Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is directed by Lasse Hallström and is based on the novel by Paul Torday and ironically, is one to have been supported by the UK Film Council. It seems rather topical that it appear today!
Simon Beaufoy has been responsible for adapting the novel and has previously worked with the likes of Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire and more recently, on 127 Hours. The movie also stars Emily Blunt, Kristen Scott Thomas and Amr Waked.
Synopsis: Romantic fable Salmon Fishing In The Yemen follows government scientist Dr Alfred Jones (McGregor), as a fly fishing-obsessed Sheikh (Amr Waked) tasks him with a seemingly impossible task – introducing salmon to the wadis of the Yemen. With the British government desperate for a good news story in the area, the Prime Minister’s fearsome spokesperson, Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas), seizes on the idea and makes Fred responsible for the success of the project. Finally won over by the charismatic Sheikh, Fred also begins to fall for his representative Harriet (Emily Blunt). Casting off his deep-set cynicism, Fred rises to the Sheikh’s eccentric challenge, to go on a journey of self discovery and late-blooming love.
During Jamie’s visit on the set, he got to see Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt shoot a few scenes which he’s videoed and I’ve placed on the site below. I believe they were done on a camera phone so the quality isn’t amazing but you’ll get the general gist.The filming took place at St. Judes church in Hampstead Garden Suburb, North London
Jamie also got to talk with co-producer Nicky Kentish Barnes (You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Cassandra’s Dream, Match Point), the audio of which I’ve placed below or you can read the transcript below also. Jamie tried to get interviews with McGregor and director Lasse Holstrom (Dear John, Chocolat) but it was at the very end of what was apparently a long and difficult shoot so weren’t up for interviews unfortunately.[audio:https://www.heyuguys.com/audio/salmon_fishing/nkb_interview.mp3]
- JS: I see Ewan McGregor is on set. What is his involvement and what is the basic plot?
- NKB: He’s the star. It’s adapted from a book called Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. It’s a British satire. It involves a Yemanese sheik who has a passion for salmon fishing and tries to bring salmon back to the Yemen and therefore needs the involvement of various scientists, one of them being played by Ewan.
- JS: Where will you be shooting?
- NKB: Here, Scotland and Morocco.
- JS: When will you be aiming to release the film?
- NKB: In a year.