×

‘Lost City of Z’ Director ‘Gave Up Completely’ at One Point on Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson Film

Judging from the glitz and glamour of the red carpet at “The Lost City of Z” premiere, one would never have guessed all of the grunt work that the cast and crew went through to get their movie onto the big screen. Stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland, as well as producer Brad Pitt, were among the stars in attendance at the ArcLight Hollywood on Wednesday night as James Gray’s historical drama made its debut.

The film, which features the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Hunnam) and his obsession with finding the remnants of a once-great civilization in the Amazon, was in development for several years before a grueling shoot in the Colombian jungle.

Pattinson, who plays Fawcett’s aide-de-camp Henry Costin, discussed what it was like to shoot in the jungle. “After the first week when we realized it’s basically going to be a tropical thunderstorm at 3:30 p.m. every single day, it was kind of easy to go with it because it was pretty consistent weather — just not a lot of time to shoot anything,” Pattinson said. “But I find that anything that makes it easier to not act at all makes it way easier. We were just in a raft on the river and the only difference was there was a camera there; I thought it was very satisfying and fun.”

Holland, who plays Fawcett’s eldest son, Jack, shared some anecdotes from that same jungle shoot. “One of the funniest moments was when the howler monkeys decided to throw feces at us, because that’s what they do,” Holland recalled. “It was disgusting, but also hilarious.”

Popular on Variety

Hunnam, who had an insect crawl into his ear at one point in the jungle shoot, still loved his time on set. “I’m a great lover of the outdoors so any time I can be, like in our film, spending enormous amounts of time in the Highlands of Scotland and Snowdonia National Park and then in Colombia,” Hunnam said. “Any time I can be outside and away from big groups of people, I’m at my happiest.”

While the shoot itself was “hellish” in the words of Gray, the film had to shake off years of being stuck in development before it could even get to that point.

“At a certain point I stopped thinking that the movie would even get made, around 2011 or 2012, and I went off to make another film. I just gave up completely,” said the director. “It’s actually a testament to Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner, who were the producers and stayed committed to getting it made and kind of called me out of the blue to bring it back together. It’s a great joy and strange to be here tonight for that reason.”

After the screening of the film, the cast, crew, and guests made their way to Le Jardin in Hollywood for an after-party. Among other notables in attendance were “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and “X-Men: Apocalypse” actor Tye Sheridan.

The Lost City of Z” opens in theaters on April 14.

More Scene

  • Sean Penn CORE Gala

    Sean Penn Offers to Take Selfies in Exchange for $5,000 Donations to Disaster Relief

    A decade after the catastrophic 7.0 Haiti earthquake left between 50,000 and 100,000 dead and nearly a million people displaced, Sean Penn hosted the 10th anniversary CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) gala, raising funds for international disaster relief at the Wiltern Theatre on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. “We’re not here tonight because we want [...]

  • Allison Janney Viola Davis

    Viola Davis & Allison Janney React to Lack of Diversity in 2020 Oscar Nominations

    Monday morning’s Oscar nominations rebooted the #OscarsSoWhite conversation, reigniting discussion about representation after women were shut out of the directing category and only one person of color — Cynthia Erivo — was nominated in the acting categories. At the premiere of Amazon Original’s “Troop Zero” at The Grove in Los Angeles on Monday evening, the [...]

  • Star Trek Picard Premiere

    'Picard' Stars Reveal Which 'Star Trek' Character They Would Get Drunk With

    The cast and creators of “Star Trek: Picard” turned out for the show’s premiere at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome on Monday night. In the spirit of the festive atmosphere of the night, Variety asked them which “Star Trek” character, past or present, they’d most like to pound a few Romulan ales with at the local [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Laura Dern

    Inside the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    ‘Twas the night before Oscar nominations and all through the ballroom, the Barker Hanger was buzzing as critics mixed and mingled with A-listers inside the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night. Life Achievement winner Eddie Murphy, #SeeHer honoree Kristen Bell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Bong Joon Ho were among the big names who played [...]

  • Taye Diggs Critics Choice

    Critics' Choice Awards: The Complete Winners List

    The 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards gala, hosted by Taye Diggs, was broadcast live on The CW on Sunday night. It was a good night for both Netflix and HBO, with the studios taking home trophies for movies and shows like “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “When They See Us,” “Watchmen” and “Succession.” “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content