Ed Viesturs' Quest for the 8,000 meter peaks
Interview with Ed Viesturs
March 23, 2000
[Annapurna] [Shishapangma] [Filming Vertical Limit] [Slideshow]
On starring in Sony Pictures' Vertical Limit
Ed Viesturs was hired in 1999 to be a technical advisor on a film about K2. But when the filmmakers took one look at Ed, they changed their mind and asked him to star in the film, as Ed Viesturs. The climbing segments were shot on location in New Zealand last October and November.
"I went to New Zealand for six weeks last autumn," Viesturs remembered, "to do this minor role in a Sony Pictures Film called Vertical Limit. It's coming out December 15. It's one of these Hollywood blockbusters; it's an action-adventure film that takes place on K2. My role in the film is I get to play myself. I show up at base camp as Ed Viesturs I'm leading my own expedition. I have interaction with the main cast of characters as they're doing their climb on K2. They come to me sometimes for advice or assistance and that type of thing.
"...all of the actors would sit around myself or Guy Cotter, who was part of the safety crew, and we'd tell climbing stories and all of the actors would be intrigued..."
"So, I guess I am seen as a legitimate authority figure on the mountain and my joke was, 'I'm a climber pretending to be an actor.' Where as all the others were actors pretending to be climbers. If I said something like, 'climbers would never do this,' the director just smiled and said, 'it's Hollywood, dahlin'. So, it was a lot of fun to be part of what an actual Hollywood film production is."
[Endeavor 8000: Manaslu & Dhaulagiri] [Viesturs Photo Gallery]
Peter Potterfield, MountainZone.com Staff
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