Filmmaker Cameron Crowe makes his welcome return this Friday with We Bought a Zoo, a film based on the real life story of Benjamin Mee, chronicled in his bestselling book of the same name, and ComingSoon.net had a chance to speak to Crowe and his talented cast at the New York junket for the film.
In the movie, Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee, a single father raising two kids after the death of his wife who decides to move when his rebellious son Dylan (Colin Ford) gets expelled from school. He finds and buys a large estate that has an extra attraction in that it’s attached to a long-dormant zoo full of lions, elephants and all sorts of other animals, a decision that doesn’t go over well with Benjamin’s concerned brother Duncan, played by Sideways and Spider-Man 3 star Thomas Haden Church. Taking care of the run-down zoo is Scarlett Johansson’s Kelly Foster, who leads a motley group of helpers trying to keep the animals fed, while Elle Fanning plays Lily Miska, the young girl in charge of the restaurant on the grounds who starts hanging with the troubled Dylan.
At the junket, we spoke with Crowe about working with Damon, plus all the actors spoke about their histories with Cameron Crowe, both as fans of his work and what he’s like to work with as a director. We also spoke with Crowe and Johansson about working with animals and a particularly sticky incident involving a whole lot of snakes.