Leo Breaks Silence

Beach controversy goes on and on

by Willow Green |
Published on

Leonardo di Caprio broke cover in the States this week to speak for the first time about the filming of The Beach in Thailand. In a week where the producers of the film are being taken to court in Thailand over alleged environmental damage, the star - whose environmental convictions are well known, and who has already issued two press statements on the matter - spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the shoot. 'If I knew or thought there was any damaage being done to that island, I wouldn't have been in the movie,' he told the show. 'The studio invited numerous environmental organisations to the island while we were shooting and they all said there's been no damage done to the island from the production of The Beach.' All well and good, but it's said that the environmental damage caused to The Beach happened when natural foliage was removed from The Beach and hadn't 'taken' again when the yearly monsoons came round. So although the damage may not have been apparent while Leonardo was there, it could have taken place in the intervening months. Producer Andrew McDonald went one further than his star, insisting that the filmmakers had actually improved the island. 'the beach when we got there was completely covered in trash,' he said. 'Over 300 tons of the stuff was there.' That's true, says the ThaiStudents website, but it also points out that the rubbish turns up every year on account of the monsoon and didn't indicate that the park, which is part of a Thai marine national park, hadn't been looked after.

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