|"Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" Interview
|by Rebecca Murray
Photo © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with the human stars of "The Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" in an exclusive interview to promote their feature film. The film's stars - real-life husband and wife team, Steve and Terri Irwin - are such a rarity in the entertainment business (a happy, loving couple on screen and off screen) that I couldn't pass up the opportunity of finding out a little bit about their first feature film, and what keeps their relationship going strong.
Steve and Terri Irwin and their close friend, writer/producer/director John Stainton, had long thought about bringing their work with wildlife to the big screen. "The Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" presented itself as a way to extend their work to film, without fictionalizing Steve's "Crocodile Hunter" persona. No CGI work was done to make the animals look fierce; Steve and Terri were right there with the real thing for all of the film's animal scenes. When I asked Terri if working together in stressful situations and then going home together every night ever put a strain on their relationship, she didn't hesitate with her reply. Terri was very emphatic in stating her belief that being with each other so much actually strengthens their relationship. "We don't drink, we don't smoke, and we are actually in love and happily married. We love our little girl, we go home to each other at night, and we believe in what we are doing," Terri said, adding, "Say my husband had a dangerous job and I wasn't with him, I don't know how you go, 'Oh honey, how was it with the police department today? You got all your fingers and toes today?' It would scare me. I'd have to become a police officer and work with him; I couldn't do it."
As passionate as Steve is about his work with animals, he comes across equally as passionate about his wife and young daughter, Bindi-Sue. One of the main advantages the family had while filming "The Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" was the ability to stay together as a family unit. Bindi-Sue has inherited her parents' love for animals, and Terri related how Bindi-Sue would much rather have been home, at that very moment, taking care of the animals than traveling around the world promoting the film with her mom and dad. Steve recalled that while filming the movie, during downtime he and Bindi-Sue would wander off exploring the areas surrounding the film's locale for interesting wildlife. Director/producer John Stainton interjected his observations about Steve and Bindi-Sue's adventures. "Between takes, sometimes there was an hour set up if we were re-lighting the scene, and we'd lose Steve. We'd have to send someone out looking for him. He and Bindi would be up in the bush and he'd have a snake showing it to Bindi."
Talking to the Irwins, it's evident how well they compliment each other's personalities. While both are vibrant and full of life, Steve and Terri communicate in dramatically different styles. For all the passion and wildness in Steve's speaking demeanor, Terri is the perfect balance to reign it in and keep it all in perspective. As Steve says about Terri, "She's so grounding. I tell you this thing [shouting it] and she tells you actually what's going on."
While most people who have achieved the Irwins' level of success in the entertainment industry would enjoy special occasions vacationing at exotic locales, the Irwins spent their 10th wedding anniversary helping Indonesian elephants. Their love for wildlife and their dedication to spreading the 'conservation' message is a 24-hour gig. They don't distinguish the time between filming and not filming when it comes to caring for animals. Terri says it's their love; it's what they do. That love for wildlife, and the love of family, is what they are all about.
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"The Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course" Official Synopsis:
Containing information so sensitive it could mean the end of the world as we know it, the satellite's black box must be found. So the CIA sends two of its most respected undercover operatives, Agent Bob Wheeler (Lachy Hulme) and Agent Vaughan Archer (Kenneth Ransom), Down Under to retrieve it.
Through the swamps, towering gums and red dirt plains of the Australian bush, Wheeler and Archer tail the unsuspecting Irwins as they go about their current quest - to rescue and relocate a rogue crocodile being stalked by a feisty local cattle rancher, the widow Brozzie (Magda Szubanski). But suddenly the Irwins discover there are others in the race to find that gorgeous 12-foot 'saltie,' and they think the two blokes following them are just about the most determined 'poachers' Steve and Terri have ever seen. They've even got guns!
With the stakes now raised to risky new levels, Steve and Terri know these poachers will do anything to get their hands on their precious croc. And as the Irwins' routine rescue mission escalates into a dangerous pursuit, the course is set for an inevitable and explosive collision between The Crocodile Hunter, the CIA, and that cranky old widow Brozzie.
MPAA RATING: PG for action violence/peril and mild language.