The stars of NBC's upcoming miniseries The Last Templar endured heat, water, illness, broken teeth and Omar Sharif's, um, junk while filming in Morocco last year.
"It was unlike anything any place I've ever been," star Scott Foley told reporters about the North African country last week during NBC's winter press tour presentation in Universal City, Calif. He added: "People asked me how it was, and it's hard to explain. I didn't realize how hot it was, when I was told it was 52 degrees Celsius outside, until I got back and sort of did the math on my computer. It's something like  degrees Fahrenheit. Romantic? Not so much. Hot? Really, really hot. No shade. Rocks that sort of radiated this heat back up at you. But it was nice."
And what about Omar Sharif, the acclaimed Egyptian actor, who co-starred with Foley and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino?
"He played a ... brief but pivotal character, and I had the pleasure of meeting him one of the days on set," Foley says. "We actually had a couple scenes together, but Mira spent most of the time with him. And he was very popular over there, being ... from that part of the world. And he kept standing up and signing autographs and taking pictures with the local crew, and I didn't want to bother him. But [I] went over when it looked like he was done and introduced myself to him. He said, ... "God damn it." He took my hand and he put it on his crotch. He said, "I got a hernia. They keep making me stand up." And my wife was visiting at the time, and she said, "Did you ... ? Was that ... ? What happened?" And I said, "I think I ... just touched Omar Sharif in a place that ... . That a lot of people wish they could touch Omar Sharif."
The Last Templar—a four-hour miniseries based on Raymond Khoury's best-selling novel—stars Sorvino as Tess Chaykin, a Manhattan archaeologist who reluctantly teams up with FBI agent Sean Daley (Foley), and the pair are drawn into a fast-paced romantic adventure as they attempt to uncover the lost secrets of the legendary medieval Knights Templar. It debuts on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and continues the following Monday at 9 p.m.
Sorvino has her own story of shooting a watery scene involving Foley, a boat, a busted lip and a nasty cold. "It was when we were doing the boat scene," Sorvino said. "It's at the end of the second episode, and we're supposed to be on the Turkish sea in a storm to end all storms. And they had a really amazing special-effects team on the movie, and the boat was on something called a gimbal."
The boat, mounted on a soundstage, would pitch while the actors stood on the deck, and a massive machine would dump hundreds of gallons of water on them to simulate crashing waves.
"So he's [Scott Foley] fighting with the bad guy," Sorvino says. "They're wrestling for control. ... And I come down trying to help. ... I grab a hook off of the wall, you know, thinking that I'm going to use this hook to help pull away the assailant, and a big wave of water comes in and washes my contacts out of my eyes. And then the boat gives a big lurch and ... the camera operator starts to slip on the deck of the boat, and we're all slipping and sliding. And all of a sudden the hook gets caught behind me on some outcropping from part of the ship and slams into my face, and I break five of my teeth."
Foley interjects: "Blood everywhere."
"Blood everywhere," Sorvino continues. "My lip was, like, all split and open. And at this point, you know, they run in with their epinephrine and sort of non-stitch stitches and makeup. And for some reason, right around this point, our wonderful director decides that we should have a kiss to end all kisses."
Complicating matters: Sorvino had a raging cold. She recalls telling the director, Paolo Barzman, "Really? I don't know if you really want to do this. First of all, I'm, like, bleeding from the lip, and I'm kind of mangled-looking. But second of all, I'm going to make Scott sick. He's going to get really sick."
Barzman was undeterred, and the two kissed several times in several takes. "At the end of it all, the moral of the story is that poor Scott ends up laying in bed for two and a half weeks after that, completely sick as a dog," Sorvino says.