MIAMI (CBS4) – In the new movie “Safe Haven”, Alex (Josh Duhamel) is a recent widower who owns a variety store in a small coastal North Carolina seashore town.
When Katie (Julianne Hough) arrives in town trying to hide from her violent past things get complicated. Even though he’s still grieving the loss of his wife, Alex begins to fall for Katie as her past returns to haunt her.
“Safe Haven” is from novelist turned producer Nicolas Sparks who also wrote “The Notebook.”
In true Sparks’ tradition, “Safe Haven” takes some unexpected turns as it tugs at the heart strings.
“What is about you and romance and love,” CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo asked.
“For me, it’s simply about telling a story I’d like to read myself. It’s simply about doing a film I’d like to watch and a part from that, you want a movie that evokes genuine emotion. You want to be moved,” replied Sparks.
“Do you ever say to yourself, I’ve got to make the next ‘Notebook’,” asked Petrillo.
No, that’s a very dangerous thing to do,” said Sparks. “You try to tell each story best you can. As long as you focus on one story and you do everything you can so that viewers can enjoy it, the big picture takes care of itself.”
There is definitely on screen chemistry between Duhamel and Hough, but the actors say didn’t focus on it.
“Once you think you have to have great chemistry, you’re doomed,” said Duhamel. “I knew that Julianne was an easy person to get along with and that’s the most important thing. You don’t have to try really. She trusted me and I trusted her”
Hough said she had to dig deep to play Katie who is running from an abusive relationship.
“It was definitely was more challenging than anything I’ve done in past,” said Hough. “I drew from personal experiences that I went through.”
Duhamel added that wasn’t the only challenge.
“Then, trying to find the humor and playfulness in how these two develop a relationship without it feeling forced, that was a challenge ,” said Duhamel.
“Safe Haven” is rate PG13 and opened on Valentines Day.