Laurence Fishburne Discusses Filming in Extreme Cold for The Ice Road

Ice road trucking drama The Ice Road releases on Netflix this Friday, June 25. Liam Neeson leads the flick as Mike, an ice road driver trying to save trapped miners before time runs out. The cast also features Laurence Fishburne, Marcus Thomas, Amber Midthunder, and Benjamin Walker.

“After a remote diamond mine collapses in far northern Canada, a ‘big-rig’ ice road driver (Neeson) must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the trapped miners,” says the film’s official synopsis. “Contending with thawing waters and a massive storm, they discover the real threat is one they never saw coming.”

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Laurence Fishburne about his role as Goldenrod, a veteran trucker that also races across the unthawing ice road. Fishburne discussed getting to work with Liam Neeson for the first time, the difficulty of filming in such cold temperatures, and more. Check out the video interview and the full transcript below:

Tyler Treese: Laurence, The Ice Road is a really great film and it’s all about ice road trucking. I always love hearing about preparation. So were you already familiar with ice road trucking or what did you do to learn about this role?

Laurence Fishburne: Interestingly enough, I knew very little and I didn’t really have a whole lot of time to prep. I can tell you I know how to drive. So I felt like I was prepared in that way, and I had done a movie in Canada a couple of years earlier called The Colony, which was also another extreme cold weather movie. So I was prepared. I had the gear, but I had not been to Winnipeg. I had not been to Manitoba, which I was kind of excited to go to because I had heard great things about it. Also, I was very interested in working with Mr. Neeson, somebody I’ve known for a long time, but never really had the opportunity to work with. So I jumped at the chance to do that. The most dangerous part of the job for us was really exposure. We were told that we shouldn’t be exposed to the weather for more than three or four minutes at a time because we would run the risk of really having serious problems.

How does the production work around such a limitation? Is it difficult having to stop and start and filming those little spurts?

Well, there weren’t that many scenes that required us to be exposed in the extreme weather conditions. A lot of it takes place in the cab of the truck. They could like make sure that those environments were warm, you know? But there were other moments where we were out there on the lake on the ice and those were tricky. Things had to be timed within seconds really. We just had to get it fast and then cover up.

You mentioned getting to work with Liam. How great was that finally getting to really work with him?

So awesome, man. This guy, I’ve been a fan of his since Excalibur. We both nominated for the Academy Award the same year. So we’ve known each other since then, and I think we secretly wanted to work together and this opportunity presented itself. So I just jumped at it.

Marcus Thomas is really great as Gurty. Can you just speak to his performance?

He is so beautiful in this movie and the relationship that he has with Liam’s character is flawless. So again, unlike yourself, I haven’t seen the movie, but I am looking forward to it especially to see his performance.