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Jim Ferguson's
Hollywood
 
Jim's Holllywood

 

Welcome to Jim Ferguson's Hollywood!

Jim Chats with Kim Basinger
About "I Dreamed of Africa"

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Jim Ferguson:  Congratulations. What a wonderful job in "I Dreamed of Africa."   The difficulty of that shoot in Africa and the experience of feeling in a remote area…in a small way did it parallel the life of [the movie's heroine] Kuki Gallmann?

Kim Basinger: …The similarities were amazing. I took my family. Alec and my 2-1/2 year old into the bush…It was quite a challenge for me. And coupled with the fact that the film, the actual role would be a huge challenge, it was a great deal of stress leaving what all of us consider 'real civilization' and going into the bush. There were a lot of fears I had to face.

Jim Ferguson:  I haven't met her yet, but Kuki must be a fascinating, incredible lady. How would you describe her?

Kim Basinger: Well, I can't describe her…I can't without taking first of all the experience I had when I read the book. The lady's an amazing writer, she's a wonderful storyteller. And every adjective, she was so descriptive with the book that it was like a diary of her journey, through the ups and the downs and the tragedies and discovering herself. And you know…the director and myself had a marvelous relationship, and he's an amazing director and storyteller in his own right. But the thing that I counted on, on a daily basis was that book, to go back on any given day I could go into the book and find whatever day it was, whatever scene I was filming and find…Kuki would just speak to me through that book. As a writer she is phenomenal, and as a human being, I've now met her now, and the great work she does in Africa, she is an amazing woman. So, look forward to meeting her.

Jim Ferguson:  I am. It's funny you mention that because a couple of lines in your dialogue just jumped at me. I'm going to read them to you.

"I'm a dreamer and I think I lack the courage to make that move to Africa."  She certainly did have the courage didn't she?

Kim Basinger: Well, she found out that she did. I don't think initially she knew. And I think she found that only her…her self in Africa…she found her true self and her purpose in this life. She had to go through…her journey to find that out.

Jim Ferguson:  In another line, "in Africa, I'm afraid but happy."

Kim Basinger: It's wonderful isn't it? It's so simple. I have a motto. "Do it afraid." And you know what, that was my motto going into Africa to even do this part. I said, I had so much anxiety, and so many fears about little things, and especially about my daughter, and I just went "Oh, Kim, just…it'll all go away, and just do it 'afraid' you know, and I did, I did it 'afraid.'"

Jim Ferguson:  And another great scene, you have a little vegetable garden, and [you] wake up in the middle of the night and the elephants there and Vincent Perez grabs you and says, "You've transcended."  [laughter]

Kim Basinger: That scene was actually quite funny! We kept doing it so many times. The elephants that were used in the movie... were owned by this one gentleman. And they were brought up since birth. These four elephants. How they got anything to do anything were with some oranges. So they would throw oranges at me, and the elephants would come get me, they really?were almost] missing, you know! [laughter] That was a great…that was a fun time.

Jim Ferguson:  Did Africa change you?

Kim Basinger: Tremendously. It gave me such a gift. Africa does this. It takes something from you and gives you something. And the exchange is just so…such a magical one. It's a memory that you can, I don't think you could make it any other place in the world.  And my family, both Alec and my daughter speaks of it. She was 2-1/2 at the time, and she speaks of Africa now and the Zulu people, knows everyone's name, never forgot the animals, never forgot anything she ever saw, and she longs to go back to Africa.

Jim Ferguson:  Just such a wonderful experience…as is sitting with you for five minutes.

Kim Basinger:   Thank you.

Jim Ferguson:  I'm on the board of directors for the Broadcast Film Critics, and…a year from now we won't forget this movie. We won't forget your performance, I guarantee it. And if you want to see the best movie of the year without a doubt, "I Dreamed of Africa." Thank you. I loved it.

Kim Basinger: Thank you. Oh, that's sweet. Thank you!

-- End of Interview --
 

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