Finding Community in Seven Days in Utopia
- Thursday, September 01, 2011
“Fredericksburg was probably the cleanest town in America,” remembers Duvall about the days spent filming in this Texas Hill Country locale. He also speaks highly of Utopia, where the film finished out the rest of its shoot.
“I would have to put [Utopia] right at the top of the list of my favorite locations of my whole career I’ve worked at. It was welcoming. It was a wonderful place to work and a wonderful cast. Just a special time.”
Play On, Players
Besides Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Kathy Baker (the upcoming Machine Gun Preacher), Deborah Ann Woll (HBO’s True Blood) and Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), the “wonderful cast” also included some special supporting members: several of golf’s most popular players whose credentials include winning major tournaments and who added greatly to the true-to-life action.
“It was just great to be able to hit golf shots with PGA Tour pros and major championship winners,” says Black, referencing the involvement of Rickie Fowler, Rich Beem, Mark Brooks and other professional golfers. “And for me it just measured my game up to theirs and seeing how they hit golf shots and where does mine relate to theirs. That was an awesome experience.”
Playing Luke’s golf rival on-screen is K.J. Choi (“Tae Kwon Oh” in the film), the most successful Asian golfer ever who has spent 40 weeks in the top ten of the world rankings and won the 2011 Players Championship.
“The storyline immediately interested me,” he says. “It was lovely and powerful in its message which is strong if you play or do not play.
“Playing golf can be very up and down,” he continues. “And like life it is very short and has many kinds of people. Some of those people hold back. Some are sad. Some are happy. Same ball, different goals.”
Black says meeting a golf hero like Choi was “phenomenal.”
“Seeing him play on TV, he’s got such an intimidating look,” Black admits. “But talking to him on set, he’s got such a great personality and a great sense of humor. He’s got a great passion for the game which I loved. We were blessed to have him.”
For those not familiar with a birdie, a bogey or anything else golf related, Russell echoes Choi and assures the uninitiated that Seven Days in Utopia is not just a golf movie.
“I kind of based the model off of one of my favorite films of all time which is Jerry Maguire,” he reveals. “I’m a huge football fan, and there are two things I would pull from that. It’s not really a football movie; it’s just the world that it takes place in. And I think that that’s one thing that I wanted to parallel with Utopia.
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