Last night I got to chat to Benjamin Mee and his brother Duncan Mee about how it feels to have your life turned into a film. Benjamin wrote the book of We Bought a Zoo on which the film is based. The film, which hits UK cinema screens today, is directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) and stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. Here's what the Mee brothers had to say:
“I couldn’t be happier with the way Cameron Crowe and Matt Damon treated this.
Cameron Crowe is one of the most compassionate men working in Hollywood…
He hasn’t brushed it under the carpet.”
- Benjamin Mee
On the decision to move the film's setting to the US, Benjamin said that it was an economic decision on the part of the filmmakers. He also added that his agent told him “If they want to set in Mars – just say yes!”
I asked Benjamin's brother Duncan who out of the family got the most excited when they discovered who would be playing them in the film. He responded that it was “the children, they were the most excited...Benjamin was quite candidly in open-disbelief that Matt Damon was going to do it. He’d wanted Matt Damon…”
Duncan also added: “I hope now that the zoo’s going to be quite busy as a result of the film.”
So with a clear passion for the zoo and all who live and work there, human and animal, here's hoping the film does well for the Mee family.