‘Hollywood Days’ in Brazil: ‘Fast Five’ & ‘Breaking Dawn’ filmed in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is currently having its “Hollywood Days” as per local reports, thanks to the presence of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, in addition to Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and fellow Fast Five cast members.
On late Sunday night/early Monday morning (Nov. 7–8), Pattinson and Stewart did the Breaking Dawn scenes set in Rio’s Lapa district (this bit is not found in Stephenie Meyer’s novel). Featuring Tom Jobim’s “Girl from Ipanema” and Roberto Carlos’ “Emoções” in the background, the sequence apparently has the recently married Edward Cullen and Bella Swan-Cullen taking part in Rio’s never-ending (in Hollywood movies, that is) carnival street party.
Breaking Dawn and Fast Five are supposed to bring in $3 million in revenues to the state of Rio de Janeiro, but not everyone has been thrilled with the shoot in Lapa, known for its 18th-century aqueduct, colorful colonial buildings, lively bars and nightclubs, and just as lively transvestite sex workers.
Portable bathrooms set on fire
Four portable public bathrooms were set on fire in protest against the blocking of various Lapa thoroughfares on Sunday, as residents were allowed to go home only after showing proof of residence to police.
More enterprising Lapa denizens, for their part, took a non-violent approach to the situation, charging Twilight fans up to US$150 for the privilege of watching the Breaking Dawn shoot from their apartments. (See clip below.)
Leaving the incinerated bathrooms unmentioned, RioFilme director Sérgio Sá Leitão tweeted that Sunday was “a wonderful day in Rio. Ideal for filmmaking. So far, everything [has been] going well with Fast Five and Breaking Dawn. Our efforts have paid off!”
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Rio’s historic Lapa district.
Lapa is in the air
In the clip above, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are seen on a Lapa street in Rio, where there’s carnival partying every day and samba music is always in the air.
Bill Condon explained to the Brazilian media that the historic Lapa district – adjacent to downtown Rio’s business center – was chosen as a Breaking Dawn location because it’s a section of the city that hasn’t been seen in Hollywood movies.
Anyhow, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Tourneur, and Henri-Georges Clouzot would likely have made a solid thriller out of this footage.
In other Breaking Dawn in Rio news, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart doubles were spotted at the Marina da Glória, where paparazzi thought they were getting shots of the actual twi-couple. The real Pattinson-Stewart combo showed up in the flesh later on.
Update: After leaving through the back door of Rio’s posh Copacabana Palace, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart – surrounded by heavy security and screaming fans – flew by helicopter to Paraty, where they stayed at the fiercely guarded Pousada do Ouro (“Gold’s Inn”).
According to Paraty’s Tourism Office, the Isle Esme sequences were filmed in the vicinity of this colonial town south of the city of Rio – more specifically, near a waterfall in the Taquari area and in a mansion on the Saco do Mamanguá beach.
In Breaking Dawn, Isle Esme is the setting of the honeymoon of the vampire Edward Cullen and the human Bella Swan Cullen. That’s when Bella discovers she’s pregnant, a situation that results in some serious headaches (and other body pains) once the Cullens return to Washington State.
Vin Diesel fan arrested
And as for those wondering what Breaking Dawn author-producer Stephenie Meyer has been doing in Rio…
Perhaps while not dancing the samba in Lapa, Meyer was spotted going to a Mormon temple in the Jardim Botânico district in Rio’s South Zone.
As an aside, the Twilight troupe hasn’t been the only one attracting the attention of Brazilian movie fans. Terra.com reports that a Vin Diesel fan was arrested after trying to impersonate a police officer so as to approach the Fast Five star at the Copacabana Palace.
Rio de Janeiro film agency investing in ‘Breaking Dawn’
Update II: RioFilme, the city of Rio de Janeiro’s film agency, is investing $500,000 in the production of Summit Entertainment’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1, currently (Nov. 2010) being filmed in Rio and surrounding areas.
RioFilme’s $500,000, in fact, was an added incentive for Summit to shoot several Breaking Dawn segments in Brazil. Director Bill Condon, producer Wyck Godfrey, producer-author Stephenie Meyer, and stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have all traveled to Rio for a(n approximately) ten-day shoot.
The money was to be spent on two scenes of indeterminate length featuring “postcard images” of Rio de Janeiro.
US$3 million in revenues
According to RioFilme director Sérgio Sá Leitão, the filming of Breaking Dawn in Rio will generate $3 million in revenues to the state (minus the US$500,000?), in addition to the creation of 500 jobs. (It seems that one of these gigs went to Brazilian model Raphael Martins, Robert Pattinson’s local stand-in.)
RioFilme will have at its disposal $3 million per year to invest in international projects. Leitão ads that the agency “will only invest in movies that show Rio in a very favorable light.”
‘Breaking Dawn’ director Bill Condon: ‘Forget Stallone’
In other Breaking Dawn news, director Bill Condon and producer Wyck Godfrey, along with RioFilme director Sérgio Sá Leitão, chatted with journalists about filming Edward and Bella’s honeymoon in Rio, where the presence of twidols Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart has caused a commotion among fans and the local media.
Godfrey declared that he and his crew felt perfectly safe – Rio is internationally infamous for its murders and muggings – thanks to the support of both state and city governments, adding that the efforts of their Brazilian production partners, Total Entertainment and Zohar Cinema, made things even easier.
The highlight of the interview took place when Condon was asked about Sylvester Stallone’s 2010 Comic-Con remarks about filming in Rio. The Oscar-winning filmmaker answered:* “The whole crew is loving their reception by the people of Rio. Forget Stallone.”
‘Take a monkey home’
Among other things, Sylvester Stallone said the following at Comic-Con earlier this year, while reminiscing about his experiences during the filming of The Expendables in Rio de Janeiro:
You can shoot people and blow things up and they say, ‘Thank you! Take a monkey home with you!’ We couldn’t have pulled off what we did [somewhere else]. We blew up huge plots of land. It was like, Everybody bring their hot dogs. We’re having a BBQ today. We’re gonna blow up this village.
* Bill Condon took home the 1998 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Gods and Monsters, starring Ian McKellen as a fictionalized version of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein director James Whale. Brendan Fraser and Lynn Redgrave were also in the cast.
RioFilme director tweets about ‘Breaking Dawn’ controversies: Too much ado about too little
Nov. 16 update: In addition to announcing the unexpected success of the Brazilian indie Muita Calma Nessa Hora (loosely translated: “You Gotta Keep Your Cool Now”) and praising both the Naomi Watts-Sean Penn political thriller Fair Game and Daniel Alfredson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, RioFilme director Sérgio Sá Leitão tweeted about several controversial incidents that took place while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn was being filmed in Rio de Janeiro.
Administered by the city of Rio, RioFilme, which has just turned 18, helped to bring to Brazil the Summit Entertainment production directed by Bill Condon, and starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Film investment, incinerated bathrooms and set break-in
On Twitter, Leitão answered questions and addressed concerns regarding:
- RioFilme’s $500,000 investment in a big-budget Hollywood production – money that some believe should have gone to local films.
- The arson case, when a handful of portable bathrooms were set on fire in protest against the shutting down of several thoroughfares in Rio’s historic Lapa district for the Breaking Dawn shoot.
- The notorious Isle Esme set break-in by the local television show Pânico na TV, which apparently revolves around people trespassing onto private property.
Leitão asserted that RioFilme acted wisely in helping to bring both Breaking Dawn and Justin Lin’s Fast Five to Rio; that the Lapa chaos was handled “within minutes”; and that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s safety was never at risk because the Pânico na TV people (person?) stole into an empty Isle Esme set.
‘Breaking Dawn’ tweets
Below is a translation (from the original Portuguese) of a few of Leitão’s Breaking Dawn-related tweets:
About Breaking Dawn … The City spent US$500,000 (in partnership with the state government) so as to bring in US$3 million in investments from Summit.
And to ensure a positive superpromo for the city. The shoot was news all over the world… And Rio will look really good in the movie. Win win!
Additionally… It’s a gift to the millions of Brazilian Twilight Saga fans. And the US$3.5 million were spent here (crew, equipment, etc.).
Also … In addition to the sequences found in the screenplay, we’ll have two “postcard shots” of the city in the movie. These are the accurate facts. Ok???
Another important point … Who gets RioFilme’s money? The local production companies involved in the shoot (Total and Zohar)! All of the money stays in Rio!
The alleged break-in by the Pânico [individual(s)] didn’t disrupt the Breaking Dawn shoot. [The break-in] took place when people were no longer in the house. No one even knew [about it].
There are parasites that fail to realize how important it is to attract major foreign productions to Rio. They’d rather have the public sector invest in…
…movies no one watches, that don’t lead to financial and cultural returns, that serve only to support them [the “parasites”]. They use the media to harm…
…Rio and the segment of Rio’s audiovisual productions that works hard to attract investments, create jobs, and make relevant movies!
RioFilme broke a new record this year in terms of investments in movies made by local production companies. Investing in local productions and attracting…
… movies from abroad are complementary actions that benefit Rio and the city’s audiovisual industry. Enough of narrow-minded and reactionary nationalism!
Guys… When they got into the [Isle Esme] house, filming was taking place elsewhere. The other [Pânico na TV] shots were taken from a boat and a helicopter…
The house break-in didn’t disrupt filming. The helicopter did, because of the noise. But it was very quick. It wasn’t a problem. No one cared…
So, there’s no reason to worry. I didn’t use the word “parasites” in reference to you [Twilight fans?]. Everyone was happy with Breaking Dawn.
Except those who root for things to go wrong for both Rio and Brazil. And those who think that governments should invest only in their countries’ movie productions. Let’s move forward!
Note to Brazilian Twihards: Leitão suggests they bombard Summit with requests for a pre-screening of Breaking Dawn in Rio. He adds that RioFilme partner Paris Filmes will go after Summit as well.
And finally, the Isle Esme house may be demolished because it was built inside a natural reserve.
‘Breaking Dawn,’ ‘Fast Five’ cast
Directed by Bill Condon, besides Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Breaking Dawn also features:
Jackson Rathbone. Ashley Greene. Nikki Reed. Billy Burke. Maggie Grace.
Directed by Justin Lin, besides Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, Fast Five also features:
Dwayne Johnson. Jordana Brewster. Joaquim de Almeida. Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges. Tyrese Gibson. Elsa Pataky.
Information about RioFilme’s $500,000 Breaking Dawn grant: Folha de São Paulo.
Bill Condon’s quote via the Rio de Janeiro daily Jornal do Brasil.
Information about the background songs during the filming of Breaking Dawn in Lapa via Ego.
Robert Pattinson in Brazil image: Revista Quem.
Images of Bill Condon, Robert Pattinson, and Kristen Stewart during the filming of Breaking Dawn in Rio: AgNews / Capricho.