Exclusive interview with Mena Suvari on The Captain’s Island challenge
A giant bottle landed on Sandymount Strand, Dublin last week with a message from Captain Morgan encouraging people to enter The Captain’s Island challenge, a buccaneering contest where a legendary Caribbean adventure and a €15,000 share of his bounty is at stake for a team of friends from Ireland.
We met up with Captain Morgan and Mena Suvari – who will be the official reporter from The Captain’s Island – to find out just what The Captain’s Island Challenge is all about.
Captain, you are being very mysterious, what can you tell us about The Captain’s Island Challenge?
CM: So just to get the ball rolling, I am going to tell you about the app. This is an application on the Facebook page… BTW I have over 120,000 Irish fans on my Facebook page. I am very involved with my fans in Ireland. So go on the Facebook page, download the app, become a fan and you will go through a series of five challenges where you will get a key. At the end of that there will be a final challenge, and the inner of that will be chosen to go down to The Captain’s Island in the Caribbean… Sun, crystal blue water, sand between your toes… And they will partake in challenges down there where they can win €15,000. Mena will be there and I have chosen Mena because she shows great Captain traits; she has a great leadership, she is incredibly competitive…
MS: I am very competitive…
CM: She just beat me in arm wrestling. My bicep is straining… You are very strong.
MS: I didn’t break a sweat.
CM: She runs, she eats well; she shows true character so she is going to be reporting to me from the Island.
MS: We will be there October 10th to the 13th and I am really excited.
CM: What will you wear?
MS: I don’t know yet. I am very jealous that I am not going to be able to compete. I know when I am watching everybody have so much fun…
CM: We should get you to compete with the Irish team, who won the Captain’s Cup last year I might add. I saw them at Oxegen, they came down to meet up with the Captain. Great lads.
Mena, how did you get involved with the Captain’s Island Challenge?
MS: It was something that recently came to me. I had not been too familiar with The Captain’s Island Challenge per se, but I always liked Captain Morgan and I lived in the Caribbean when I was younger. I vacation there a lot, I have a lot of friends that live and work in Jamaica. This is something that really excited me. I like the concept and the event and it is exciting to go back and watch all of the teams from all over the world compete.
CM: She also makes me look a lot better, which I am happy about.
Captain, we all know you are partial to a bit of rum. Mena, do you dabble at all?
MS: I do. I dabble, definitely.
CM: That is another reason that I have chosen Mena, because she drinks very responsibly.
Mena, you are a big reggae fan, is that part of the temptation to get you back to the Caribbean?
MS: Sure. One of my friends, we had an album that we put together called Future Sounds of Reggae and there are a few volumes out now. The whole concept was to capture music from artists all over the world, not just from Jamaica, and really highlight how reggae has influenced people all over the world. It’s just a small island and it has had such a huge influence on the music industry. It’s a passion project of mine, there is something about the music and the genre that really speaks to me.
Have you ever considered doing singing as part of your career?
MS: I used to play the piano a lot when I was younger, but I have never been in a band. I was in the choir when I was in school but no, never… When I worked on Future Sounds of Reggae a lot of people asked if that was what I was going to do, but I don’t know if I am a pop star! [laughs]
You have just finished shooting the newest American Pie film; American Reunion. How did that go?
MS: It was awesome. We were in Atlanta filming for a couple of months. I just finished this week. It was an absolute blast. I think it was an amazing feat that they were able to get everyone back; the original cast is all back together again and there are a lot of new characters as well. Our directors were Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg; they did all the Harold and Kumar films and they wrote American Reunion as well. It is just such a great concept. I think it’s hilarious, if not funnier than the first one.
How did it feel getting involved with the American Pie films again after such a long break?
MS: I don’t think any of us ever expected to get back together at all! We’d such an awesome time working on the first film, and when we did that we were bound to do a second one. After American Wedding I know that – and a lot of people agree – the whole concept of American Pie kind of went off in this other direction. What is so great about American Reunion is that it is really picking up after American Wedding with the original cast. Yes, it has been 10 plus year, but not even 20 or 30 minutes of us being back together it was like we had never been apart.
CM: You don’t look any older. You look the same.
MS: Thanks! [laughs]
American Beauty is still such a beloved film, was it a huge step in your career being in that movie?
MS: Sure. I was so young, and I worked on American Pie right before I worked on American Beauty. So I worked on them back to back and they came out back to back. I honestly thought that American Beauty wouldn’t even make $100 million worldwide [laughs] I just had no concept of the business and what it really meant. It definitely changed my life and I am so grateful that I had that opportunity, which a lot of people never get.
Did you know it was going to be something special when you were working on American Beauty?
MS: No I really didn’t. I had no concept. Like I said, I was so green and I just didn’t have that perspective. My focus has always been creating the character and working on the artistry of what I do. It was always a very organic process to me. I kind of fell into the business so I honestly remember thinking I was so happy to have a job and to be working with such amazing people that were so talented and so lovely to me. Whenever I read something I thought, how can I approach this character, and what can I do with it? It wasn’t about ‘I have to play this character’ or ‘This will get me a nomination’ or ‘This will be a hit’. I think there is a lot of mystery around why movies are successful. There are scripts that I have read that, when I worked on it, honestly, it changed through the editing process and the filming process, so you can’t ever predict that.
You have stripped off for various roles, do you give the make up artists a hard time with your tattoos?
CM: You have a tattoo?
MS: Yeah I have three of them. That’s my other side… My wild side…
MS: Actually, working on American Beauty they had the most amazing airbrush technique because a lot of us in the cast had tattoos [laughs]. I don’t even know what this spray plastic is that you put on your body but it does not move. I had to work the next day and even the day after and I would go to the gym, or go running in Atlanta when it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit and I would be sweating and the stuff would not move! [laughs]
CM: Does it have a medical name?
MS: I don’t know! [laughs]
CM: …Or is it just called spray plastic?
MS: I don’t know! [laughs]
How to enter the competition
The competition is open now to to everyone in the island of Ireland above legal purchase age (18) and closing date for crews to sign up and collect five keys is 18th September 2011. Please see www.facebook.com/CaptainMorganIreland for full Terms and Conditions for The Captain’s Island.
Thanks to Cliodhna, Julie and Killian in WHPR for sending on the gift and the details.