Tom Hanks stars in Cast Away as a FedEx employee, whose plane crashes on an uncharted island but just where was the movie filmed?

Cast Away may have been released 21 years ago, but the survival film never gets old and is continually shown on TV around the world.

As such, the film is always winning over new fans and the island that Tom Hanks calls home, complete with its crystal clear waters and crisp white beaches often attract plenty of attention.

The film follows Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) a system analyst for FedEx. Incredibly dedicated to his job, his workaholic tendencies often put his relationship with girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) in jeopardy.

But it is his life that is in jeopardy when he responds to his work duties in Malaysia and his plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean. As the only survivor of the crash, he gets washed up onto an isolated island with only a few FedEx packages and a Wilson volleyball as his companion.

Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

Where was Cast Away filmed?

  • Cast Away was primarily filmed on the island of Monu-Riki in Fiji.

Monu-Riki is one of Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. It is situated off the coast of Vitu Levu, the location of the nation’s capital, Suva, and the biggest island in the country.

Filming locations within the US include Los Angeles, CA , Memphis, TN , Canadian, TX and Malibu, CA.

The film begins with Chuck lecturing FedEx employees in Moscow and production did actually take place in Russia.

20th Century Fox | DreamWorks

Facts about Cast Away you probably didn’t know

Filming was paused for one year

Tom had to lose weight and grow his beard in order to transform into a believable caveman-looking character fighting against the natural conditions for four years.

Production commenced in January 1999 and halted after two months. One year later, filming resumed in April 2000 and concluded the following month.

Hiring a crew for one year without filming a movie sounds expensive, right? Of course, director Robert Zemeckis made money’s worth by knocking out horror flick, What Lies Beneath, with the same crew.

It was definitely worth it, as it became the 10th highest-grossing film of 2000.

CHERNOBYL 1986 Official Trailer (2021)

CHERNOBYL 1986 Official Trailer (2021)

Tom Hanks gained 23kg (50 pounds) to get into character

To make his transformation dramatic, Tom truly committed to his character by gaining 50 pounds to embody Chuck Noland pre-island life.

After losing the weight to become as physically gaunt as possible, he then had to gain weight again to film the final scenes, when he is back in the US as his healthier self.

With this level of commitment, he should’ve won his Oscar nomination for Best Actor!


Tom was actually intrigued by the idea of what would happen to airmail if the plane crashed, and so Cast Away was born.

“I was reading an article about FedEx, and I realized that 747s filled with packages fly across the Pacific three times a day. And I just thought, ‘What happens if that goes down?

Wilson the volleyball is an award-winning actor

Yes, you read that right. A ball has beaten many Hollywood actors and actresses and won a Critics’ Choice Award in 2001. It was for Best Movie Inanimate Object but it still definitely counts.

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Cast Away was first released on December 22nd, 2000 and is available to stream on Netflix here in the UK at the time of writing.

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