- (Photo: Courtesy of CBS Films Publicity)
Lasse Hallstrom, who helmed "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" has opened up about the film, about faith, and late-blossoming love.
The film stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Hallstrom told The Christian Post that he came aboard "Salmon Fishing" late in the film's process when the cast had already been selected. The Sweden-born filmmaker noted that he "couldn't have been happier with the selections."
"They got along beautifully," he added of the cast. "I really enjoyed those choices and loved working with them."
While the story takes place in London and the Middle East, it was filmed in Morocco, Scotland, and England.
Written by Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Slumdog Millionaire" Simon Beaufoy, "Salmon Fishing" tells the story of Fred (McGregor) who finds a sense of adventure and the will to live a better life after meeting Harriet, portrayed by Blunt.
McGregor, who has starred in such films as "Trainspotting" and "Moulin Rouge," portrayed the older, uptight Fred with great ease. A fishing expert, Fred hears Harriet's plot to introduce salmon into the desert by building a river.
Allowing his pessimism and doubt to overrule him, Fred dismisses the seemingly impossible idea, but after more encounters, the pair join forces on order to fill the wishes of Harriet's boss, an Arabian businessman known only as the sheikh.
"It is not a formula romance," explained Hallstrom of the love story in "Salmon Fishing." "It's quite different."
The film touches themes of prejudice against cultures, especially in the Middle East, as well as the challenges of trusting one's faith.
Discussing what message he wants to leave the audience with, Hallstrom admits that the title sounds "boring." He advised moviegoers to keep an open mind about "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."
"Before you see the movie, don't get turned off by the title," said the director. "It is like a boring title, the movie is much more fun and interesting."
"I want the audience to walk off feeling like they had fun, glad to have seen it," he added.
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is in select theaters now and expected to hit theaters everywhere later this month.
The director's past projects include the love story "Dear John" and "Cider House Rules."
Hallstrom was also behind the 1993 film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" which starred Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. The director worked with Depp again on 2000's critically-acclaimed film "Chocolat."