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What's your passion?
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." These are the words I remember of the late icon Nelson Mandela.
Cuban Fury is not just another dance movie.The heart of it is a story of passion, or reigniting a passion that one might have thought was forever lost.
British actor, comedian and screenwriter, Nick Frost walked the red carpet for the Australian premiere to his romantic dance comedy movie, Cuban Fury at the St George OpenAir cinema in Mrs Macquarie's Chair, against the beautiful backdrop of Sydney Harbour on a summer evening on Valentine's Day.
UK actor Nick Frost in Australia for the Australian premiere to Cuban Fury
The actor, who starred in films including Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and At World's End, was joined by local celebrities at the event.
The Red Carpet
My interview with Nick Frost
I was fortunate enough to meet in person the leading actor of Cuban Fury, Nick Frost on that night and spoke with him about the inspiration for doing the film, his dance training and the best part in making the film.
Nick Frost, despite his fear of people watching him, secretly wanted to dance. It seems that Nick Frost incubated the idea of Cuban Fury for awhile until one day he fired a drunken email to his producer Nira Park (Shaun of the Dead producer) and said to her what if he did a film where he danced a lot, clothed in tight fitting sequinned costumes? He woke up the following morning and read a reply from his producer saying it was great idea and then cringing with a feeling like he was caught doing a terrible sin; he thought what the hell was he thinking of!
Despite the ease and grace of Nick Frost's salsa moves in the movie trailer, Nick Frost really was not a dancer prior to the film's making. The first thing Nick Frost said to me was 'I hate dancing'. He says he's a pitiful dancer and probably only danced a few times in public: once for his wedding and another time when he first met his wife. He finds it terribly nerve racking. He's absolutely terrified of people watching him. I certainly can relate to that when you first start dance training. You think the hard part is learning and memorising dance steps, but the mental thing and fear is the greatest hurdle to get over. The fear that people are watching you and what they might be thinking of if you stuff up. He said to me you have to get over it though. Confidence does build with intense consistent training and practice, and this is exactly what Nick Frost went through to overcome his fears. He says it's probably the most expensive therapy in the world, to make a film to get over a fear of being looked at while dancing.
Nick Frost trained for 7 months, 5 hours a day, 7 days a week in the making Cuban Fury and he said he hated every minute of it. Yes, I said this is the feeling I get too and sometimes thrive on when you hate something because its too hard, too painful but you learn to recognise it's actually a feeling of making progress and achieving something you have never done or achieved before. Although he said the best part of making the film was 'when it ended', he watched the film and felt proud of his hardwork and effort in achieving something that looks beautiful. Well done, Nick.
Australian celebrities: Who was there?
Some of the Australian celebrities I saw that joined Nick Frost on the red carpet included: Jessica Napier (McLeods Daughters); Alex Williams (Underground: The Julian Assange Story); Georgina Haig (INXS Story); Jenna Owen (Chadwick Model); Kyle Pryor (Home and Away); and Shannon Ashlyn (Wolf Creek 2).
Nick Frost opened the Australian premiere to Cuban Fury at the OpenAir cinema in Mrs Macquarie's Chair, and with his quick witted comical style, and said "What a horrible place to show this film. I tried to get them put a cloak over the Harbour Bridge."
The movie is about a teenager, Bruce Garret (Frost) who is natural born salsa dancer, ready to take on the UK Junior Salsa Championships, until he encounters a bunch of bullies in the streets of London who forces him to eat sequins off his dance costume. Robbing him of his confidence, he quits salsa and is now an out of shape big guy who leads a very different life as an engineer. However, his passion for dance, suppressed for many years, is reignited by his crush on his gorgeous new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) who so happens to love salsa dancing.
With competition from the snake-hipped Chris O'Dowd, who plays a douche bag office worker, Bruce reunites with his old dance teacher, seeking to overcome his self-pity to eventually find his passion for dance again and to win Julia's heart. Actor Kayvan Novak steals the film with his brilliant and very funny performance as a flamboyant Persian salsa dancer. The salsa dancing is hot in this movie and there is much adult humour so the movie is not really suitable for young children.
It's a feel good movie with many good laughs, particularly from Kayvan Novak's performance. The movie whilst it is about dance, is really about finding your passion for something and is inspirational in this regard.
Have you ever felt the power and the energy in something you are passionate about? What are you waiting for?