Colin Farrell recalls ‘terrifying’ panic attacks while filming ‘Thirteen Lives’ underwater scenes

Stunts in movie scenes might look easy, but it takes a lot of courage and dedication to perform them. At the premiere of his latest movie ‘Thirteen Lives,’ Irish actor Colin Farrell opened up about experiencing panic attacks during the shoot of the film’s gruelling underwater sequences. Farrell had to dive into deep waters for the Ron Howard-directed Thailand cave rescue biopic. 

Speaking to ETonline, the 46-year-old star recalls being frightened while shooting underwater scenes and termed them “terrifying”. “It really was — it was scary. I’m not a great swimmer anyway, not that we were swimming, not that we were treading water, we had to stay on the surface, but they built a really impressive network of caves.”

“It was about four or five different caves that were based on the topography of the caves, the Tham Luang caves in Thailand, and they filled them full of water, and we’d go down and there was no up,” the ‘Batman’ actor told the outlet.

Farrell further said that the team didn’t swim. They went down into the caves that were built for the film. One can neither see up nor the surface. This creates chaos in the mind, the actor added. Colin continued, saying, “I mean, there’s a lot to be said for being able to look up in the water and see the surface, so when you can’t, and there’s actually a ceiling over your head, and there’s no air at all, it just wreaks havoc on my mind.”

The ‘Total Recall’ actor who plays John Volanthen, a rescue diver in the film, confessed that even after doing the extreme underwater scenes, his swimming skills have not improved while stressing the point that being a rescue diver is “a very particular skill set.”

“No, it’s a very particular thing that they do. It’s a very particular thing, and we replicated it as close as we could,” Farrell added. 

Also Read: ‘Thirteen Lives’ trailer: Film promises thrilling dramatisation of 2018’s Thai cave rescue operation

‘Thirteen Lives’ is a biopic that traces the rescue operation that was organised in Thailand, to save a group of 12 teenage boys and their soccer coach after they got trapped in a network of subterranean caves that had started to flood. Not only Farrell but also the rest of the cast struggled with the emotionally charged scenes. Viggo Mortensen, who will be seen essaying the character of a real-life hero, Richard Stanton, confessed to suffering from panic at a certain point during the film’s shooting.

“All of a sudden I couldn’t breathe,” the 63-year-old star told People on Thursday. “It seemed like a long time, but it was only a matter of seconds. I panicked.”

He further elaborated on how he recalled the training and switched the mouthpiece to the oxygen tank. This, however, underscores the fact that “it’s not that complicated, but at the moment, it’s hard to think clearly.”

Apart from Colin Farrell, ‘Thirteen Lives’ also stars Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, and Paul Gleeson. The film is running in theatres now and will go for a global launch on August 5, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

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