It was a big day--in more ways than one--at the Fox Studios yesterday, as the circus parade scene for Water for Elephants was filmed. My Man in Hollywood works on a Fox show ("House") and during breaks he was sending me text messages from the scene outside his sound stage: "There's an elephant outside!" "...and a lion!" "A cameraman is riding the elephant for a pov shot!" MMIH was definitely impressed with the elephant, though he admits that it's not the first time he's seen one while at work. (Luckily, I can say I haven't seen one while at work, though I did ride one once!)
The movie is based on the 2006 book of the same name by Sara Gruen. It spent many weeks on the bestseller lists and has been a favorite of book groups ever since. It follows the the story of Jacob Jankowski, told as an old man in a nursing home, of his life as an almost-veterinarian, caring for the animals in a third-rate, depression-era circus. There he works under the animal trainer, August, an alternately charming and brutal man married to equestrian star, Marlena. Their complex bond drives this compelling story. And then there's Rosie the elephant, also a--ahem--large character in the story.
You can see some photos of the street set and some tweets from cast and crew at the film site. The film stars Robert Pattinson as Jacob, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena and Christoph Waltz as August, also, Hal Holbrook as the "old" Jacob and Tai as Rosie. Yes, even the elephant has billing. My Man in Hollywood will be very pleased.