Big Miracle isn’t just a whale movie,’ it’s not a destination piece on the Alaskan tundra, it’s not a vehicle for that dishy Drew Barrymore or the always lovable John Krasinski, it’s a tale about a true miracle. It’s based (or inspired as they say) by events that did really happen back in 1988.
Here’s the story in a very tiny nutshell. A trio of whales became trapped in Alaska. Greenpeace, the coast guard, the Inuits, big time oil-men, the president, and the Soviets (in the midst of the Cold War no less) all came together to help free the misplaced mammals. Once the media caught wind of the story, all the big news shows tracked the progress of the rescue mission. It became one of the big stories of the day but one that many had forgotten about. But we shouldn’t. It’s not just an amazing story, but it’s an powerful lesson as well. That when we humans can get together for a common goal, well anything is possible. And this lesson is truly important to share with our children, to give them hope, compassion and to know that we can all make a difference.
A couple of weeks ago, a group of us “mommy bloggers” met with the cast of the film (Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell [sans Sloth], Ted Danson, Dermot Mulroney and the director Ken Kwapis) and talked about the importance of the film, passion and good old fashioned people power.
JOHN KRASINSKI as Adam Carlson 1 of 5(This story is) so incredible that you want to make sure the movie's as incredible as the story, which is very, very difficult to achieve. I remember reading the script for the first time, and I remember saying to Ken [Director Ken Kwapis] and I'd been friends with Ken for a while, and I said, it's really, really good, I like it, it's very, very sweet, I just think we've got to pull back some of these storylines, nobody's gonna believe them. He said that they're all true. And I was like, okay, Ken. I don't know how long you've been in Hollywood, but that's not possible that all these are true. And he's like, they're all true. And that blew my mind.
And then, I thought that there was something really, really special that would bring together these people. And I think in this day and age with the social media, I think it's a great direct correlation.
I personally believe that the time to believe in speaking up and having a voice and what can I do to help and all that is now. One Tweet, one Facebook page, one anything can start an entire movement for your favorite charity. You can get a pothole filled on Main Street. You can do whatever you want. Or, you can go all the way and start a revolution and be out in the streets of New York and start a national campaign, you know?
So, it's an incredibly powerful time to believe in getting together. And I think, innately, people have a goodness inside them that wants to bond with goodness in other people. Whether you believe in the same things or not, you can get together and do great things. Ms. Drew Barrymore: I think that they're completely connected in the way that it was media that got this story out to begin with. And that was sort of the big catalyst. So, I think that's amazing considering it was such a different time, and now that's exactly the way things are happening.
DREW BARRYMORE as Rachel 2 of 5I'm portraying this woman Cindy Lowry (known as Rachel in the movie)..she loved having a voice, and she really did pull out a bullhorn in the middle of an auction to sell off the Bristol Bay. So, she really was that person…and she's a bit of a bull in a china shop in that way.
I do think that being a passionate person is a bit messy. But, I think that someone like Cindy, which I really, really respect and I try to approach a lot of things that are important to me in life like this, as well, which is to do your homework and be really educated as you are passionate, because passion is wonderful, and it's important. But, when you're able to articulate your point or dot your Is and cross your Ts and have the backup argument and give the PowerPoint of why you are trying to make this argument so viable, I think the combination is what really makes it work. And Cindy was like that, and I would like to try to be that in my approach to things.
KRISTEN BELL as Jill Jerard 3 of 5I hope that kids and everyone will realize how unreasonably powerful it is when human beings can come together for a common goal.
It's less about our relationship to the whales, and it's more about our relationship to each other - that people from different political backgrounds, different cultural backgrounds, and just opinionated human beings work together, they can make the impossible possible.
So, anything is accomplishable if you're working together. And that's something we often forget, because of how segregated we are. Even like sub- divisons. Everyone had their own house. No one lives communally, and there's a lot of proof that in Denmark, where they live communally, the happiness factor is higher, you know? We separate ourselves so much.
You can connect with technology, but it can also distance you. So, it's important to realize that if you really are truly working together, you can accomplish anything.
(after her answer a blogger said, "You'll be a good mom." Kristen sighed and said, "I hope so. Thanks, guys."
DERMOT MULRONEY as Colonel Scott Boyer and TED DANSON as J.W. McGraw 4 of 5Ted Danson: When asked if such an incredible story could happen now he replied, "Different. In our news cycles now, this would be a five minute story instead of a five-week story."
Dermot Mulroney: Back then, of course, there were only three networks. And you had to wait 'til 6:00 p.m. to hear the next installment of the story that you're daughter's asking about the whale or whatever it is. You see that all depicted in the film.
Ted Danson: Do you think this could happen today? You're talking about from a hopeful point of view?
Sunny (me): Yes, the resources and the people coming together from all these different factions and all the resources going to something like this.
Ted Danson: Well, we did it with, was it Chile? Yes, remember the miners? The world came together around that. We can get it together as a species every once in a while.
Director KEN KWAPIS 5 of 5(The film) kind of hits people in different ways at different times. And in terms of thinking about a young viewer, I didn't think about it and I'm a parent. So, it affected me as a parent. I didn't think about whether I needed to protect a young viewer because I never felt like it was. I always felt like I had sort of paved the way along the way, and it was going to be sad.
But, this is gonna sound a little heady, I feel like children will rise to their own and they will seek the level of what they can deal with in their own minds. And it's easier when you're telling a fairy tale. When you're telling a story that a child can imagine whatever they're capable of imagining, they can imagine what the old lady does in Hansel and Gretel, they will go as far as they need to.
Watch and share the Big Miracle trailer on Facebook and Universal Pictures will donate $1 to Oceana!