After six pandemic-mandated months in the house, Rebecca Romijn had no trouble saying ‘Yes’ last October to taking the family to Kenya for “Endangered Species.”
An action thriller set alongside a dysfunctional family drama, “Species” finds Romijn’s American tourist family accidentally marooned and likely to become dinner to the spectacular Amboseli National Park’s many hungry creatures — leopards, hyenas, rhinos, lions.
“I had been to Kenya before and it’s a very magical place,” Romijn, 48, began. “I strongly recommend if anybody ever has an opportunity to visit Kenya, please go.
“It just changes you as a person. I’d gone there before I was a mother and then I got this opportunity to go for five weeks and make this movie there.”
For Romijn and her husband (and co-star), Jerry O’Connell, it was a chance to bring their twin daughters halfway around the world for an eye-opening “awesome opportunity.”
They stayed in “this fantastic lodge way out in the middle of the bush. Amboseli means ‘land of dust’ in Swahili. It’s where all of the elephants are. But I mean everything is there.
“We were shooting in the actual park so we had to have rangers with us all the time. We were very aware that we, in real life, were an endangered species.
“Every once in a while you would hear the rangers firing off warning shots because an elephant walked on the set. Which ‘set’ was just out in the middle of the bush.
“One time a hippo walked onto ‘set.’ One time a lion walked into base camp. A security person was there at that time; it happened in the night. But still.
“Then there was all the stuff that takes place in the river. I mean, they wanted us to actually swim in that river which was filled with crocodiles.
“You couldn’t see them because the water was murky. They devised this system where they were fencing off sections of the river and then sweeping it to make sure there was nothing in there.
“They have locals who are willing to do that,” she discovered, “which was really scary. It was always a nail biter.”
Romijn was speaking from Toronto, where she’s filming a new “Star Trek” series, “Strange New Worlds.”
“My lips are sealed. I’m not allowed to discuss any of what we’re doing up here except we’re on the Enterprise. We’re having a blast — and there’s not much more I’m allowed to say.”