Lou Diamond Phillips Became The Designated Cook For His The 33 Castmates On Location In Colombia, Because The Local Food Was So Bad.
The La Bamba actor and his co-stars knew there would be few luxuries on set as they shot the real-life trapped miners drama in Zipaquira, but none of them could have imagined how bad the conditions would be.
Director Patricia Riggen explains, "We were all staying, including Antonio Banderas, in a tiny motel on a highway for two months. We didn't have hot showers or hot water... Antonio had to take a shower with mineral water."
And Phillips admits the local food options were so limited he had to cook in a bid the make sure he and his castmates stayed healthy while dieting to keep their weight down.
"I started cooking just for the cast because we were on diets, and no disrespect to Zipaquira, but the food sucked!" he explains. "We had mashed plantains, sauteed plantains, fried plantains, a plantain sandwich, plantain chips. The locals' idea of a salad was a bunch of iceberg lettuce.
"We had to have balanced food because we were on 1,000 calories a day and so I took it upon myself to cook, because I love to cook. It started with just the cast and then the director, the camera department and the producers. By the end of the shoot I was cooking for 40 people on a given Sunday, and production paid the grocery bill, which I was always very happy about!"
Meanwhile, Banderas admits it was tough to get clean in a motel with no running water, adding, "It was like a horror movie. Even with cold water we got to the hotel and we took these salts that the miners actually said would just take all the dirt out of your body. And brushes; you'd brush yourself. After an hour and a half of brushing you're all red but you're clean!
"You'd go to sleep and you know the Holy Shroud of Turin? That's what we had in the bed in the morning. Two months after we finished the movie I'm still getting dirt out of my ears!"
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