The majestic countryside of Iceland has long been a visual staple in big-budget productions, usually standing for an unspecified fantasy land in films like “Prometheus” and “Thor” and television series like HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Now, thanks to actor and director Ben Stiller, the country is finally being recognized as itself.
In Stiller’s new comedy-drama “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” currently in theaters, the filmmaker plays the titular Mitty, a shy photo editor for “Life” magazine who must adventure across Iceland and several other countries, to find an elusive film negative taken by a photojournalist (Sean Penn). To capture the right look for his film, which was based on the 1939 short story by humorist James Thurber, Stiller shot all over Iceland and worked with multiple municipalities, including Seydisfjordur in East Iceland and Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the West.
Given the newfound attention placed on the country’s idyllic glaciers, volcanoes, black-sand beaches and local fishing villages courtesy of the film, travel agencies are quickly creating “Mitty”-themed tours of the region. Fans should be sure to buy a ticket the next time their favorite Celebrity cruise stops in Iceland and offers an excursion.
(Photo: Ben Stiller’s (@RedHourBen’s) Instagram Account)