Back in 2005, when Ang Lee released gay cowboy film "Brokeback Mountain", people thought that the Oscar winner did a risky work due to the theme of the movie. However, Lee himself admitted that the Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal-starring film was nothing more risky and more difficult than his latest creation, "Life of Pi".
Speaking to Reuters, the Taiwan-born filmmaker claimed that "Pi" was his most difficult filming experience so far. "Oh yes," he stated. "And it was also the longest... there was the technical difficulty and then it is a big movie. And it was across continents, I finally decided to shoot most of it in Taiwan, but we also had to go to India to shoot for two to three weeks. Because you can't fake Pondicherry, and Munnar. And then we have scenes in Canada."
Comparing "Pi" to "Brokeback", Ang admitted that the latter was not so risky for him. "No, that wasn't for me. At least when I made it ['Brokeback'], I thought it was strictly arthouse and few people would see it. And it's a lot cheaper [to make]," he reasoned. "So I didn't care...And then I got nervous, 'Oh they are going to lynch me, making a gay cowboy movie, that will go into a shopping mall'."
Furthermore, Lee recalled that after making the gay film, he was attacked by worry. "Yes, I was afraid. I was looking around when I walked, when I would go home, to see if anybody was following me," he remembered. "Once it hit the shopping mall I was nervous, actually. My brother is a distributor in Taiwan and I told him not to buy it. He hates me to this day, he is still babbling about it."
Back to "Life of Pi", Lee once again weighed in on what made the movie seem to be "unfilmable." He gushed, "Because you cannot make the tiger do everything you want to do, you have to use digital. A digital animal, up until two years ago, was not totally realistic yet, let alone in 3D, and then water is pretty difficult."
On why he decided to replace Tobey Maguire with less-known Rafe Spall, the director explained, "It was a small part, and he is a big movie star. He is a good old friend of mine and he would do this for nothing, for me. But he is not doing anything [in the role], he is just sitting there listening most of the time. It becomes a little distracting I think."
Garnering positive reviews from critics, "Life of Pi" has been gracing the U.S. cinemas since November 21.