This past week I sat down with the very handsome Austin Stowell about his upcoming movie Dolphin Tale. Where he plays Kyle, a state champion swimmer that has dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer after his time serving in the military. But an unfortunate accident leaves him in braces and feeling defeated. Stowell plays the part beautifully.
If you aren't familiar with the movie Dolphin Tale you and your family really need to check it out. I spent most of my childhood in Clearwater Florida, you could actually say I was a little Hazel Haskett. Dolphin Tale is based on the true life story of Winter, a dolphin that was found caught on in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. The story follows the strangers that banded together to help save her life.
After being transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital they realized that they would need to amputate her tail and without a tale she didn't have much of a chance at survival. It will take the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist, the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor, and the unwavering devotion of a young boy to bring about a groundbreaking miracle—a miracle that might not only save Winter but could also help scores of people around the world.
It's an amazing story that will leave you speechless. I took my 3 year old with me to see the film and she loved it. She fell in love with Winter just like you will. You'll also get to see actual footage of Winters rescue and journey.
During Austin's stay here in Atlanta he was able to visit the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to read “Dolphin Tale” to the children. He told me that it was truly amazing and that the kids really enjoyed it. Austin first sat down with Cinemoms Kid Reporter Cobe Jackson who did a fantastic job. Here are a few of his fantastic questions.
Cobe- Any favorite moments you'd like to share?
Working with the main character “Sawyer” was fantastic. He is very mature and well-mannered.
Cobe- How was it working with the real Winter? Where you scared of her?
No, she was a lot of fun. She really loves the camera. Dolphins are really smart and they connect extremely well with children. Winter is about 8 or 9 years old so she likes to play just like kids your age.
Cobe- How much interaction did you get with her during the filming?
The staff encouraged the actors to interact with the animals. So we saw her as much as we could. I swam in the water with her and she really likes it when people swim in the water with her.
Cobe- Do you have any family or friends in the military?
Yes, my grandfather served in the Army in WWII. He was a decorated soldier. And I have a friend with me today who serves in the Army. He does a great service for us, sacrificing for us and defending our freedom.
Cobe- Tell us in your own words why should people go see Dolphin Tale?
You will learn so much from this movie. It teaches you to not give up and to continue your dream. Just because one door closes doesn't mean that another one will not open. You just have to be willing to walk through it.
Me- The relationship that your character Kyle has with his cousin Sawyer was so powered and strong, Do you have a Brother, Cousin or Nephew that you were about to relate to and pull that bond from?
Absolutely, I have little cousins myself so I know what its like to be that guy that they look up to, you're the role model. So it's important to lead by example and so to have that relationship with sawyer and more so that Nathan as a kid. We spent a lot of time together when we first got down to Florida to get to know each other and get that chemistry going. The Director [Charles Martin Smith] actually made a very good decision to shoot the very first scene in the movie at the end so that all that chemistry was shown through that scene.
Me- You had mentioned during a recent interview that while visiting the VA hospitals that you were doing research at that you were met with the same feelings of not wanting to be talked to just like the scene where Kyle is visited by his Aunt and Sawyer for the first time since the accident. Tell me what that was like and how you used it to create this scene.
It was something that really helped because I could see it in these guys faces, I don't know what they are going through I couldn't possible understand so I was completely ok with the fact that they didn't want to speak because it's true, I didn't understand what they were going through. I was able to use that to show what these veterans go through.
Me-Did you ever get to swim with the real Winter?
Yes actually everyone at the Clearwater Marine Hospital wanted everyone from the cast to be at the hospital with her as much as possible. It makes it easier for her if she already knows you before you are jumping in a tank to shoot a scene with her.
Me- Were you ever there to witness some of the disabled Veterans or children meeting Winter for the first time?
Yes as a matter of fact people come all the time to see Winter and get that inspiration from her. It's amazing to see her interact with them and have the person feel so connected to her.
It was truly amazing. I was so excited that I would get the butterflies in my stomach the night before but the day that filming came around it was ‘Put your game face on' and all the butterflies were gone because it was just so natural for them to get into character and do the scene.
Thank you so Austin Stowell for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. The movie is out in theaters now and I urge you to go see it. You can also See Winter live through the Clearwater Marine Hospitals live webcams that stream 24/7. Trust me you won't want to miss this amazing story.