Tell us about your San Andreas character, Ray.
He’s one of these really special unique guys like a lot of men and women out there who are rescue pilots and fire fighters. One of the most amazing things is how in the face of calamity and trauma everyone runs away whereas they run towards it.
Did you learn any cool new skills on this movie?
I spent time with the helo rescue pilots trying to operate a helicopter. I understood the technical aspects of it, then spending a bit of time with those guys to get inside their psychology. But the most important and compelling material was working with the earthquake scientists. We broke down the script with them and learned all about tectonic plates and how much research has been done in terms of being able to call in an earthquake 30 to 60 seconds before it happens.
Do you ever want to own any sort of aircraft?
Never. I enjoyed it in the movie when I was able to fly, but I love my pick-up truck. I have no interest in flying my own plane or buying a chopper. Also, in the helicopter you’ve got two guys who actually fly it at the same time, so I can look like I fly very well.
What did you take away from San Andreas?
We don’t delve too much on it in the movie but it’s OK to fail. I know what it’s like to get a divorce. There are parallels with myself and this character but he also loses his daughter. Without giving too much away, he’s carried the weight of that blame for so long and the irony is that he’s a man who saves lives.
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