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Kelly Slater and Sal Masekela Interviews-Surf's Up Premiere
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It's got a good story to it and it's a
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Kelly Slater and Sal Masekela Interviews-Surf's Up Premiere
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Tell me about getting involved in this. Surfing penguins…when you saw that script did you say yes right away?

Kelly Slater: "Well, obviously I knew it was an animated film right away. That was the first thing I knew. And then, you know, I didn't hear the name for a little bit. And I thought, 'I wonder if that's going to be corny or if it's going to work?' And then I saw what they were doing and I realized it was going to work right away. It's a really cute film. It's got a good story to it and it's a mockumentary of surfing. It's a playful story."

How close is it to reality?

Kelly Slater: "It is based on some true things in surfing, some real characters. There's a sense of reality to it and there's a story I think anyone who watched it – young to old – can relate to and identify with in some way. It's just a fun film. I think the title depicts that right away. And the animation, the action… For an animated film, there's some parts when I watched it the first time I went, 'Oh, that might scare some kids,' in an exciting way though, not like a terrifying way. Especially in a theater with the sound and the waves breaking, you can feel the intensity of what happens in the ocean."

Do you think this will inspire some young kids to take up surfing?

Kelly Slater: "I would imagine so. I would think that this would allow some young kids to see surfing in a different way, and maybe families to see surfing in a different light than maybe it was portrayed in the past. It's a great family sport."



How did you get involved in this?

Sal Masekela: "Rob Machado, he…" [giving Machado a hug]

He talked you into it?

Sal Masekela: "He talked me into it. I said, 'Dude, I'm not doing a penguin surf movie, bro. I'm not doing it.'"

Rob Machado: "Come on, Sal. For me. Do it with me, man."

Sal Masekela: "No really, when I found out I was going to get to work with both he and Kelly Slater it was an easy no-brainer. And as a lifelong surfer, to be in like a big $90 million surf movie is just the coolest thing ever."

Were you worried about how they were going to animate the waves?

Sal Masekela: "I went in for a session, my first meeting, and they showed me one version of what a wave might look like and I was like, 'I am beyond the call of in.' I was just blown away. I saw how much they had worked to get it right. And as a surfer, so many times in Hollywood they get it wrong and we end up looking really kooky. And you're just like, 'I hope that they're not going to make another North Shore.' Sorry Keanu Reeves. I mean not North Shore, another Point Break. North Shore was actually halfway decent. Point Break was really our low point for surfing. So yeah, I'm stoked, man."

But it is surfing penguins…

Sal Masekela: "Yes."

And you're okay with that?

Sal Masekela: "I'm totally cool with that. I mean, penguins, if you can show me another, other than the dolphins, I think penguins are about as well suited for surfing as you can be. Built-in wetsuit."

No knees.

Sal Masekela: "No knees. What else do they have going on? They can hold their breath a lot longer than us. Someone asked me about penguins, 'What is it about penguins? Why do penguins resonate so much with humans?' I said, 'Because they're neither black or white.' I think maybe there's a subliminal message going on."

We're all penguins.

Sal Masekela: "We're all penguins. At the end of the day, we're all penguins. Let's just get out there and swim. Swim in the ocean of life!"




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