Directed by Tom Gormican (‘That Awkward Moment’), ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ is a blast of an action-comedy movie. The metafilm sees Nicolas Cage in a fictional, robust version of himself. While low on cash, Nick accepts the invitation of a superfan to attend his lavish party in an exotic mansion against a hefty amount of money. However, as it often happens in Nicolas Cage movies, it does not take much time for the story to spiral out of control, with the superfan revealing a sinister side.
The star of ‘Pig‘ and ‘Raising Arizona’ acts alongside Pedro Pascal of ‘Narcos‘ fame in this uproarious saga. Following its release, the movie garnered much praise from critics and fans, with many touting it as Cage’s magnum opus. Most of the story unfolds in the touristy destination of the sprawling seaside resort, but you may wonder where the movie was filmed. In that case, let us keep you posted.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Filming Locations
‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ was filmed in its entirety in and around Croatia, Hungary, and California, especially in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Principal photography lasted only 15 days, commencing on October 5, 2020, and getting wrapped up by October 20 of the same year. Nigel Bluck, the cinematographer of ‘Handsome Harry,’ came on board to serve as the director of photography.
At the same time, Kevin Kavanaugh, the production designer of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ handled the role in this movie. In 2020, the film industries worldwide came to a halt due to the COVID-pandemic. In the meantime, this project was the ninth to enroll in the Filming in Croatia incentive program for the year. The program offers a cash rebate ranging from 25-30% of the production expenditure for eligible productions. Let us now take you to the specific locations where the movie was filmed.
Los Angeles, California
Several interior segments were filmed in and around the City of Angels. The Los Angeles hotel sequences were filmed at the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel, a four-star tourist accommodation located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard, in the heart of West Hollywood. In one of the scenes in the film, Nick has a lunch meeting with the director. Filming of the sequence took place in the Chateau Marmont, a famous diner located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood district. From ‘Laurel Canyon’ to ‘A Star Is Born,’ the diner has served as a filming site for several iconic movies.
A significant chunk of the shooting for ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ was carried out in and around Dubrovnik, a prominent Croatian city along its southern border. The cast and crew head to the historic Old Town to get some shots of the massive stone walls erected in the 16th century. In the city, the service producer for the project was Ambasada Studio, a recording studio based at Ul. Plovani Skalini 16, near the Walls of Dubrovnik.
Early in the movie, Nicolas Cage arrives at the house of the affluent person who hired Nick to attend his grand party. The production team needed an equally luxurious location, and they chose to film the sequences at Grand Villa Argentina, a five-star tourist accommodation at Ul. Frana Supila 14 in Dubrovnik.
While in the city, the crew ventured towards the outskirts, filming scenes in Trsteno. Although administratively located in the town of Dubrovnik, Trsteno offers a serene getaway from the humdrum of the city, complete with an aching view of the beaches. If you ever visit the village, you have to head to the Trsteno Arboretum, which is one of the oldest arboretums in the entire world. Filming also went underway in Villa Sheherezade, another opulent tourist accommodation at Ul. Vlaha Bukovca 2 in the city.
Filming also took place in and around Cavtat, a resort town on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. In a memorable scene, Javi asks Nicolas Cage his favorite movie. The scene was filmed at Kupalište Kamen Mali, a serene beach in Cavtat offering a breathtaking view of the Adriatic sea.
Moreover, a portion of the shooting took place along the famous promenade of Cavtat, where Nicolas Cage was seen boarding a vintage Porsche. The temperature was bright and warm, providing a perfect ambiance for the crew to take the shots. In the area, filming also took place in the Church of St. Nicolas, an old Catholic church located at Svetog Nikole 2 in the city.
The crew also headed to Budapest, the capital of Hungary, to film some interior scenes. Filming took place in Origo Studios, a bustling movie production facility at Felsőkert u. 9 in north Budapest. The state-of-the-art production facility features 10 functional stages (with two multimedia stages) and 14 acres of empty backlot to aid productions of various stature. Epic ventures such as ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ and ‘Dune‘ were also filmed in this studio.
Read More: Best Nicolas Cage Movies
Where is Keith Laborde Now?
Vincent Simmons was just 25 when he was sentenced to 100 years in prison after being accused of violently raping Karen and Sharon Sanders — a set of 14-year-old twins — a crime he maintains he never committed. However, as explored in ’48 Hours: Please Don’t Tell,’ Karen and Sharon Sanders insist he’s guilty despite recently agreeing to drop the charges against him and the supposed odd involvement of Keith Laborde. So now, if you wish to find out more about the latter, especially the details of his relationship with the sisters as well as his possible current whereabouts, here’s all that we know.
Who is Keith Laborde?
At the time of the alleged incident on the evening of May 9, 1977, an 18-year-old reported Marine Corps officer Keith Laborde was with Karen and Sharon Sanders, who are his first cousins. He was driving them back home from his place when he picked up a hitchhiker from 7-11, as per their accounts, only for it to end up with him forced into the trunk of his vehicle at knifepoint. Like the girls, once they went to the authorities with this ordeal two weeks later, Keith insisted their assailant was a Black man, whom they all individually later identified as Vincent Simmons from a lineup.
With that said, though, one of their other cousins has since claimed that the trio lied at every step of the way, which is something Keith personally told her at a bar long after Vincent’s conviction. “He told me that he had consensual sex with one of the girls and locked the other in the trunk,” Dana Brouillette stated in a sworn affidavit. She later explained, “He had gone down Little California Road, and he locked Sharon in the trunk, and he said the sex between him and Karen was consensual. He said, but the other one was a little hellcat… [She] put the scratches on his neck.”
Dana actually believes Keith, Karen, and Sharon concocted the story of a Black man attacking them to justify the noticeable scratches, along with the state of their overall appearance that night. But Karen clarified the entire situation in an interview with CBS by stating that although she did engage in consensual sex with Keith, it was way before the summer of 1977. She was reportedly just a child back then, whereas he was a teenager, and they “experimented. But that has nothing to do with what Vincent did. That’s two separate incidents. That’s two separate things,” she said.
Where is Keith Laborde Now?
Despite the (seemingly unsupported) accusations against him, Keith Laborde has outrightly denied ever having sex with Karen, according to ’48 Hours.’ He told the production that they only “played around like children,” nothing less and nothing more, but yes, every part of it was consensual. Coming to his current standing, in his 60s, it appears as if the Louisiana native prefers to keep well away from the limelight these days because he purportedly has a family of his own.
Keith wholeheartedly maintains that Vincent is guilty, which is why when CNN approached him for an interview in 2020, he reportedly let his anger out in the form of profanities, threats, and racial slurs directed toward him. Keith concluded with, “This sh*t happened. It’s real. It happened. And I’m not dealing with this no more I’m not looking over my shoulder anymore… I had enough of this sh*t.”
Read More: Where is Vincent Simmons Now?
Is Ben Is Back Based on a True Story?
‘Ben Is Back’ is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Peter Hedges. It follows Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges), an athlete recovering from drug addiction, as he faces several internal and external conflicts. His mother, Holly Burns (Julia Roberts), provides unconditional support to her son while overcoming her own tribulations. The heartfelt film deals with the complex theme of drug addiction simplistically and realistically. Therefore, viewers must be wondering whether the film is inspired by real events or true stories. If you are looking for answers about the inspiration behind ‘Ben Is Back,’ here is everything you need to know!
Is Ben Is Back Based on a True Story?
‘Ben Is Back’ is not based on a true story. The film tells a fictional story written by Peter Hedges. However, Hedges’ screenplay is loosely inspired by his personal experiences with addicts. In several interviews, Hedges has opened up about the conceptualization of the film. The writer/director revealed that the film’s story and the subject are very personal to him. Hedges grew up in an alcoholic household, and his mother was an active alcoholic when he was seven years old. As a result, Hedges strived to make a realistic and relatable film about the horrors of addiction.
In a 2018 interview, Hedges explained that in the early 2010s, he was suffering from writer’s block. Around the same time, a close friend of Hedges passed away due to a heroin overdose. Shortly, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom Hedges deeply admired, died in 2014 because of a drug overdose. As a result, Hedges became obsessed with the subject of addiction and threw himself into research about opioid addiction. However, he still could not translate his vast research onto the page.
To deal with his block, Hedges signed for a playwriting workshop in February 2017. During the workshop, Hedges wrote the first ten pages of ‘Ben Is Back’ and eventually completed the script. He presented the script to producer Nina Jacobson who was personally aware of the effects of opioid addiction due to the death of her son’s best friend. As a result, she decided to produce the film resulting in the production of ‘Ben Is Back.’
In an interview with THR, Hedges said that he crafted the Burns family’s dynamics based on his personal experiences. “In my own life, what became interesting was just that I grew up in a family where I had to lie a lot. We all lied. We pretended that we were better off and happier than we were. So all of those dynamics and energy in play, I was able to access in writing this. I just know it. I know it so well,” Hedges said.
The ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape‘ scribe also stated that during his research, he came across several instances where recovering addicts would slip back into addiction after being sober for some time. “They slip, and it made you wonder why, why is that happening. Sometimes they got clean, and they were prescribed a pain pill, and that pain pill brought them back in,” he said.
Subsequently, Hedges learned more about the role of prescribed pain medication in triggering the opioid epidemic in America and made it a crucial plot thread of his story. Ben’s struggles with addiction are presented through a story of love between a mother and son. Thus, the narrative becomes emotionally compelling and allows the audience to empathize with the tribulations of its main characters.
Ultimately, ‘Ben Is Back’ is heavily influenced by the personal experiences of Hedges and his research about real people with substance abuse disorder. However, the story itself is a work of fiction and is not a direct adaptation of any real incidents. It is rooted in the dynamics of an average American family and how drug addiction affects their lives. It is an impactful and honest representation of drug addiction’s vast and harmful emotional, psychological, and physical effects.
Read More: Where Was Ben Is Back Filmed?