Actress Bryce Dallas Howard recently visited The Landing, with National Geographic, and loved every minute.
This July, The Landing was lucky enough to be one of the locations chosen to be featured in a Tourism New Zealand campaign in conjunction with National Geographic, with brand ambassador Bryce Dallas Howard. Bryce is an American actress and a perfect match for this project: she is vibrant and adventurous and has felt a special connection to New Zealand since she visited as a child.
As she explored our beautiful country, she took great interest in the food, especially at The Landing, where we took her on a tour of our vineyard and shared our garden-to-plate philosophy. She later said in an interview with US Vogue about her trip that her favourite meal in the country took place at The Landing, prepared by chef Jackie Smith.
Vineyard Manager Keith Barker got to spend some time in front of the camera with Bryce, sharing the history of The Landing and enjoying some of Jackie’s dishes, alongside The Landing Wines.
We asked Keith about his experience being in front of the camera – instead of behind the wheel of a tractor – for the National Geographic and Tourism New Zealand campaign.
Keith’s colourful account follows!
First of all, Tom King the director at National Geographic gave me a ring – he asked if I was comfortable to talk about anything, whether I knew about it or not (no problems there!)
The day before, I was interviewed by a National Geographic journalist for about an hour. We actually talked a lot about rugby and Richie McCaw.
On the day of the shoot, I was asked to meet them at the top of block of the Chardonnay. While I was waiting I did a bit of pruning, then 4 SUVs turned up and about 20 people got out with all sorts of cameras and drones etc.
I then started to think this might be bigger than I initially thought.
I was introduced to Bryce, that’s when the nerves started to ramp up.
But when I was given a script, that’s when the buzzing started in my head – because as a man who cannot remember what he had for breakfast, the idea of remembering lines was terrifying!
Standing next to Bryce and her attendants was an experience, and when one of them started to paint sun cream on Bryce’s ankles with a paint brush I lamented the fact that I had worn socks and the paintbrush must feel nice… Then I realised I had shared my thoughts aloud!
So then we started. The script had been cleverly written for me from the interview the night before, so it made sense on paper.
The problem was that I was stuck between what I wanted to say and what the script said. I kept getting caught between the two.
Acting, I was told, is all about confidence, and the people around me were amazingly patient and supportive. This allowed me to eventually get something filmed.
Walking is an automatic thing we do without thinking about, until you are being filmed, then it becomes an incredible thing where your legs belong to someone else!
All in all, it was a scary but amazing thing to do and the professionalism and support of the Tourism NZ and National Geographic teams were amazing, as well as the encouragement of The Landing staff.
I will keep my day job and the only agent I will be getting will be a stock agent for some heifers I’m looking at buying.