BALANCING ACT Interview with Heath & Skip Engblom

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BALANCING ACT Interview with Heath & Skip Engblom

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:11 pm

BALANCING ACT
Interview with Heath & Skip Engblom
Saturday, June 4, 2005


Balancing act

Heath Ledger plays a legendary surf-shop owner in Lords of Dogtown.
By BARRY KOLTNOW The Orange County Register

Heath Ledger is shy, soft-spoken and unassuming.
The Australian-born star of A Knights Tale,Ned Kelly; and The Patriot doesnt like to talk about himself.
Derrick;Skip; Engblom, on the other hand, doesnt mind talking about himself at all. He is not shy, softspoken or unassuming.
And, yet, these two men confess to having a great bond and friendship that actually predates their meeting.
They met in the months prior to the start of filming on Lords of Dogtown,in which Ledger portrays Engblom during the 1970s,
when the latter ran a surf shop in Venice and started a legendary skateboarding team that put the spotlight on a pioneering
group known as the Z-Boys - Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.
Sitting outdoors on a Culver City studio lot, Ledger and Englom (mostly Engblom) discuss the film, which opened Friday,
what impact the Beach Boys music had on the early surfing crowd (youll be surprised) and what Whoopi Goldberg has to do with this movie.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: How different is it to prepare to play someone who is still around as opposed to a legendary outlaw like Ned Kelly?
HEATH LEDGER: I guess there is a certain added responsibility not to defame a person, particularly one who is still alive.
OCR: How did he do, Skip?
DERRICK, SKIP; ENGBLOM: He did really good.
OCR: Did you offer any advice to help him out during the filming?
ENGBLOM: I intentionally stayed away from him. I gave him space because my theory is that when you have a great painter, you dont stand over his shoulder and tell him how to paint. These people know how to make movies; they dont need me to tell them anything.
OCR: So, you trusted him to do you right?
ENGBLOM: I had total faith. Were friends.
OCR: How do you think the film did in re-creating the era?
ENGBLOM: It has a real authentic feel. It captures a sensibility in time.
OCR: Do you think your character was sympathetic in this movie?
ENGBLOM: At that particular time, I think I was pretty much of a mess, and I think it captured that perfectly
(both men laugh).
OCR: The scene when youve lost the surf shop is kind of sad.
LEDGER: I always saw Skip as a success in the way he harnessed this group of kids and gave them the confidence to create. He spawned this revolution, and that isnt sad.
ENGBLOM: I think its important to fail in order to succeed later.
OCR: Heath, were you a skateboarder before you took this role?
LEDGER: Oh yeah, Ive been skating since I was a kid.
OCR: Was that one of the reasons you took the role?
LEDGER: It was definitely one of the reasons.
OCR: Skip, do you think youve been given enough credit for your part in sparking this whole skateboard craze?
ENGBLOM: I dont really care about stuff like that. Im not hung up on getting credit. Im the most blessed person on Earth.All my hobbies became my way of making a living.
OCR: Were you discouraged back then when all these kids started making so much money?
ENGBLOM: When you understand how we all grew up from a financial standpoint, you cant begrudge someone for trying to succeed.
OCR: How do you think Heath captured you physically on the screen?
ENGBLOM: My wife loved it. She thought it was spot-on perfect. My friends think he captured all my mannerisms and the way I speak.
OCR: What did you think when you heard that Heath Ledger was going to play you?
ENGBLOM: Five years ago, someone asked me who I thought should play me and I said that guy in the Mel Gibson movie.
OCR: You knew it should be Heath after seeing The Patriot?
ENGBLOM: Yes. Im telling you that we have a weird connection that is almost supernatural. I knew right away. Two years later, they came to me again and I told them it had to be him, and they said it would never happen. Six months before filming began, I said the same thing. Finally, I told them to get Whoopi Goldberg because if they werent interested in getting this right person, they might as well get Whoopi Goldberg.
OCR: And what happened?
ENGBLOM: They called me one day and said, Youll never guess who we got to play you.
OCR: Were you surprised?
ENGBLOM: No. It was meant to be.
OCR: How did you get started in surfing?
ENGBLOM: The first time I saw a person stand up on a surfboard, I knew it was something I was going to do for the rest of my life.
OCR: What did you guys from Dogtown think of the Beach Boys?
ENGBLOM: I hated them. The weird thing is that the only one in the band who could surf later drowned.
OCR: What music were you into back then?
ENGBLOM: I was into James Brown and rhythm & blues.
OCR: But no Beach Boys?
ENGBLOM: They were just lame.
OCR: So, you werent into surf music at all?
ENGBLOM: Surf music was jazz.
OCR: What about Dick Dale?
ENGBLOM: The earliest surf music, before Dick Dale, was jazz. And even Dick Dale was all instrumental. You didnt need words; the waves spoke for themselves.

_________________
Rest In Peace Heath Ledger
1979-2008
You will be Never forgotten

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