Thursday 19 September 2019

Jean Reno details tough experience filming Spike Lee’s upcoming Vietnam movie

The French actor said members of the cast and crew fainted because of the heat.

French actor Jean Reno (Victoria Jones/PA)
French actor Jean Reno (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The conditions on the jungle set of Spike Lee’s upcoming Vietnam war drama were so hot and humid that members of the crew fainted.

Hollywood actor Jean Reno, 71, stars as a villain in Da 5 Bloods, which is expected to be Lee’s first film since his Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman.

The French actor praised Lee as a “very simple man with a real point of view”, and said that he was “very happy” with the acclaimed director’s on-set presence.

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Spike Lee with the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar (Ian West/PA)

However, he said that he had found filming “very difficult” and that he had to “preserve” himself and “be careful”.

Filmed in Thailand, Da 5 Bloods follows four African-American Vietnam veterans who return in search for the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure.

Reno told the PA news agency: “I have done it. I did the bad guy in the middle of the jungle.

He was a very simple man with a real point of view Jean Reno

“It was fantastic. Very simple. I was very happy with him. He was a very simple man with a real point of view.

“He was somebody very easy. I have been meeting him for years, time to time. How are you? How are you, Jean? How are you, Spike?

“Then he called me and said that because the movie takes place in Vietnam so he needed somebody who was French somehow, so he asked me.

“Really, I have a very good time with him. It was very easy. Again, because he knows exactly what he wants.”

Reno, best known for turns in Leon: The Professional and Wasabi, added: “We have been shooting in Thailand. He was very unique.

“But very difficult – the most difficult thing is the heat inside the jungle. It is very difficult.

“You have to preserve yourself and be careful because some people, they fainted because of the heat and humidity.”

Outspoken director Lee is best known for his cult film Do The Right Thing, released in 1989.

Last year he won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, but missed out on best picture to Green Book.

Reno recently appeared in Cold Blood Legacy, which saw him reprise the role of a hitman alongside actress Sarah Lind.

The film, written and directed by Frederic Petitjean, focused on a former assassin who enjoys the isolation of his lakeside cabin.

However, his solitude is shattered by the arrival of a young woman, played by Lind, the survivor of a massive snowmobile accident.

Cold Blood Legacy is available on DVD and digital from September 2.

PA Media

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