Hollywood rents a house on the North Shore.
It’s one on a Saturday afternoon in early December, and most of the residents of the WB House on Ke Nui Road are elsewhere. The two exceptions are Sunny Garcia, who’s being interviewed by a network film crew in the backyard, and Damien Hobgood, who’s immersed in a quiet board game in the dining room of the posh three-story home located on the sand at Gas Chambers. This pair of surf superstars and five others (Danny Fuller, Veronica Kay, Holly Beck, Chelsea Georgeson, and Myles Padaca) are ingredients in an experiment that’s taken place in full view of the surf world this winter. They are the “cast” of a reality TV show, à la MTV’s The Real World, but instead of picking a group of promiscuous twenty-year-old fame junkies, the show’s producers decided instead on professional surfers.[IMAGE 1]
The house and its inhabitants have been the topic of lots of conversation since principal filming began November 8. It’s hard not to talk about, as the WB’s cameras seem to be everywhere. Along with the cast of seven, there’s a crew of some 45 cameramen, audio techs, directors, producers, and security guards, who all follow the cast into restaraunts, stores, contest venues, and friends’ homes. With just a couple weeks of filimg left, Associate Producer Keoni Lucas admits the project has been a lot of work, and a cast of professional athletes isn’t going to do just anything the producers want. “We’re not gonna make Damo play beach games for points before he paddles out at Pipe,” he explains.
The WB House isn’t the only bit of Hollywood that’s landed on the North Shore this winter: celebrity sightings have been frequent in November and December. With both Charlie’s Angels 2 and The Big Bounce being filmed in and around Hale‘iwa, Morgan Freeman, Minnie Driver, Rachel Hunter, as well as Denise Richards and husband Charlie Sheen have become familiar faces in the land that surfing discovered. It’s even rumored that Owen Wilson was seen partying at the Volcom house–now that’s a lesson in reality.–Joel