As if acting in a cramped submarine weren't rough enough, the cast of K-19: The Widowmaker also had to endure subzero temperatures in Russia and Canada. Oddly, actor Christian Camargo who co-stars with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson in the Cold War tale didn't appear too uncomfortable. How did he manage to keep his cool in such frosty cold?
"That was acting!" laughs Camargo, a theater thesp who's only previously done indie films. "It was really freezing, especially with the authentic costumes we had to wear. In Moscow, we did a scene outside at two in the morning. Our coats were stiff with ice."
Fortunately, some Russians soon came to the rescue, offering bottles of cheap potato vodka. "We were like, 'No, we can't drink. We're serious actors,'" Camargo recalls. "But they had us put our hands out and started dumping vodka all over, rubbing it on our faces, pouring it in our shoes. And it worked! We tried it in Winnipeg, Canada, too, but we couldn't open the [hotel] minibars."
Clearly, the lively castmembers weren't only bathing in their libations to keep warm. But who can blame them for seeking solace from the film's intense plot the true story of a 1961 Russian sub crew facing nuclear catastrophe?
"When the scenes were more serious, there had to be a lot more joking offscreen," Camargo says. "When the camera was off, one actor would start creating a musical about 'The Boys on K-19.' We had great fun!"