When the young republic of The Netherlands is attacked by England, France and Germany and the country itself is on the brink of civil war, only one man can lead the county’s strongest weapon, the Dutch fleet: Michiel de Ruyter in the movie “Admiral.”
“Admiral” was directed by Roel Reine who is known as one of the best modern action directors around today. Reine was born in The Netherlands and won The Golden Calf for Best Director for his first theatrical feature “The Delivery.” Some of his movies include the popular “Death Race” prequels, “Scorpion King: Battle for Redemption” and “Seal Team Eight.”
In an interview with Celebrity Examiner Jae Monique, Roel Reine discussed his favorite part about directing the film and what is different about the film in comparison to others.
Jae Monique: How did you get involved with this production?
Roel Reine: I’m from Holland and the history of “Admiral” is something you would read about when you’re at school. Nobody knows about these stories and when you go to any museum in Holland, you will see these paintings of these 17th century sea beckels that the Dutch were in to, so it always intrigued me. I made a few movies in Holland for a lot of TV series. I came to Los Angeles and for the last 10 years, I made a lot of feature films–all kinds of low budget action movies for the studios. A few years ago, I went back to Holland and I thought ‘Ok, now I made so many movies in Hollywood, I know how special effects work, how to do action for not a lot of money, and I have all of these skills now.’ It was something in Holland that nobody dared to touch. So, we developed a screen play for 2 years and then we raised money and made the movie.
JM: What’s challenging about bringing this film to life?
Reine: There were many challenges because it’s a historical movie and you want to be as historically correct as possible. You want to respect the things that happened, but you want also want to make a modern movie. About 30 percent is not historically correct and 70 percent of it is, and it was balancing that made it a little challenging. Plus, filming sea beckels, especially the way I wanted to do it. We did not use green screen or blue screen when shooting this movie so we shot everything for real and we had 3 historical ships–real sailing 17th century replicas. It was a big undertaking, but I feel it really paid off when you see the movie.
JM: What was your favorite part about directing this film?
Reine: To direct the emotion in the characters. Especially the main character. It’s a very intriguing main character. I really enjoyed his private life with his wife and his kids… It’s always fun to do action and explosion, but I really enjoyed directing the emotion of these actors.
JM: What is different about this film in comparison to others?
Reine: What I tried to do with this movie was to find the right balance between a commercial movie, a theater experience, plus giving you a historical context with personal and emotional drama. I see a lot of epic historical movies will have one or the other. They will have big scope action, but you are lacking of the drama and emotion or you have a lot of drama and emotion, but lack of big scope action. I try to balance this movie and I think we really succeeded in that.
JM: Without giving anything away, what’s going to surprise people about this film?
Reine: I think the biggest surprise is the way how Holland, at the time, would be dealing with the fact that the admiral is this big hero.
JM: Who do you feel has the best costume?
Reine: The Admiral’s wife. She had the best hair. Every scene she had a different way of doing her hair. The costume of the English King I think is really powerful. We put him in a really historically correct 17th century King Charles outfit.
JM: Who in the film is most like their character?
Reine: The main actor. I notice that a lot of people who see the movie, they see this big guy who is kind of very down to earth and who is very grounded, but it’s very unusual for an admiral as a hero with people and money, and he is not. He was the only admiral that was appointed that was not from royal decent and the actor we used is that person. He is a very grounded and normal guy.
JM: What can the audience expect from the film?
Reine: I think they can expect a nice, beautifully shot movie that shows them a part of history; One that is very interesting in a 17th century and see a spectacle of sea beckels. What they see are 17th century paintings that come alive in this beautiful movie.