EXCLUSIVE: Betsy Landin Talks 'Dolphin Tale 2' & Why J.Lo is the Ultimate Latina Icon

Betsy Landin

Betsy Landin is ready to make a splash as she returns to the big screen in the new film, Dolphin Tale 2.

The first Dolphin Tale, which earned nearly $100 million worldwide, follows the story of a dolphin named Winter who lost her tail due to a crab trap accident and was later rescued off the Florida Coast by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Landin will be reprising her role as dolphin trainer Kat and bonding with a new little pal. We chatted with the gorgeous former beauty pageant contestant, who won the title of Miss Puerto Rico of Orlando in 2002, to get the scoop on Dolphin Tale 2, find out what makes her proud to be Latina, her upcoming projects, and more.

Read it all in our exclusive interview below:

Tell us about Dolphin Tale 2. You’re back as trainer Kat, which is great!

During the first [Dolphin Tale] I was mainly assisting with the rehabilitation of Winter. In this new movie, you see me becoming Hope’s trainer and the process in which that occurs. You see Winter, of course, going through this dilemma where she can’t be alone and how it happens, and a lot of it has to do with Hope, so I step in as a trainer. It was a wonderful experience getting to work on set and getting the chance to work with this brand new little dolphin, Hope. She was wonderful — super intelligent — and this was her first experience working with cameras and lights. That’s a lot of stimulus for a little dolphin and she did wonderful with everything.

Aww, cute! In what ways would you say Kat has changed or evolved in this film?

I think in this film you see her love and passion for her work and her animals, and you see the transition from her becoming Panama’s trainer to becoming Hope’s trainer. Without giving away [too much], the fact that she’s with the animals she loves and with Hope, you see a maternal side of her kind of come through. At least that’s what I wanted to make sure everyone saw. We did see a lot of the trainers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium — the trainers have a very almost maternal kind of bond with these animals. They talk to them in higher pitched voices and they respond really well to that. Even though they are wild animals there’s, I think with dolphins, there’s just this sort of thing that we all get mushy when we see one — especially being cute and doing tricks. And that’s part of their personalities; they’re almost like eternal kids.

Yes, they’re so cute and so sweet. So, how do you train for such a role being that you’re not an actual trainer and don’t have a background in working closely with marine life?

Doing the first Dolphin Tale we went and spent a long amount of time shadowing all of the trainers. We learned a lot about their procedures and how they interact with the animals, and learned how to give them commands. The second time around we pretty much were fully integrated at an even deeper level. The first time we pretty much knew the place in and out, and could tell you what each animal had and why they were there because we had learned it. This time around we really were with the trainers during every session, going down to the kitchen and cleaning the buckets, and rinsing out our wet suits, just really going through every single aspect. The trainers were wonderful! They really answered every question that we had, they made sure we understood simple USDA regulations and why there were certain procedures in the aquarium, and we were always learning even while shooting because we were working with the animals. Sometimes if they reacted a certain way or something happened and they needed to do something, whether it was either to take control of the animal or do something for the animal, we were always learning. We were always learning the reason why the trainers were choosing to do one thing over another. It made our jobs really interesting because there was always something you could take away every day.

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