Interview with Cozi and Nathan

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Paula K. Parker from Catholic Online interviewed Cozi and Nathan Gamble about Dolphin Tale.

Q: What was it like filming the scenes swimming with Winter?

Nathan: An absolute dream come true. When I was first met Winter, during my audition, I saw how amazing and smart she was. She was fantastic to work with.

Q: Did they help you with interacting with the Dolphin?

Nathan: Yes, they did. Abby and Elaina – who are Winter’s personal trainers – did a lot of that stuff.

Q: Nathan, you had to audition with Winter. How was that process?

Nathan: My mother told me, “You’re going to Florida; but you haven’t got the part yet. You have to audition with Winter.” I thought that was kind of weird. Then when I saw her, she has to get used to people before she does all these tricks. I guess she got used to me.

Q: Cozi, how did you do with the pelican in the movie?

Cozi: I was scared at first. There were two pelicans – Ricky and Lucy – I loved the I Love Lucy reference. The pelicans have a sharp hook at the end of their beak. In the scene where we’re scrambling with the ice and the fish and the pelican was snapping, it was scary. We did so many takes of that scene, there were fish scales all over my arms;I called them natural sequins, it was too gross to think of them as fish scales, and the pelican was chomping at the fish and us. It was pretty scary, because I never knew what the pelican was going to do.

Q: There were a lot of films this summer with super heroes and comic book heroes. This movie is separate from that dynamic. Has working on “Dolphin Tale” changed your perspective at what being a hero is?

Cozi: I think it’s strange that a lot of kids are watching movies that are inappropriate for their age. They see movies with a lot of violence and our idea of heroes becomes these huge guys who aren’t afraid to kill. It dilutes the idea of honor, integrity, trust and hope. I think Winter is so clean – she’s just innocence – I think that is something that our culture needs.

Nathan: To me, I think that Winter is the real hero. What she does for those people with disabilities who come to see her – when she inspires them to not give up hope – to me, that is what heroism is.

Q: When you were younger, what movies did you watch that communicated heroism?

Nathan: I was a big fan of Indiana Jones; then I realized he was kind of a fake hero. The real heroes are the people who work hard and do their stuff right, like firefighters and policemen.
Q: Have you found any other heroes in your life?

Nathan: Actually, I have an uncle who is in the army. He told me about his career overseas and I thought, ‘Wow; that is heroism to me.’ Serving his country.

Q: One of the themes that the movie keeps coming back to was in the scene where Kris Kristofferson quoted from John Masefield’s poem, Sea Fever, “I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” If you had to say what your guiding star is in life, what is it?

Cozi: Jesus Christ, for sure.

Nathan: Hands down. Definitely. Follow the Lord. I try to be – well, not holy – but my whole family is very religious and I want to be like that too. So I try my hardest to be more in touch with the Lord.

Q: That’s not common for people chasing a film career.

Nathan: I was talking to Mama about that. Back in the old days, people would openly talk about [their faith in Jesus]. Now people are quiet about it, because they don’t want to offend anybody, which is really strange to me.

Cozi: I learn so much from Jesus, just from praying every morning on my deck in the hotel room. Watching the sun set at night. Thinking about how I can always trust in God. There were a couple of hard scenes in the movie; I had to jump in a 60 degree lagoon with manatees in it. I was so scared, I lost it one time. I realized after that that I needed to trust God, because we needed to shoot the scene again.

I prayed, “Lord, I give myself to You.” At first, I expected Him to make the water warm; [laughs] I trust in God and the water will be warm. But it wasn’t! But once I trusted in Him, that He would be with me in the cold water, I wasn’t scared. I knew He was with me.

Interview with American Girl Magazine

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Cozi did an interview with American Girl magazine for the July/August 2011 edition! Here it is:

Name: Cozi Z., age 12

Where I work: If I’m working on a commercial, usually it’s made at a studio in Los Angeles. More recently I worked on a big movie set in Florida.

How I got started: When I was eight, I started performing in musical theater. One of my teachers encouraged me to act. I took acting classes and began auditioning for commercials. I am home-schooled. If I’m working on set, I study with a studio teacher when I’m not shooting. Sometimes I get pulled out of “class” to go do a scene.

Money: Most of the money I earn goes into my college fund. I’m allowed to spend some to spend on American Girl dolls, so that gives me extra motivation to work.

Why I love my job: I like meeting people who love acting as much as I do. And I love being part of stories that add happiness to the world.

Why my job is hard: It was not always easy to be smiley and social all day while we were filming the movie, but I did my very, very best. Living in a hotel for three months was hard, too, especially being away from my dog, sister, and my dad.

Lessons learned: I have learned about perseverance–meaning, how to keep going even if things aren’t going my way. It’s hard when I try for a part and I don’t get it. And during the filming of the movie (it’s about a boy and a dolphin), I had to be in the water almost every day. It was cold!

Future plans: I hope to get more acting work this year.

Advice: If you want to act, it will be tough to juggle school and work, but it could also be the most fun thing you’ve ever done.

When I grow up: I want to continue to act, and I’d like to become a singer or dancer, too.