NZ the Way US Used to Be Says Robert Redford
Hollywood film star Robert Redford, 80, came to New Zealand to expand his Oscar-winning résumé with children’s film Pete’s Dragon, but what he found was an idyllic paradise reminiscent of his own childhood.
Redford says he felt powerfully nostalgic while spending time filming Disney’s Pete’s Dragon on our shores.
“I grew up in America when it was very different to what it is now and we’ve lost something,” the iconic actor tells Stuff.
“I watched my country get more and more cynical, more and more hard-edged and it lost some of its innocence. Then I looked to Canada and realised Canada had what we used to have.”
“Now Canada’s starting to lose it, so then you look to New Zealand and say, ‘Ah, I remember that’s the way we once were. We were friendly, had beautiful land that wasn’t over-developed and beautiful countryside.'”
“It was a very positive atmosphere, so to go back and make this film there was just a joy.”
While scouting a location that would allow a young lead actor to run around half-naked through the woods in January, director David Lowery found New Zealand not only offered the right seasonal and landscape conditions, but the same childhood magic that Redford reconnected with.
“It feels like Middle Earth – you can’t escape it,” Lowery says. “I wanted this movie to feel like a heightened, realism, magical version of the Pacific North West and I wanted it to feel the way the world feels when you’re little.”
Original article by Leena Taylor, Stuff, September 4, 2016.