Back left
Back right

Blake Lively Talks Sharks and The Shallows

Jun 21, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

The Shallows actress beautiful blonde Blake Lively, has come a long way since we might have seen her on T.V.’s “Gossip Girl”. She’s married to hunky Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds, is a mom and has been starring in a wide variety of films including the mystical Age of Adaline. This Friday you can catch Blake as a surfer trapped and hunted by a great white shark!

Classic gorgeous surfer girlClassic gorgeous surfer girlCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Blake talks about her own shark encounter, filming on a gorgeous, pristine tropical isle and more.

Q:  This movie seems really intense…

  • Blake: Well, you never have a moment when you can relax in this film because we all know what’s going to happen from the minute she’s surfing and getting into the water so you are just waiting for it to happen. You think of a shark attack happening in deep water where you don’t stand a chance. But, the fact that she’s so close to shore (200 yards) and really does stand a chance (is involving). There’s only one thing separating her from survival and that’s just a giant great white shark and her leg that is bleeding out.
  • If you can imagine what it would feel like to be attacked by a shark then the incredible physical and emotional pain you would have to endure just to stay alive then fight to make it to land or to stay alive long enough for someone to find you, that’s amazing.

Can she survive?Can she survive?Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Talk about the action in the film.

  • Blake: It’s just non-stop. She never gets a moment when she can get her bearings and absorb where she is plus the elements of the sun and saltwater and dehydration and the weakness. She’s not out there for a lot of time but she’s losing a lot of blood and not eating anything. It’s so taxing on the human body. She’s bleeding out and being hunted. There’s never a moment to relax. Both of these predators (shark and human) are trying to survive.

Is he coming back?Is he coming back?Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: The role is very physical. How did you survive doing the stunts?

  • Blake: I had an incredible surf double Izzy, she’s the number one junior surfboarder in the world so that was really cool to have someone so amazing pretend that she was me. Other than that they didn’t hire a stunt double until the last two weeks of shooting. There wasn’t a single scene that wasn’t stunt heavy so it was emotionally heavy but during that I’m in underwater sequences. I’m in four and a half foot waves whether I was in the tank or we were in the ocean. I was about 300 yards away from shore. They would drop me off on this rock that was three feet by three feet and everybody would go back to shore because, with helicopter shots, you couldn’t see boats or anyone around me so that was intimidating enough.

In an underwater shotIn an underwater shotCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Yikes! Do sharks attack more closely to shore lately?

  • Blake: Because of climate change, sharks are forced closer to shore now so the majority of shark attacks now happen within 200 yards from shore and that’s so scary because you feel like when you are playing near the shore, you’re fine, you’re safe. You’re not out in the deep water. But you’re not safe. You really have to have an awareness always that you’re in the wild. You are in the land of big, incredible, majestic wild creatures. If you’re wearing a wetsuit, you’re classed as a seal in their land.

Blake as Nancy paddlingBlake as Nancy paddlingCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: The shark kind of has a reason to attack. Explain?

  • Blake: Well, it’s just trying to eat to survive and this human swims up on this whale carcass and that’s its meal. That’s its means of survival.

Should I go out there?Should I go out there?Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Have you ever encountered a shark in the wild? 

  • Blake: I felt better after I saw great whites in the water. I was cage diving with conservationists as they were studying, tracking and doing their best to protect them. I was able to look at them in their environment and really be in awe of them and not see them hunting. They were just swimming around beautifully and I felt so safe and didn’t feel afraid of sharks anymore.

Crystal clear waters...with sharksCrystal clear waters...with sharksCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Your character lives an incredible survival story. Talk about that.

  • Blake: What’s interesting about the survival story is you immediately imagine yourself in the situation and you think “I don’t know if I could survive that” but Nancy is not necessarily someone who is equipped to go head-to-head with a great white shark. She can barely deal with the emotional challenges or monsters she has in her own life and here she is facing this incredible beast.
  • So, it’s neat to think “Wow, humans are incredibly resourceful and they will use any means that they have (to survive)”. She has this surfing watch where she times the shark and its behavior. She’s timing the tide because she is on a rock where the ocean is about to take the tide. She’s accessing how close am I to shore? How close is that buoy? How close is this whale carcass? What do I have around me that is my greatest chance of living because it comes down to either she is going to die trying to live or she’s going to die just giving up. She’s going to drown and get eaten by a shark or try to survive and maybe make it.

Nancy (Blake) seeks refuge on a buoyNancy (Blake) seeks refuge on a buoyCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Does Nancy being a medical student help her?

  • Blake: Luckily she is a medical student so that’s really helpful when she has a big, huge leg injury. She’s able to care for herself in a way that everybody wouldn’t be equipped to do and she’s able to access her situation, elevate her leg and when she needs to get food or water and the symptoms of gangrene set in. But, she’s not out there long enough other than just trying to live.

Blake shooting the filmBlake shooting the filmCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Why will everyone enjoy The Shallows as a summer movie?

  • Blake: It’s a great movie to see in the summertime because you’ve got warm water and a beautiful beach. We shot on Lord Howe Island (New South Wales, Australia) where nobody has ever shot before so it’s exciting to share a place that is so pure. There’s only a population of about 300 people there. It really is idyllic. It’s heaven on earth. To share that is really special.
  • Also in summer, people are out on the beach and you think of sharks if you’re in the ocean. You can’t not think about them, especially surfers. It has all that fun excitement and incredible surf. The two boys that I’m surfing with in the film are the two top surfers in Mexico. They were amazing and I was in awe watching them surf with Izzy and they helped me so much. They were all so generous in helping me look like I was paddling right or diving right.
  • So there are cool, fun, sexy moments and also so terrifying, suspenseful, nerve-wracking, edge-of-your-seat moments. There is also this through-line of her family and staying alive for her family. When you are about to die you think of those you love. People can both relate to the movie and be excited by it.

The Shallows Movie PosterThe Shallows Movie PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

You can see The Shallows in theaters starting this Friday, June 24th!


Have Your Say

Are you a Blake Lively fan? Do you follow her and hubby Ryan Reynolds? Do you get a kick out of suspenseful movies?  Tell us below.