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Look out for more coverage of
Sahara in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Sahara

THE STARS:
Matthew McConaughey • Penelope Cruz • Steve Zahn
DIRECTOR: Breck Eisner

Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey), Dr Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) and Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) THE CONCEPT:
A master explorer and his life-long friend and sidekick search for a Civil War battleship through dangerous regions of West Africa, where they meet a doctor who believes this hidden treasure is connected to a larger problem threatening the world’s population. Based on the popular novels by Clive Cussler.

U.S. RELEASE: April 8 2005, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY:
“Dirk Pitt is a bit of a fighter, a bit of a lover, he has fun, has some serious moments, and has got a lot of heart. I don’t know if I felt that everything in my career was leading up to this character, but he sure was dynamic.”

PENELOPE CRUZ:
“I want to give the characters I play a hundred percent, and I’m going through the adventure with everyone else. Everyone suffered the sand storms, the sun or the cold in the morning and it’s part of the experience. I’m already a very adventurous person, curious about everything in life. But, in this movie I thought I was Indiana Jones some days. I trained for months and months before doing it.”

TEVE ZAHN:
“With this movie you couldn’t rely on some spectacle or some computerized wizardry. It had to come down to believing these people as real people, and these guys have been together since kindergarten and they are still together, which is kind of crazy. So Matthew and I obviously had to hang out a lot. We did all the training together, and a lot of it was in the middle of nowhere.”

BRECK EISNER:
“If the two lead characters don’t work, I don’t care how many explosions and guns you have, the movie doesn’t work. Matthew and Steve are really different guys, but they’re two guys you can believe could be best friends. I think they really pulled it off, partly because they’re great actors and have great spirits, but also because they spent time together before we shot. They hung out in London for a week getting to know each other, going to bars and hanging out socially, which was important.”

McCONAUGHEY on his romance with Penelope Cruz:
“There’s a young poet out there that wrote this, it wasn’t me. ‘I am living and breathing her. I want to be with her every minute.’ She’s a joy to be around. Life’s good. You see her, what’s not to like?”

CRUZ:
“I met Matthew on this movie. My first impression of him, I thought he was professional and respectful to everyone, and he has a great sense of humor.”

EISNER:
“I think [their romance] was unexpected for everyone, especially them. As a director, I don’t see anything that goes on on the set other than how it relates to the movie, so I had no idea. It wasn’t until we were done that I learned about it. They seem so happy together, what a great thing.”

ZAHN:
“They bought three books I think, so they obviously want this to be a franchise. Every movie you want it to be a franchise. If it make $100 million, then guess what, we’re going to make another one!”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Sahara site
Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #656, May 2005 cover

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