The opening minutes of “Flight” feature one of the most realistic and terrifying plane crash sequences ever staged on film, and although no one was really killed or seriously injured, Tamara Tunie came away with some very real bruises.
“It was the first time that I had shot anything like that myself,” the actress said in a recent phone interview. “And that sequence with the plane crashing and everything, I called it my first action movie, because that's exactly what it felt like to me.”
The film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, stars Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, an ace airline pilot whose life is spinning out of control on booze and other drugs, especially after a real runaway nose-dive and crash landing (one of the most wrenching scenes in air-disaster movie history) kills four of his passengers and two crew members, possibly resulting not only in the permanent grounding of his career but a lengthy prison term as well. Most of the powers that be know the crash was caused by a faulty aircraft and that few pilots could have made that emergency landing with so few fatalities, but there are airline officials who want to blame the tragedy on Whit.
Washington's performance has brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, while John Gatins is up for Best Original Screenplay.
“Flight” was released this week on Blu-ray and DVD.
“It was nothing but a joy,” Tunie said of working with Washington. “Denzel and I worked together a few years ago on Broadway doing ‘Julius Caesar,' so it was like being reunited with a dear friend, and we had the best time and he is a consummate professional.”