Celebrities have been flocking to Iceland this summer. Currently there are two established Hollywood directors visiting the country, some top-notch actors and singers and Octopus, the yacht of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, moors just outside the Reykjavik harbour.
First there was actor Tom Cruise working on his sci-fi adventure Oblivion earlier this summer. Co-stars Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman also showed up.
Then singer Ronan Keating performed at Þjóðhátið in the Westman Islands (an island outside the mainland on the west coast) the first weekend of August. If you didn’t know already Þjóðhátíð is a festival and part of annual shopkeeper’s holiday in Iceland named Verslunarmannahelgi.
Director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan) is currently shooting the biblical film Noah in Iceland. The film has high-profile names attached to it, including Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, sir Anthony Hopkins and Russel Crowe who have all been staying here. Crowe famously used the opportunity to perform at several venues on the annual Reykjavík Culture Night last Saturday with actor/singer and long time friend Alan Doyle. To everybody’s utter surprise then Patti Smith took the stage with the duo, with signature song Because the Night. It was later revealed that Smith is here working on a song for Noah and asked Crowe if she could perform with him.
Now if you also didn’t know this, Smith wrote Because the Night decades ago with musician Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen’s friend Ben Stiller attended Crowe’s and Smith’s concert at KEX . Oh and if you’re wondering what the heck Stiller was doing here, he was probably taking a day off before the filming of his next project starts: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Which will partly be shot in Iceland. At the moment it is unclear whether Stiller´s co-stars Kristen Wiig and Sean Penn are coming.
Last but not least rumours are that Thor 2 will be filmed here – which seems quite fitting as the movie does after all revolve around the Norse god of thunder and lightning. If there’s anything to those rumors a whole bunch of celebrities (Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and sir Anthony Hopkins, again) might by heading this way in forthcoming months. And just so you know we haven´t even mentioned the ones (Noomi Rapace, Fleah from Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stuart Townsend and many, many more) who have recently been here on holiday.
It might not be hard to fathom the reason why international filmmakers are so keen on shooting their movies in Iceland. The country does after all have a very diverse and beautiful landscape which more than makes up for a breathtaking scenery. More interestingly is to know what the big names, yes we’re talking Hollywood stars here, think. Some have been quite outspoken about their experience in the media and we’d like to leave you with some of their comments. So if you’re planning a trip to Iceland and aren’t sure what to expect, some of the following quotes might help you get a clearer picture of things.
“Iceland you have been wonderful, thanks for everything, hope to see you again sometime.” – Russel Crowe, Twitter.
“The sun never goes down there, and people are … very good looking.” – Ben Stiller, on Jimmy Kimmel.
“Icelandic clubs are like mosh pits! I’m going back with an icelandic dance ARMY!!! Haha.” – Emma Watson, Twitter.
“Week three done, thank you Iceland for giving us all..”. – Darren Aronofsky, Twitter.