Banderas & 'Falcon' Crew Caught in Real Revolution
By David Weiner
Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto star in the stirring Arabian epic Day of the Falcon from veteran director Jean-Jacques Annaud, and in this ETonline exclusive behind-the-scenes clip the stars recall how they were caught up in a real-life revolution while shooting on location in Tunisia.
While filming a story of rival kingdoms warring over oil and the two young lovers looking to bring their families together to end the violence, flashpoints of the Tunisian revolution that led to the ouster of the region's longtime president began to spark.
"The situation is getting worse and worse; they have seen some tanks over here," recalls Banderas of real life intruding on the fantasy of filmmaking. "At twenty to five, one of the producers got [on the set], screaming, 'Everybody out! Everybody out!' … It was a situation almost tragi-comic, because we were all in costumes just running around, turbans flying in the wind…"
"We could see plumes of smoke, we could see fires in the distance," says director Annaud.
Al Jazeera TV reported that the president had left the country and the army had taken control. Still, the production was determined to complete their film about upheaval in the Arab world, wrapping on time and on budget only days after the revolution changed the region.
"It's so apt for the film and for the moment," says Pinto. "We're talking about a revolution in the film as well, in a way -- growth, and a change, a shift. … It's very unique and very rare that people get to witness the making of history."