Hollywood blockbuster director speaks outThursday, March 16,2017
As Kong: Skull Island tops box offices worldwide and shatters records in Vietnam, its director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, has taken on a new role: Vietnam’s Tourism Ambassador for the 2017-2020 tenure.
Kong: Skull Island, whose backdrop was mostly filmed in Vietnamese locations including Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province, Trang An Scenic Complex in Ninh Binh province and Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh province, is the third film by the US director and the first Hollywood blockbuster to be shot in Vietnam.
Vogt-Roberts is the first film director to serve as tourism ambassador, which aims to promote the image of Vietnam’s people and land to international friends and to bring the country closer to Hollywood film producers and directors.
He spoke about his hit film and his plan for his new mission in a recent interview.
Reporter: Can you share your feelings on receiving the title of Vietnam’s Tourism Ambassador?
Vogt-Roberts: It’s an incredible honour and one of the greatest privileges that I have ever had. I honestly could not believe that I has been given this opportunity to continue to help the rest of the world see what I see, which is that Vietnam is one of the most special, beautiful, wonderful places on this planet.
I appreciate the hospitality from locals who have welcomed us as their guests, and I feel so alive and inspired by their spirit.
Reporter: Why did you choose to shoot Kong: Skull Island in Vietnam?
Vogt-Roberts: Vietnam was one of many places we visited during the early phase of production. We were under a lot of pressure to shoot the movie in a place that my colleagues had worked before, but when we looked around in this country, it became clear to me instantly that there was nowhere on the search more beautiful than this country.
Then it became a mission for me to figure out how to shoot here, because it had never been done on that scale before. It became a mission for me to put the country on screen to instill a sense of pride into Vietnamese locals and to share its beauty with the rest of the world.
Reporter: How do you think the movie will promote Vietnam to the world?
Vogt-Roberts: Right now it is the number one movie in the world. Millions of people are watching the movie right now and witnessing Vietnam. I promise you every single one of them will say: “Oh my God, where did they shoot that? Such beautiful places! Where is that?” I hope to help people discover how gorgeous this country is.
Reporter: What is your plan to promote Vietnam’s tourism as a new tourism ambassador of the country?
Vogt-Roberts: It is a great responsibility and I don’t feel I can do it from afar. First, I want to further my understanding of this country’s traditions and the cultures even more than I already do. I’m selling my house in the US to come here. I want to be more represented and I understand it.
And then at the same time, I will work with Hollywood to bring actors here, bring other directors here, letting them know this is a viable option. You could set a movie here every day for the next 20 years and not run out of beautiful locations to shoot. While I’m collaborating with the people here, I will try to make things that people notice in the same way as Kong.
I’m looking forward to finding all the ways I can collaborate with everyone here and make sure things grow properly.