The Mail Online has published a stunning story about how British American actor David Soul, best known for playing Hutch in the 1970s TV show Starsky & Hutch, has faced financial ruin and jail, just to get his latest film Cuban Soul finished. Read on and find out how!
Risking everything for the project
If you think actors had an easy life, think again. For most of us, when we imagine a successful actor's daily routine to get a film finished, we probably think of them doing a few hours here and there, in a sunny location for six months, then picking up the cheque and heading home to their Hollywood mansion.
We probably don't imagine jail threats, massive personal financial costs, and deteriorating health issues caused by trauma.
This is exactly what happened to Starsky & Hutch actor David Soul when shooting his documentary, "Cuban Soul", which records the discovery and restoration of Ernest Hemingway's long lost 1955 convertible Chrysler New Yorker, found in a garage in Cuba eight years ago.
The Mail Online article describes how what sounds like an easy project has threatened the actor with financial ruin and even imprisonment.
"Making Cuban Soul has been my personal battle and has wreaked havoc with my health, both mentally and physically."
In Cuba, and in the middle of an old political stand-off
Most people will have some idea that the relationship between the United States and Cuba has not always been too amicable. In fact, it goes further than that. Cuba has faced decade after decade of trade sanctions and embargoes from its superpower neighbour, resulting in complete political isolation for as far back as most regular "Cubanos" can remember.
So when actor Soul, now 77, assumed he could help bring car parts into Cuba without being accused of breaking American sanctions, you could say he learnt the hard way.
As the Mail's article informs us;
"David learnt he could be liable for huge fines, criminal charges and even jail."
Finding a legal loophole
The stunned actor was forced to hire a lawyer just so he could carry on with the project, and even though he has now been granted permission to bring in the necessary car parts on the basis that he is involved in "historical preservation", he remains indignant.
"The U.S. government has slammed the door shut on Cuba, interfered with her sovereign rights and bullied them for 60 years."
The Mail's article goes on to say, shockingly, that the physical trauma David Soul suffered during the legal toing and froing included lapsing into a coma following a hip replacement operation. He was subsequently in intensive care for 72 days, during which he was twice put on a ventilator.
Typically stoic, this only increased his determination to see the project through. Although his quest to restore the Chrysler continues, his dream is to see it take pride of place as a centrepiece at Finca Vigia, the Hemingway Museum in Havana.
"In my small way I'm trying to redress the balance, and trying to honour the legacy of my favourite author, Ernest Hemingway. The movie is two thirds finished. We're looking for completion funding for the last leg of our journey."