47 Meters Down: Uncaged promises to double the chills of 2017’s underwater thriller, and it’s got a bright, young cast ready to deliver. Actors Brianne Tju, Davi Santos, and Khylin Rhambo all sat down with Screen Rant to share how Johannes Roberts prepared them for their sea creature struggle and sort out their own feelings about sharks after their adventure.
Congratulations on the film. Terrifying. I almost don't want to go in the water; I think I about shit myself.
Khylin Rhambo: Goal achieved.
Brianne Tju: Yes!
Quick question, though. Most of this movie takes place in the water. How much of your performance changes because you're in the water and immersed in it?
Davi Santos: Everything.
Brianne Tju: Entirely.
Davi Santos: It’s such a learning curve in the beginning. You can’t focus until you get over all of the technical aspects.
Brianne Tju: Yeah. Not only [that]. We learned, we became scuba-certified, and then they prepared us with all the right skill sets when it comes to scuba diving. So, we had that aspect, and being underwater is so physically draining. And then on top of that, to do what we do – what we've been hired for, which is to act and be emotional and bring life to these characters – it's hard to do while maintaining all these other aspects. So, it was a huge challenge.
Khylin Rhambo: It’s a big balancing act kind of thing. We were all there together, and that that was one of the cool things. But also, you had to learn. And there was this mindset that forced you to absorb things really quickly and get the hang of it really quickly, and I liked that.
Tapping into a better part of [yourself] and challenging yourself is always amazing, but performance-wise, that was the most intricate thing. To really give authentic, real emotion without going in your head, like, “Am I doing this right or doing this right?” Because the character’s not feeling that way. The character is fully enthralled with whatever tension is going on. So, you really want to get to that place where you're absent of thought, and you're doing it. That was a challenge; a meditative state you had to get in.
Speaking of getting your characters into the right mindset, this is your director’s second time doing a 47 Meters Down movie. Did he have any tricks that he would use that he may have learned from the first film to get you guys in the setting or into character’s mindset?
Brianne Tju: Yeah, he would turn us off. Or turn our mics off if we were getting annoying. He actually told me that Mandy Moore sometimes, when he would give a direction that she wasn't thrilled about, she would flush her mask so that you couldn't hear Johannes talking.
But actually, beyond that, when I when I had first met with Johannes for the callback, he was telling me that it's difficult. It's hard to choreograph a scene underwater, so most of the time you try to do it out of water, but you get down there and it completely changes. You have to kind of be very flexible, very open.
One of the biggest struggles, in my opinion, was the masks because you don't really have peripheral vision. And then also, you hear yourself breathing. So, it's really hard to have a dialogue with somebody. Which is so important, obviously. But if you wanted to hear the other person talking, you had to hold your breath – or make sure you were breathing in rather than out, because then you would have these bubbles and it would be very distracting.
Wow, that’s crazy.
Brianne Tju: And he warned me of all that beforehand. So, I was crazy and said, “Yeah, I'll do it.”
Davi Santos: I know. Like “Oh, yeah. If you go in the water, it's gonna be so easy because you're like there. So, of course…”
Brianne Tju: You don’t have to act!
Davi Santos: “You don’t have to act.” Then, all of a sudden, all this stuff happens. You’re like, “Oh, I have to act so much more!”
Has this film changed your perception about sharks in any way?
Khylin Rhambo: Man, no. I've always been scared of sharks, man. I was the kind of kid that would swim underwater – this was in a pool – and I would see the deep end side. So, I'm definitely chilling back in the kiddie area. I would see the deep end, and I would I would honestly see the silhouette of a shark. And I hated it. That when I would be like, “I gotta get out of water now.” I was having so much fun, but this?
Brianne Tju: Even if it’s a pool.
Khylin Rhambo: Even if it’s a pool! So this? I'm still scared of sharks. Honestly, when people say sharks are beautiful, I'm just like, “Alright, bro…”
Brianne Tju: No, but like… Okay, see, because I said that earlier.
Khylin Rhambo: That’s a monster right there. It's a beautiful monster.
Brianne Tju: Absolutely. It's a beautiful creature, and it's huge, and it's scary, and it's vicious. But doesn't mean that I’m gonna hang out with it.
Davi Santos: We’re all looking at the poster.
Khylin Rhambo: Look at that! It’s not beautiful.
Brianne Tju: I don’t want to hang out with it! I don't want to be anywhere near one, 100%. Before the movie, during the movie, after the movie; I have never had the urge to be near a shark. But I like Shark Week. I like to watch shark movies.