaps none of this is amusing, however, to Sony Pictures, which was victimized by a damaging cyber-attack on its computer archives, supposedly because it green-lighted the film and planned to show it in theaters starting Christmas Day.
Somehow, Canada’s name didn’t come up in any of the statements from North Korea or the hackers, the self-proclaimed Guardians of Peace.
Just how Canadian is “The Interview”?
Among the film’s executive producers are Canadians Shawn Williamson and Ariel Shaffir. It was co-produced by Point Grey Pictures, a company founded by Vancouver natives Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (and named for the Vancouver high school at which they became friends). They co-directed, and filmed it with largely local crews, dozens of local extras, and a supporting cast of Canadians like Reese Alexander, Diana Bang, Geoff Gustafson and Dominique Lalonde.
Since the film, made on a budget of $44 million, was essentially “home-grown” Canadian box office fare, it was eligible for British Columbia tax credits of up to 33 per cent and Canadian federal tax credits of nearly 16 per cent. And don’t forget that favorable exchange rate between American and Canadian dollars. Cast and crew could be housed pretty economically for two months of location work.
Interiors – bars, bedrooms, etc. – were shot on a soundstage at The Bridge Studios in Burnaby, B.C. Scenes in which James Franco’s character hosts his fictional interview show “Skylark Tonight” were shot in a studio at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre.
Downtown Vancouver was used for the film’s “New York City” exterior scenes.
The glorious Canadian Rockies that stand like sentinels around Vancouver doubled as both China and North Korea.
Vancouver’s Robson Square doubled as Pyongyang, the North Korean capital — complete with a giant statue of Kim Jong-un. (I’m waiting for that to turn up on eBay.)
Other locations include:
Vancouver Art Gallery on Hornby St.
The Ascot Lounge on West Pender St.
A street corner at West Hastings and Hornby streets.
A stretch of West 1st Ave. near the Burrard Bridge.
The movie’s final scenes, in the life boat, I believe were shot on what the Canadians call the Salish Sea (Americans think of it as a northern part of Puget Sound, I suppose); specifically in an area that looks to me like Horseshoe Bay – kind of on the way up to Whistler (where the 2010 Olympic ski events were held). A construction yard along the bay, off Highway 99, looks like the area where the tank and aerial scenes were filmed.
Pretty country. Much prettier than North Korea. Everybody loves Canada. Everybody loves Canadians. In fact, Americans, if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation overseas, try shouting, “Don’t shoot! I’m Canadian.” It works.
It seems to be working – so far – for the makers of “The Interview”.
December 24, 2014