Director Emmerich was 'dad' to stars

MAN OF MAYHEM: Director Roland Emmerich brings his penchant for destruction to his latest film, which stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.


    Jun 27, 2013

    Director Emmerich was 'dad' to stars

    GERMAN director Roland Emmerich found himself having to crack the whip while on the set of his latest movie, White House Down, last year.

    But that's not because the stars of the action thriller, American actors Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, were not hard workers - rather, they were just having too much fun.

    "When we were shooting, it was sometimes a little too much. I had to play the father and say: 'OK, enough fun. Let's work here,' " the 57-year-old recalled with amusement during an interview at The Fullerton Bay Hotel in April.

    He added, in German-accented English: "It was like a match made in heaven because you felt that they (genuinely) liked each other."

    The Stuttgart-born director, writer and producer - who started out with his own production company in Germany before moving to Hollywood - was in Singapore to promote White House Down on an early promotional tour.

    In the movie, Tatum, 33, plays John Cale, a policeman who must keep the Potus (that's the President of the United States, played by Foxx, 45) safe when the White House is stormed by a paramilitary group.

    Those familiar with Emmerich's work would know that this is not the first time havoc has been wreaked upon the president's official residence and workplace under the director's hand.

    For instance, aliens blew the place up in his blockbuster, Independence Day (1996), while an aircraft carrier crashed straight into it in 2009 end-of-the-world drama 2012. Emmerich knew comparisons would be made even when working on the latter.

    "I knew everybody would say: 'Here you go, destroying the world again,'" said the director, whose film credits also include other crisis flicks like Godzilla (1998) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

    Still, he was so intrigued by the script's subject matter that he brushed the naysayers aside.

    So, does he feel pressure to outdo his previous works in terms of elaborate scenes with massive explosions or over-the-top special effects?

    Somewhat, Emmerich told My Paper. He will begin shooting the highly-anticipated sequel to Independence Day early next year.

    The director said: "When I'm doing something like (the upcoming sequel), I am very aware that I have to be as grand as The Avengers or any one of these (kinds of) movies. But that's relatively easy because I have a talent for that."

    He added: "For me, it's more interesting how you keep the movies grounded in reality."