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Live report from the set of 'Dolphin Tale': Part 4

These two have formed quite a friendship since this production began and are very complimentary of each other. Although they are very comfortable around each other, I asked the twelve-year-old Nathan what is was like to be working with this caliber of stars…

“I’m so nervous when I meet people like Harry and stuff. When you get to know them, me and him are really good buddies now.”

I then began to wonder if the lauded musician/actor has to deal with any butterflies when going on set these days…

“I never did get butterflies, I was never the nervous type. But you do sense the presence of these people and the history that they bring and the cache that they have. Especially someone like Morgan, he’s done so many things, so many quality things, that you just say that this is a really cool thing. What fascinates me and I think you may agree with this (motioning to Nathan) is you’re curious to see how they are, how they go about their job and how they’re like as people. And in Morgan’s case, he couldn’t have been cooler. Laidback, really nice and really great to watch. To see him do his thing is pretty cool.”

As for when Harry is on set, the guy likes to keep it light. We talked about how many people think he’s a prankster and Nathan echoed the same notion and wondered why Harry hasn’t tried to prank him yet…

(With that patent Connick Jr. grin) “I don’t pull a lot of pranks, I just have a good time man. For me it’s laidback. And when the content is such as it is on this set, when you’re talking about such an inspirational story, there’s really no sense in getting all heavy about, you know what I mean? Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, we all worked hard to prepare for our jobs, we’re all professionals and we like to have a good time. That’s all we’re doing.”

Harry mentioned preparation. Prior to arriving on set, Nathan spent two weeks in the tank learning to swim with Winter. Shockingly (insert sarcasm) the dolphin took to Nathan and everyone describes seeing them together in the water, is heart-warming as ever. With Harry, he has magically balanced two successful careers for the last two decades. He admits that he reads scripts all the time but the really good ones are few and far between. When he received Dolphin Tale, he was able to cater it around his “day job.”

“When you a look at a list of the film stuff, next to a list of the musical stuff, it seems like a lot. With this shoot for instance, I’ll work for four days and then have five off and I’ll go hang with my family. It‘s not all that strenuous.”

It probably sounds like a blast to many, however one has to be prepared to take the rigorous schedule on. Nathan has had a busy career very early in his life and here are his introspective thoughts about it…

“It’s all been a run-on blessing, from movie after movie, it’s been a great experience every time. I know that my family is trying to keep me low-key so I don’t get ahead of myself.”

Harry reassures that Nathan will be just fine in shaping his career, even with all the early success at a young age…

“I know his parents, grandpa and his sisters and when he’s my age, he’s gonna be just like he is now. Smart guy. And a good dude.”

“You know what happens man, like you have people say you come from nothing. And that doesn’t mean money, some people have no values. His mom and pop have given him great values. He knows right from wrong, treats people with respect. He’s polite. He’s a pro. And he‘s nice”

These two have a legit friendship and have built a nice camaraderie between them. Which is fairly obvious as you are able to see them take playful jabs back and forth with each other between takes. Just as Nathan timely chimed in after Harry’s above compliment…

“Now Harry on the other hand, he’s rude, lazy and always late, a slob.”

And Harry comes right back with…

“Well, that’s cause of the drugs and I don’t mean to do those things.”

Harry and Nathan haven’t been hiding while staying in Clearwater during the shoot. They’ve visited many restaurants and took in some NFL action this past Sunday at the Brown Boxer. Both enjoyed dinner one night at Casa Tina. In their opinion, everyone around the area has been cool and respectful.

And in my opinion, one should keep an eye on Nathan Gamble. It was a pleasure to watch him execute his scenes. Kid just has “It.”

The day finally closed out with Ashley Judd shooting her final scene in which the entire crew on hand gave her a nice round of applause for her efforts. She went around thanking everyone reiterating how it was a pleasure to work with this crew. In the scenes I saw her work, the actress is very focused and committed to bringing out the best performance possible. Sure that may seem obvious to say, since she’s had a nice career thus far. Yet, seeing her preparation for even the simplest of takes, solidifies one’s assumption.

Since I give my opinion on a daily basis, here’s my closing thoughts on Dolphin Tale as a movie. It really can’t miss. I was able to view a sizzle reel – rough footage of the film in no particular order – and it should register with most audiences. I feel some people are going to underestimate the power this flick will project upon release.

Much like the theme present in this article, this story is all about inspiring people to never let anything derail their lives. Fight for what you want and be sure to respect people you meet along the way. Never take anything for granted. Just a few years ago, the state of Florida believed its days of being a sought out location for major Hollywood productions could be over. Through the efforts of an abundance of people, along with the local talent keeping their skills sharp, the film bill finally passed and the rewards are starting to come in.

A very special thank you to Alcon Entertainment, Warner Bros., David Fulton (public relations) and everyone mentioned in the above article for taking the time to chat with yours truly.

Harry Connick Jr. is always having a good time

Harry Connick Jr. is always having a good time

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Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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