Disney's "Jungle Cruise" is ready to set sail in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access this weekend and Noovie was lucky enough to be a part of a virtual Q&A with the cast before the voyage sets sail. The upcoming odyssey stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, & Edgar Ramirez. The name of the film might look familiar. That's because you've probably seen it when you were cruising downstream Disneyland's iconic boat ride of the same name. It's also likely that the Skipper on your boat had just as many bad jokes to tell as the Skipper Frank (Dwayne Johnson) you'll see in this new flick. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our quick Q&A with the cast of "Jungle Cruise."
'Jungle Cruise' Q&A - Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, & Edgar Ramirez
Q: How instant was the chemistry?
Emily Blunt: It was instant. It was. We were pals for life immediately. It was like, I knew when we met. We had this rapport that, like, ping pong back and forth so quickly. And I just thought we're gonna have a good time. I knew it.
Dwayne Johnson: It's very true. You hope to get lucky with your cast and you have to try to have some chemistry. Emily and I have been talking a lot about chemistry these past couple of weeks doing press, and a lot of times you fake it, you know, 'cause you're acting.
Q: There were so many incredible stunts in the film. Which one was the most difficult to film?
Emily Blunt: The rope/vine swing. For me, it was the most challenging because he [Johnson] would not let me get one straight take in. He was going and he pushed it so far, every time to try and make me laugh on that vine swing. We shot that all day. We didn't get one straight one.
Dwayne Johnson: It was that heroic vine swing where the hero grabs the lady, you know, with that intention and takes off and goes to save the day. And then of course it just goes to hell because I don't save the day. I think between the big heroic, non-heroic rope swing and then for me personally, the action with the Conquistadors with Edgar and his partners. That was really pretty challenging.
Q: How does it feel being a villain in Disney and representing Latin America in such a cinematic experience?
Edger Ramirez: it feels incredible. Aguirre was a great character, a beautiful character to play. Complex. I'm very happy. It's very special to be in a movie like this. What I love about the movie in general is that it has so many beautiful and great characters that allow you to be on a journey. And what I love about the Conquistadors and Aguirre specifically is that it really puts you in a journey into the past. And that is beautiful. You know? It's like you have all these fantastical elements and that's what we go to the movies for. I want to be on a journey. I want to be disconnected.
Q: The scene between you guys [Johnson and Whitehall] where McGregor comes out. How important was that for you guys to get it right? And what was it like filming it?
Dwayne Johnson: I felt that the scene was really exactly what it was, which was two men talking about what they loved and who they loved. And it was as simple as that, and we were sharing a drink.
Jack Whitehall: Yeah, I think it was a scene that we really wanted to get right. I think to what Emily was talking about earlier, I think what's so great about this movie is that all of the characters feel so fleshed out. And all of them have interesting backstories and are fully realized. And, you know, in a lot of movies of this kind of genre sometimes, you'd have characters that are a little bit kinda two-dimensional. But I think it's so great that we get to understand so much about each of these characters, and they all have reasons for being where they are, you know, interesting and rich textured backstories. It makes you invested in them, and it makes you care about them. And it makes you really on that journey with them.
Q: What about the Jungle Cruise spoke to you? The attraction?
Dwayne Johnson: Well, nostalgia. Thank you for the question. I would say nostalgia. I had ridden the ride when I was a kid. Many moons later I went to Disney World for the first time and road the ride then too as well. So, it had a nostalgic element to it when it was first presented to me. But also, you know, really the opportunity that we had that we could create something that was hopefully unique and special. And when you think about it, these elements that we have here are like, you hope to get lucky in a career where you have an opportunity like this where you can make a movie that's based off an iconic ride that's (as) beloved as Edgar was saying with the most trusted brand in the world when it comes to (entertainment), and delivering entertainment for families. So, there were a lot of those elements that really spoke to me, and it started with the script, and it started with our director. As Emily was saying, he is a romantic.
Q: For Edgar and Jack, what is the central item that we should take to a jungle cruise?
Jack Whitehall: I mean, as I'm next to you and having rewatched the movie, the most useful element may have been taking a snake charmer. 'Cause that seems to be the main threat in that film. And had they had a snake charmer aboard that ship, we would've been absolutely fine.
Edgar Ramirez: I don't know. Well, I guess a blow dryer? Right? Because you need to be glamorous on one. Or if you get splashed by water and you need to dry off. Or satellite phone. You know? So that you can be rested.
Q: Have you been on the Jungle Cruise as a child, and is this film what you imagined?
Emily Blunt: I only rode the Jungle Cruise ride two days ago at the premiere for the first time. I loved it. I thought it was very whimsical and sweet. And I could see the elements from the ride that have made it into the film.
Dwayne Johnson: I think the movie is so much more than what I expected. The charm of the ride is the simplicity of it and the education of it as well. And the silliness of it. And the calmness of it too. You know, you go in the park and there's so much to do in the Disney parks. Then, you get on this ride and it's almost like you can exhale and really just enjoy the simplicity of the ride. But our movie is anything but simple with all the elements that we have. So, I think we delivered.
Jack Whitehall: Yeah, I would say that's the element to the Jungle Cruise ride that I like the most, is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. And I think that that is definitely something that we took over into the movie. And it has such ambition and scale, and it's beautiful, and the sets are incredible, and the set pieces and the action. It's got all of that. But at the heart of it as well, it's not a movie that takes itself too seriously. It has wit, it has humor. It's got some of the best puns I've ever heard. It's got Dwayne Johnson doing a standup comedy routine. What's not to love about that?
Edgar Ramirez: So, I saw the movie for the first time, and then went into the ride with my family and some of my closest friends. And I loved it for the same reasons that Emily just described. 'Cause it was simple, it was cute, it was tender, and it was silly. And I agree with Jack. You were fantastic in your standup comedy Dwayne. I mean, the backside of water is gonna stay with me forever. And then I went on the ride, and our skipper made that joke as well, and I cracked. It's not that funny, but it's super funny. You know? It was really nice. And I can see why it's become so iconic for so many generations. I think that the movie took it to the next level and really rescued that delicious silliness that's so refreshing. In life, we need that. Those are the best jokes. The silly jokes. Now, right now, that's what we need.
About the Author
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.