With the claustrophobic, undersea terror of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged released last weekend, iHorror had the opportunity to talk with star Corinne Foxx in her debut role and director/writer Johannes Roberts returning for his shark sequel. Talking everything from diving, favorite horror movies, slasher comparisons and more!
Jacob Davison: How did you become attached to 47 Meters Down: Uncaged?
Corinne Foxx: They had originally casted the role with somebody else. For whatever reason, that girl fell out so, at the last minute really, they reached out to me and said “Are you interested in doing this?” and that was on a Thursday. By Sunday I was on a plane flying to the Dominican Republic to do the movie. So, I had very little press time, I had very little training beforehand, and I kind of got thrown into this thing last minute.
JD: And this is your first movie role?
CF: Yes, this is my first feature film. It’s very exciting because obviously I grew up watching my dad on set and seeing his name on billboards so it’s pretty surreal to see my own and have my own project coming out.
JD: You mentioned, since it was so abrupt, you had little time for training. How did you train, how were you set up for the underwater stunts of 47 Mets Down: Uncaged?
CF: The funny thing is, I didn’t even know how to swim before the movie. When I got there, I had to not only learn how to scuba dive and use all the equipment, I also had to learn how to swim and feel comfortable underwater. So, we had about… I don’t know, four days of scuba diving training. I was getting extra lessons. More lessons than the other girls in swimming and scuba diving just because I was way behind the other girls’ ability. I figured it out, obviously and now I feel like I’m a pretty strong swimmer having spent three months underwater.
JD: What was it like swimming in all those underground environments, the temple city and all those narrow caverns?
CF: They built these tunnels and caves underwater in these big tanks that were in London and they were pretty incredible because every day they switch out for a new part of the movie so we really were exploring those cave sin real time, underwater. A lot of what you see in the movie is very real because we hadn’t seen that set before and they really wanted us to go through and explore it as if we really were these girls.
JD: What was it like working with the shark FX? It looked like it was mostly CGI, but were there any animatronics or puppetry used there? How did you react to that in your scenes?
CF: They had this massive, giant, plastic shark head which was attached to a motor that one of our safety scuba divers would swim around with and chase us as if he was the shark. Honestly, if you’re underwater and you see anything that even kind of resembles a shark it is alarming. It did feel… obviously it didn’t feel as real as a real shark chasing us but it was definitely still scary and unsettling. A lot of those reactions of us to the shark attack, those were all real. There was a point where I’m in the shark’s mouth and I really was in the plastic shark’s mouth beating it up and hitting it and trying to get out of its grip. All those shark CGI shots were really done with a plastic shark head.
JD: How would you describe your character in the movie, Sasha?
CF: My character has just moved to Mexico. She’s new to this town and she really wants to fit in the beginning, but she is more of the motherly character. She’s more, I think, grounded than the other girls. She really weighs her options and in the beginning of the film, she has a new step-sister played by Sophie Nélisse and they’re not very close. She’s really trying to make it in a new town and doesn’t want to associate with her sister, obviously they go through this very terrifying experience together and by the end they’ve grown a lot closer. You really see that family is really important to her, and you really see her grow as a sister but also as a leader.
JD: It’s interesting you’re getting your start in horror and I was interested in if you were interested in doing more horror movies in the future and if you would say you’re a fan of horror movies?
CF: I loved to be scared! I would love to do another horror movie. I think I didn’t really realize how special the genre is to people. There’s a whole fanbase for horror movies, especially specifically shark movies as well. There’s a whole cult following for them. So, to now be embraced by the community is so exciting to me and I would really love to do another one.
JD: Would you say you have any favorite horror movies?
CF: The horror movie that I think defines my childhood, and I still think about when I’m alone in my bedroom for too long is The Ring. That movie… it’s just embedded in my brain, I’ll never get it out. When I look at my TV for too long I keep thinking that girl is going to come through. I think that movie really scared me, but it really has an impact on me and the way it was done was very smart.
JD: You said you learned to scuba preparing for your role in the movie and after this would you actually go scuba diving again in the ocean?
CF: I think that I am scuba dived out. I spent a very long time underwater and once we wrapped I was like “I never want to swim again! I never even want to go into a bathtub again.” But I think eventually I’ll have to work into it, I’ll scuba dive again one day. But right now, it’s definitely not on my to do list.
JD: Do you think 47 Meters Down: Uncaged will scare people off from scuba diving themselves?
CF: Yeah, I think it’ll make you think twice about getting into the water. And maybe you’ll make better choices than these girls did.
(Interview with director/writer Johannes Roberts on Page 2)