Kate Hudson (Tess Finnegan) and Matthew McConaughey (Ben “Finn” Finnegan) Q&A
QUESTION: How many days did you spend in the water?
KATE HUDSON: Water movies are really hard. I mean, we were on the water. And it looked like a big army out there. We had the boat that we were shooting on. Our dressing rooms, or where we would get our makeup and change and stuff, was on another boat, and we'd shuttle back and forth. So, it was all boats. I liked the whole thing.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: They would shuttle us to another boat. Yeah, from boat to boat to boat.
KATE HUDSON: And then tank.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: And then tanks. We were in the water pretty much 90% of the time. And we couldn't be in the water for about two weeks because this wild jellyfish came through and ran everyone out of the water. The Irukandji.
KATE HUDSON: The Irukandji jellyfish.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah. About the size of your pinky nail.
KATE HUDSON: Well, we only really got in the water twice, three times?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: You may have got in the water three times. I got in the water a few more times than that.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah. They wouldn't let me in the water though. You went first the one day they actually found the Irukandji.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Oh yeah, that's right. We were running from the Irukandji.
KATE HUDSON: Which were these deadly jellyfish. They literally put you in the hospital for three days on a morphine drip. Really, really bad.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: And they only come out when the water is at a certain temperature, point five degrees within a little spectrum.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah, and they're these tiny, like, quarter of an inch jellyfish that are totally translucent. You can't even see them, and they sting you. They say it's not the sting that kills you, it's the pain.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: It's the pain. But Australians love to say that,
KATE HUDSON: That's true. It kind of goes for everything in Australia.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: A cool and adventurous part of the whole thing in Australia. I mean, everything in the water, in the air, on the land, bites hard, and is somehow poisonous. And you just don’t go strolling out into the jungle. You just don't go swimming out into the ocean. Everyone there has to know their stuff before heading out. And then, sharks, and I had pythons in my trees in my little beach hut I was living in.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah, you had a snake. That was a fun thing to hear.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: But we swam. You could see sharks. Dugongs, which are the original mermaid.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah, we saw a manatee. That was really cool. That's supposed to be really good luck because in that part of the world, you don't see those things.
QUESTION: Did you do the water scenes, or use stunt doubles?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: We pretty much pulled it.
KATE HUDSON: I mean, I held my breath in one take; I couldn't for 45 seconds, because I had to go down and then wrap the rope around. When you see it, you're like, ‘God, they make it look so easy.’
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah, it's onscreen for five seconds.
KATE HUDSON: I was really proud of myself for that stunt because I had been doing long exercises to be able to get myself ready for however far I needed to get to. It was wild. The thing about working in water is that it's so sensitive. You really have to be very careful. And everybody has to be very on. It's very serious. So, there's not really much goofing around when you're working underwater.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: And Kate came a long way from the day she went out to go get certified, till the end. She came a long way with her comfort with the diving stuff and just being in the natural water.
KATE HUDSON: Oh, I was terrified. I was so scared. I would sit on the edge of the boat and I'd be, like, ‘I don’t know why I'm doing this. I don't want to get in the water.’ And then I'd look down and I'd see, like, a three and a half foot angelfish. And I'd be, like, ‘I'm not supposed to know about this. I don't care about it. I don't want to know.’ And then, the second I got underwater, it was, like, ‘Oh, wait a minute. I want to know about all of this stuff.’
QUESTION: Matt, what is the most beautiful place you've gone diving or the toughest dive that stands out to you?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: While I was there in Australia, I went over to Papua, New Guinea, and dove, and did some wreck dives with some World War II planes and stuff. That was one of the cooler dives I've done. About, I don’t know, 35 - 40 meters. That was really cool. There's two, either they have a nature dive or a wreck dive. I've done nature dives, but that wreck dive was really pretty special.
QUESTION: Did you find anything?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah, there are Japanese planes down there. And you can still see the full-on red dot as crystal clear as if it was painted yesterday. But I was taking the spots where we knew we were going to go see some things, hopefully. And we had good, clear water, so the visibility was good.
QUESTION: Did you snag anything?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I got a few things in my pocket. No, I pretty much left it alone.
KATE HUDSON: That's a rule of the sea.
QUESTION: Is there danger in there? And don't you have to be hydra certified to do the dives?
KATE HUDSON: No. It depends on how deep they are. Like, there are some wrecks that are 25 feet, 35 feet. And then a lot of them sometimes span from 25 to 90 feet, because you get those big carriers. Usually they're not. Sometimes they're quite shallow. There are some actually, near Fiji, that are quite shallow.
QUESTION: One of the delightful things about this film was the chemistry that you had, which was nice without being ostentatious.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah. Without doing a tap dance.
QUESTION: Is that just something that happens organically? You don't know what's going to happen?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I think so. I think that's just something that is good with Kate and I.
KATE HUDSON: I think it just kind of happened. The first meeting we ever had when we were going to shoot How to Lose a Guy… I think everybody in the room was, like, ‘Oh, this is going to be really fun and easy,’ because we just got along really well.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: And we surprised each other on the screen. I think one of the things that's cool with Kate and I is that if one of us does surprise the other, the other one doesn't pop up and yell ‘Cut!’ We kind of roll with it.
KATE HUDSON: Do people pop up and say ‘Cut?’
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Sometimes. There were times I've said some things that weren't scripted and someone will go, ‘Wait a minute. That wasn't in the script.’
KATE HUDSON: That's so funny.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: But a lot of our accidents are the stuff you see on screen.
KATE HUDSON: That's true.
QUESTION: There seemed to be a reason for the relationship that kept you two passionate about each other in the movie.
KATE HUDSON: Oh, good. That's a good sign.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: She didn't want to hang out with me for a while. But I still don't understand that. I was going to get the gold, and I was going to get my girl, and loved them both. I don't know, she got a little sidetracked there for a while, but I was on it.
KATE HUDSON: For me, it was real too, real similar to how I feel about Matthew in real life, which is like, I sometimes just can't stand him because I love him so much, which just drives me crazy. So, those feelings of him off doing his thing and being all crazy and things and me going, like, ‘How do I reel him in and keep him here and focused?’
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I get so focused on the work in front of me that sometimes I'll just go for miles and miles and miles on it, and forget, and then look up, and go, ‘Oh, I was supposed to be back there at noon, and it's 4:00, four days later.’ Missed that one.
QUESTION: You did a lot of these stunts which someone might consider dangerous, and you just did them anyway.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I did as many as I could. That's part of the fun for me.
QUESTION: Now that you're going to become a father, do you have any second thoughts about doing things that might fall into a gray area?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: No, not really. I mean, look, like in any sport, if you start playing not to get injured, that's when you get injured.
KATE HUDSON: You're going to be a daddy.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I've had some scary situations where I've been on films, and on this one in particular I had quite a few, but not to an extent where I regretted something I did. I'm not foolish with it at all. We were talking about that.
KATE HUDSON: No, actually he's not.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I'm not reckless with it at all. There's no room to be.
KATE HUDSON: You are with yourself sometimes, when you came back from Papua, New Guinea with scars and welts and things.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah, if I'm gonna go off. I knew that one could only be epidermal damage, but going underwater to go dive, you have to be really careful.
KATE HUDSON: No, I mean, I think whenever you're doing any stunt, with you I feel I had to be on the back of that moped and it was raining and muddy, and pretty steep and narrow. As easy as it looks, was just a little weird, a little hairy. But you're super. I think you know when to say, ‘This is probably not the best thing for me to be doing.’
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah, this is too much. That got a little too hairy, and I'm glad we got away with it. But let's not try it again. So, you do your homework before. But, see, when it works is when we both get a little scared. You don't have to go on there and really act when the camera's going along and we're doing 30 miles an hour down a muddy hill. But you get past that. You go, ‘Okay, did you get that one in the can because we don’t want to push it again.’
KATE HUDSON: I was like, ‘We won't do it again.’
QUESTION: We've had actors tell us their lives are changing and they're going to reconsider what they do. Have you gone through that?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: No. But again, I'm not reckless. I'm not stupid with my activities. I love to go out and get into it, but I'm not foolish with them.
KATE HUDSON: You're very careful.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I do the homework first, see with the elements are, and then go do it and if we're on film, hopefully they're pressing record.
KATE HUDSON: I think it's so funny because when you become a parent, it's like one of those things where you think that sometimes things change when in fact, you integrate. Chris and I still say that we integrate. You integrate your children into your life and what you are is what you teach your children. A lot of stunt people have kids, and they don't quit their job. They just teach their children that this is what they do, and a part of what makes them happy is living their life and thrill-seeking. Me? I want the opposite. I had Ryder and never wanted to do anything. I got terrified of everything. And then the process of being on this movie and what I was going through at that time was really getting over a lot of my phobias. Because you realize that you don't want your children to think that there are things to be fearful of. I don’t want Ryder to grow up thinking, ‘Don't go in the water. Mom's afraid to get in the ocean, or mom's afraid to go in a helicopter.’ I want him to grow up going, ‘Oh, Mom scuba dives and she skis. She's active and she's not afraid.’
QUESTION: Is there a really strange place either of you have been recognized by fans, making movies all over the world?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: I had one. I was hiking through Africa in Mali, and I was, I don't know, 100 miles away from the nearest town, and we were out in the middle of the bush with people that had never been in a car, people that still thought the world was flat. People that said, ‘I had never even seen or been around electricity.’ And this one kid comes up and he looks at me. He's like, ‘Van Zan.’ And I go, ‘What?’ And he goes, ‘Van Zan. You killed dragon.’ And he was talking about Reign of Fire. And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ He's like, ‘Yeah, Van Zan.’ We high-fived, and we went through charades and reenacted the movie for about two hours in the middle of the dirt out there, and then we laughed and went on.
KATE HUDSON: That's actually funny that you say Africa because I had an experience in Africa. I was just in Africa, and I got this horrible, strange, bizarre, like hive outbreak, which was very weird, and I was a little nervous about it. I was in the middle of nowhere, way out, like near the Botswana border. And I had to go to this doctor, out at a clinic, and he hardly spoke English, and I walk in, I'm in a little bit of a panic mode. I didn't want to have something that has never happened before while I was out here. It wasn't like normal hives. It was very bizarre. And then, I'm kind of looking, and he looked at it and went, ‘Hmm, I've never seen that before,’ which is not what you want to hear. You're like, ‘Okay.’ And then he tells me what it is, gives me some like cream to put on it, and then asks to take a picture. This is something totally new. I was in panic mode, and he completely recognized me. He knew who I was coming in, and I was out in the middle of nowhere. That was kind of weird.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Called his friends.
KATE HUDSON: Yeah, and I came out of the thing and his wife was there. And I took a picture with the wife.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Take a picture. Come by the house. Have dinner.
QUESTION: You're a director now. What was that experience like?
KATE HUDSON: That was great. The one thing that really changed for me, and something that Matthew always talked to me about, was, I'll never be late to a movie set again. First, I was waiting on my dad because he was having an issue with his mustache. And we're on time constraints; we only had 10-hour days because we have kids, and I'm waiting on my father. I'm just sitting there waiting. Twenty minutes go by, 30 minutes. I'm like, ‘Oh, man, I will never, ever be late to a movie set again.’
QUESTION: Matthew, how are you looking forward to being a dad?
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Oh, it's been a great adventure. I've always wanted to be a father, and was just waiting for the right time. I'm with the right woman, and now it is. So, I'm excited for the new adventure.
KATE HUDSON: Don't you think women are more attracted to men with babies? I mean, when you see a little cute like dad with his baby, you're like, ‘Ooh, cute.’
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: See, I think it's cool.
KATE HUDSON: That's just my girl opinion. I love seeing cute boys with their babies. It's cute.