‘Jamison’s Acting Debut in The Guardian’

By Yvonne
Updated: September 28, 2006

TEXAS—Pro swimmer Tanica Jamison, 2003 graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, is making her debut in something other than swimming. The Speedo sponsored 13-time All American and National Champion tries her luck as an actress in the new movie “The Guardian.” The film is based off a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) the only survivor after his helicopter is forced down and crashes into the water during a rescue mission at sea, and Jake Fisher (Ashton Kutcher), a cocky swim champ . The film shows Ben Randall teaching at “A” School, new recruits must pass to become a rescue swimmer, while trying to cope with the loss of his entire crew during a past rescue mission. After loosing his friends in the crash Ben’s new mission is to train up a new class of rescue swimmers, using his tough training methods, to put these new recruits in the different tests they will ever encounter during their rescue missions. During this high intense training, Randall helps mold Jake’s character, by combining his raw swimming talent with the heart and dedication required of a rescue swimmer. After graduation, Fisher follows Randall to Kodiak, Alaska, where they face the inherent dangers of the Bering Sea and in his initial solo rescue, Fisher learns firsthand from Randall, the true meaning of heroism and sacrifice.

Jamison was selected to play the role of one of 20 rescue swimmers going through the elite training program. There was a mass casting call for swimmers in Shreveport, LA at the end of September 05′ to play the role of rescue swimmers. “I received information about the casting call about one day before tryouts were set to begin. It was something I never thought I would do in life but this opportunity came and I jumped on the chance,” Jamison said. Twelve swimmers would be selected from this casting call to play the role of featured extras as rescue swimmers in the film. The film was moved to Shreveport months after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans where the film was originally set to start shooting around the time the hurricane hit. “After learning that the film was delayed because of the hurricane I knew it was a blessing by God that I would have this chance to be in such a high profile movie. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in a movie let alone meeting Ashton and Kevin. It’s funny how things work in life one minute you’re doing your day to day routine the next you’re apart of something bigger than yourself.”

It would take over four months to shoot the movie, most of which Jamison took part in. Andrew Davis, director of movies such as “Holes” and “The Fugitive,” brought the 12 featured extras and the actors acting as rescue swimmers to Shreveport to go through a mini one week boot camp in mid November. The boot camp was to mimic the highly intense program in which new recruits wanting to join the Coast Guard as a rescue swimmer must complete to earn this prestigious position. This program is so intense that in each graduating class the number of those who actually graduate is under forty percent of those who come into the program. After finishing the mini boot camp Jamison talks about what it was like; “The boot camp was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. As a swimmer I am use to swimming through pain but this was a different type of pain. I left the boot camp with a great feeling of being the only female that actually passed the required test given by the class instructors. I don’t know if the Coast Guard would be my career choice but I would definitely like to see if I could make it through the real 16 week program.”

“The Guardian” is a high intense action/adventure/drama that is sure to meet all of your expectations. The movie if full of great actors and actresses and the story line will keep you interested until the very end. When asked how Jamison felt about the movie and if she would pursue acting in the future she answered, “I would love to do another film. Right now my focus is on my swimming career but if I was asked tomorrow to do another film as exciting as this one it would be hard to turn it down.” Make sure you check out the film and support the Coast Guard who played a substantial part in saving many lives during Hurricane Katrina and Rita and are saving lives throughout the waters bordering the United States.