Stars walk the red carpet for premiere of film on rescued miners

Antonio Banderas and other Hollywood stars share the red carpet with the 33 Chilean miners they portray in “The 33” at the Santiago premeire of the film that tells the story of their unlikely survival five years ago.

SANTIAGO, CHILE (AUGUST 2, 2015) (TVN) – Thirty-three Chilean miners, who in 2010 were trapped in a mine for two months, got the Hollywood treatment on Sunday (August 2) as they walked the red carpet with famous Hollywood actors including Antonio Banderas and Brazilian heartthrob Rodrigo Santoro at the premiere of “The 33” in Santiago.

The film, which stars Banderas, tells the harrowing story of how all 33 men survived 2,300 feet underground after their mine in the Atacama Desert collapsed above them five years ago.

They were feared dead until, on the 17th day trapped below, the miners attached a note to a perforation drill that read, “The 33 of us in the shelter are well,” triggering celebrations around the country and the world over.

For weeks, the government raced against the clock to keep the miners alive and drill a stable hole to extract them from.

Mario Sepulveda, who is portrayed by Banderas, quipped that the Spanish actor did not live up to his natural good looks.

“Antonio Banderas, look, I’ll give him a ‘5,’ for me, I’d say a ‘7,’ because I am better looking than he is, right? Everything’s great (with the movie), we’re all happy, excited, chiefly because I am with my colleagues. I am alive and healthy and I have appreciation for my country for all the beautiful things it has done for us,” Sepulveda said.

Banderas, for his part, said it was challenging to tell a story still fresh in the minds of much of the public with the real-life heroes also looking on.

“We are cognizant of the responsibility that comes with telling a story that is relatively recent, where the protagonists fortunately came out alive and that is part of Chilean history, but I think it’s a very beautiful (story), and it provides reflection over the supreme importance of life itself,” Banderas said.

The impressive international cast also includes Chilean-American actress Cote de Pablo, known for her work on NCIS; French actress, Juliette Binoche, American James Brolin, Spaniard Mario Casas, Mexican Kate del Castillo, Phillipine-American Lou Diamond Phillips, and Colombian Juan Pablo Raba.

Santoro said they wanted to tell the story that was not seen by the public who watched round-the-clock news coverage on the surface of the mind while the miners struggled to stay alive below.

“What we try to do in the movie is try and tell a little bit of what was not seen by everyone, what happened underneath in the mine, the stories, the family relations who were outside as well,” said Santoro.

Filmed partly on location in Copiapo, the English-language film was directed by Patricia Riggen.

“This movie to me is going to have that kind of emotional impact. It will touch people’s hearts. It will move them. I think it does a very good job in paying respect and honouring, not only what the 33 miners went through, but their families, and Copiapo and all of Chile. And so I am humbled and very proud to be a part of it,” Diamond Phillips said.

The rescue took place just months into the presidency of conservative Sebastian Pinera and was managed by then-Mining Minister Laurence Golborne who unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in the 2013 election that was later won by Michelle Bachelet.

On Saturday, cast and crew met Bachelet at La Moneda palace in the capital city of Santiago.

“The 33” opens on August 6.