In the new big-budget disaster film, "," Dennis Quaid plays a climatologist whose research indicates global warming made a disastrous change to earth's climate, which causes the planet to head for a new Ice Age.
The film has generated quite a buzz, politically speaking, since some people have used it to criticize the current administration about its environmental policies. But Quaid tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler the film goes beyond politics; it actually aims to entertain.
He says, "This movie is a mother of all disaster movies, really. It's every disaster movie you have seen rolled into one. I have been a big fan of these since I was a kid, since 'Earthquake' and 'Towering Inferno.'"
In "The Day After Tomorrow," tornadoes rip Los Angeles, a massive snowstorm pounds New Delhi, large hail destroys Tokyo and the temperature changes from sweltering to freezing in one day in New York. Like "Independence Day," which was made by the same producers as "The Day After Tomorrow," the survivors of the catastrophe are faced with an uncertain future.
As climatologist Jack Hall, Quaid tries to warn the world. He says he "tries to save the world. And he winds up in the end trying to save the life of his son played by Jake Gyllenhaal."
The film was mostly shot on a sound stage in Montreal during the winter of 2002-03. It was "one of the harshest winters on record. It was 40 degrees below outside, but we are shooting in a sound stage that is about 80 degrees, and we are doing a movie about an Ice Age," Quaid notes.
Asked how hard was it to get into character, he says, "I'm in the arctic wear and doing a sweating detox thing inside there; they are blowing snow in my face with the wind machine at 100 miles an hour. The snow is made out of shredded Pampers and newspaper and snow flakes."
And the special effects are amazing, Syler notes, and Quaid agrees. "I've been a fan of Roland Emmerich. He is the master of disaster. Nobody does it better than Roland. The great thing about him, he's like a teenage boy. He knows what's cool. He knows how to wink at the audience while destroying the Earth."
Quaid notes his 12-year-old son was eager to see it again the day after they both watched it.
"It's a great time for my career and personal life," Quaid says, having been clean and sober for some time and having received critical acclaim for the films "The Rookie " and "Far From Heaven." "You get older and things fall away. You sort of are at a place in your life where you don't care so much about what people think and the world thinks. You know what you like."
Some Facts About Dennis Quaid