I’m proud to be from the south, a Carolina girl (South Carolina that is), raised on collard greens, beach music, college football, and sweet tea. Living in Wisconsin for two years, I missed the slower pace, hearing friends say “y’all”, ordering grits for breakfast and being so close to the coast. A big part of why I enjoy Nicholas Sparks’ novels so much, is their setting in small southern towns in North Carolina. Reading one of his novels or watching a film, is a welcome small taste of home for me.
Here are some fun and interesting facts about Sparks’ latest film, Safe Haven, which hits theaters February 14, 2013:
- Author Nicholas Sparks and his family reside in New Bern, NC, and all of his novels to date have been set in NC.
- Sparks’ latest movie Safe Haven is set and filmed in Southport, North Carolina located on the banks of the Cape Fear River.
- Southport is a quaint fishing village (population 3,000+) with historic homes, huge moss covered live oaks, antique shops, art galleries, parks and more.
- Other movies filmed in Southport include: “Crimes of The Heart”, starring Sissy Spacek; “Weekend at Bernie’s”; “I Know What You Did Last Summer”; “Summer Catch”; “Domestic Disturbance”; and Nicholas Sparks’ “A Walk to Remember”
- Just like in the book, the town is home to the annual North Carolina Fourth of July Festival. The crew was able to get some great footage of the parade and fireworks for the movie during the actual festival and then they also later re-created the parade, so they wouldn’t disturb the original festivities. Jeana happened to be on set for this shot and you may even see her cheering in the crowd if you look close enough!
- The old fishing depot is now a bar called Old American Fish Company and it was used as “Ivan’s Fish Shack”. In the film, Julianne Hough’s character Katie works at the restaurant.
- On Brunswick Street, crews built a set to look like the general store called “Ryan’s Port Market.” When filming the scene where the store is on fire, special effects crews shot fireworks from a barge over the Intracoastal Waterway, in the wee hours of the morning. The fire was indeed real and the set actually burned to the ground and no longer existed when Jeana visited.
- The small town saw a ton of stars – in addition to havig Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, and David Lyons around for a few weeks, Ryan Seacrest and Fergie also visited the town during filming to see their spouse/girlfriend.
- Duhamel often told locals how beautiful the beaches were and they responded, “Shh..let’s keep that a secret.”
- Scenes that were set in Boston were filmed in the larger nearby town of Wilmington, NC
I’m really looking forward to seeing Safe Haven myself. Duhamel compared Safe Haven to “Sleeping With the Enemy”. “I didn’t want it to just be a love story,” he said. “I wanted it to have something different.” He described the film as more of a suspenseful thriller than a romantic love story.