King Kong actors soak up Vietnam 

Actors from the new King Kong movie have been enjoying Vietnam’s cultural delights as shooting begins.

Recent Oscar winner Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and other cast members spoke to the media in Hanoi on Sunday, a day before filming began. 

British actor Hiddleston said he had planned a trip to Vietnam when he was a 19-year-old university student, but it never happened until now.

His colleagues had landed three days earlier, and spent time enjoying the capital, according to Thanh Nien news. 

Jackson posted a Facebook photo showing him with a giant drum at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s earliest university, founded in 1070, while Larson’s Instagram page showed her trying the pho as well as some 100-year-old tribal clothes.

Director Jordan Voght-Roberts said he chose Vietnam as a filming location for Kong: Skull Island as he wants to offer audiences something new and different.

He said the scenes in Vietnam are among the most important ones, and would look as stunning as scenes in The Lord of the Rings.

He wants audiences to be so impressed that they would want to come to Vietnam after seeing the movie, he said.

The new film, estimated to cost US$190 million, focuses on King Kong’s origins and is set for a March 2017 release.

The filming in Vietnam will take five weeks from 23 February at Trang An-Tam Coc, a complex of mountains and rivers in the northern province of Ninh Binh, some famous caves in the central province of Quang Binh, and Ha Long Bay.

Voght-Roberts and some crew members spent nearly two months in Vietnam at the end of last year surveying and selecting the locations.

Around 320 tons of equipment have been shipped to Vietnam by air and sea over the past month and a technical team arrived in January to study the locations and prepare roads into film sets. Other filming locations are in Australia and Hawaii.