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'Captain Phillips' director: 'It was brutal' shooting at sea

EntertainmentMoviesCaptain PhillipsPaul GreengrassMaersk Alabama Hijacking (2009)Tom HanksRichard Phillips

Hollywood wisdom advises never working with kids or animals. The cast and crew of "Captain Phillips" might add: Never shoot a feature film on open water.

At the Envelope Screening Series, director Paul Greengrass talked about the trials and tribulations of shooting the film — which dramatizes the real-life hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama and kidnapping of its captain, Richard Phillips, by Somali pirates in 2009 — almost entirely at sea.

Blaming his own "masochistic nature," Greengrass said, "I wanted the whole sea experience.… It was brutal. It was obviously very hard. But it sort of made everybody come together, I think. It kind of became an adventure."

'Captain Phillips': Watch cast, crew discuss the film

Adventure or not, there were significant challenges out on the water. Greengrass said, "That first day we shot on the lifeboat — which was absolutely horrendous because it was a tiny, exhaust-filled, petrol-stinking, tiny little thing — Tom [Hanks] was in there with the four guys [playing the pirates]; and Barry Ackroyd, the DOP; and the focus puller; and Chris Carreras, the AD. And I was in a little boat literally next door with the monitors because we didn't have any room."

He continued: "We started shooting, and the thing is bobbing around in the ocean, every which way. Oh my God — horrendous. After about five minutes, it didn't look like the scene was going very well. And I had a walkie-talkie with Chris, and I said, 'What's going on?' And Chris said, 'I think everybody's getting a bit seasick.' So I said, 'Let's carry on shooting, will you?' And he carried on and then after a while he said, 'The focus puller's just been sick all over Tom.' [And I said,] 'Don't worry, keep on shooting.' One by one, they dropped."

For more from the cast and crew of "Captain Phillips," watch the full video above and check back for daily highlights.

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EntertainmentMoviesCaptain PhillipsPaul GreengrassMaersk Alabama Hijacking (2009)Tom HanksRichard Phillips
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