'Dolphin Tale 2' filmmakers venture out to Clearwater Beach
Ashley Judd makes an appearance in Clearwater for movie work, while other headliners have yet to arrive.
CLEARWATER – The filming of “Dolphin Tale 2,” which got under way last month, is showcasing some of the area's gems like Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the white sandy beaches of Clearwater and the inviting waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
A-list celebrity Ashley Judd, one of the movie sequel's headliners, was in town last week to film a scene, according to David Fulton, a Los Angeles-based unit publicist for “Dolphin Tale 2.” Judd plays Lorraine Nelson, whose son, Sawyer, befriends a rescued dolphin in the first installment of the story inspired by Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail.
Meanwhile, scenes involving Morgan Freeman, who portrays Dr. Cameron McCarthy, the fictional creator of Winter's tail, and Harry Connick Jr., who runs Clearwater Marine Hospital as Dr. Clay Haskett, haven't been on the docket for filming as of yet, Fulton said.
Crews shot a simulated sea turtle release Monday and Tuesday on north Clearwater Beach in the area between Frenchy's Rockaway Grill and the Palm Pavilion. The scene involved about 100 people, including production crew and movie extras.
On Wednesday, filming resumed at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter's real home on Island Estates.
While Fulton wouldn't say all the specific locations that will be used in the ongoing filming, he did confirm scenes will be filmed at Island Way Grill, located next to the aquarium and owned by longtime area businessman Frank Chivas.
Chivas laughed when asked if he would be making a cameo appearance in the movie.
“The guys (production crew) have called asking if I'll be around today,” Chivas said Wednesday. “I told him I'll be at hunting camp. But if he needs a construction guy, I'll be there.”
Recognized for his successful Baystar Restaurant Group, Chivas is also well known in the business community for his competent hands-on approach in construction.