Twenty years ago, Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe played a married couple in Atomic Train, a made-for-TV movie for NBC. This month, they share the small screen again, playing another couple for the Netflix movie, Holiday in the Wild.
Davis appears as a guest on Live with Kelly and Ryan today to chat about the film. In the film, Davis plays Kate Conrad, a woman afraid of facing her empty nest syndrome that she plans a trip for her and her husband to Africa when her son leaves for college. However, while she thinks of this vacation as a second honeymoon, her husband has a surprise of his own – to end their marriage.
Jilted, Kate flies to Africa for a solo trip, where she meets Derek Holliston (Rob Lowe) and together they rescue an orphaned baby elephant and nurse the mammal back to health. She then extends her vacation through Christmas and (shocker) falls in love (Fun fact: Kristin’s fictional son is played by John Owen Lowe, Rob Lowe’ very real son).
The screenwriters for Holiday in the Wild, husband and wife team, Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky, were partially inspired by Davis’ real-life support for the conservation of elephants. In fact, the Sex in the City star has served as a patron of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in Nairobi, Kenya for more than ten years.
In 2017, Davis and two anonymous donors gave a total of $370,000 to match donations made to Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on #GivingTuesday, which traditionally falls on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Those who are concerned for the animal’s safety will be glad to hear that while most of the movie was filmed at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery (part of Game Rangers International in Lusaka, Zambia), many of the elephants filmed were actually of the animatronic variety.
“Throughout the time the crew was on site they probably spent 85% of the time with empty stables, using robots,” says the wildlife rescue director, Rachael Murton. “Very few shots actually focused on real live elephants, which meant that they weren’t stressed and they weren’t impacted. That was fantastic.”
“One of the more the hilarious things was seeing Kristin lying in the hay with this arm pulling at her hair, and the arm was dressed up as an elephant’s trunk. The animatronic elephant was unbelievably realistic. The body was all wrinkly and had hairs on it. People will not know when they watch the film that they’re not watching a real elephant.”
Holiday in the Wild began streaming on Netflix earlier this month.