A Day In The Life – September 2007

It is my third shoot day on Grand Turk, a 7 mile island in the Caribbean’s Turks and Caicos chain. I am starring in A Date with Murder with David Chokachi and Robin Lively. I was here 18 months ago, filming Trapped, so I know a lot of the crew, and it is good to be back.

Today our call time is noon, since we need to do some night scenes after the beach scenes I am shooting with David. I am sooooo happy he is playing the male lead – this is our second film together since we worked together on Baywatch in 1995-1996, and I think he is the greatest. He has an upbeat, sunny disposition and I cherish his friendship. Ironically, three days before we were offered parts in this film, I had emailed him because I had dreamt about he and I on a beach together. And here we are, on a beach together!

I got up at 7:30am and swam for an hour in the clear, blue, warm see right outside our hotel. The first day I got to Grand Turk, I swam over a nurse shark, which startled me because I swim close to shore so the water was not at all deep. It was just a 5 feet below me! I found out later that they are harmless, though, and I will end up seeing another one on my last day here. Another coincidence though: I had just answered a question in my
October Ask Alexandra column on this site about sharks, in which I think I said I wasn’t scared of them! I guess I am a bit, although I did finish both of my swims, albeit even closer to shore!

I did yoga in my room, because my back hurts with the high heels I wear for this part. It is really, really hot and humid here, and I have unstoppable sweat stains on the front of my shirts in a lot of scenes. Luckily, I prefer to be sweating than shivering, and I feel better than most during filming. The mosquitos come out at night, but I also emerge pretty unscathed there – I hardly get bitten but we have several crew members who have to go to the hospital for bug bites: Galaxy, my makeup artist, counts over 100 bites on her body, and another crew member, Carlos, has 70 bites on his right lower leg alone. Yikes, the perils of shooting on a beautiful tropical island!

At noon, we meet at the Turks Head Mansion, which doubles as our production office, makeup and hair and wardrobe rooms, and where we eat most of our meals. I rehearse with David Chokachi and David Moretti, who play the good guy and the bad guy respectively. I shoot on the beach with David, and he is great. By the time lunch rolls around at 6:30pm, it is getting cooler (and now the bugs come out…).

David Chokachi shoots some heroic stuff (running along the beach to save me, etc) and I shower and change into different wardrobe for my scenes being menaced by the killer (this is A Date with Murder, after all…). I finish filming at 2:45am and then I am transported back to my hotel room in the Japanese Hello Kitty school bus, which has seats sized for 5 year olds. When you film on an island, you don’t have much choice in terms of vehicles!

The rest of the crew continues shooting until 5am. It is a long day for everyone, but I feel lucky to be here, working with old friends and meeting new ones. I am in every scene tomorrow, and we will be shooting from 4 pm to 6am, so I need to get some sleep…