'The Shallows' Shark Isn't Real But Blake Lively's Stunt Work Is
Sorry to be the bearer of this news, Blake Lively fans, but your girl cannot add "escaped live shark" to her resume bullet points. Lively stars in the beach-y thriller The Shallows, which comes out in theaters on June 24. As amateur surfer and full-time medical student Nancy Adams, Lively is trapped on a rock close to shore when a great white shark becomes interested in devouring her. The trailers for The Shallows preview a mostly one-woman action flick that should play on the fears and fascinations of rabid Shark Week viewers. The Great White that circles Nancy in the trailer looks terribly accurate, but how could the actress face a predator like that and show up in one piece at the Met Ball a few months later? Of course, the shark in The Shallows is not real. But if the filmmakers have done their job, the terror should be.
Columbia Pictures hasn't released any detailed technical information about the how the shark in The Shallows was created. But in an interview in the June 3 print issue of Entertainment Weekly, Blake Likely confirmed that the shark is not entirely CGI. "They had a guy with a great-white-sized fin and he would swim around on a Sea-Doo," the actress said. Never fear, shark lovers. No Great Whites were harmed in the making of this movie. But I'm guessing the assignment caused the movie's effects professionals a few headaches.
The shark is generated by movie magic, but leading lady Lively wants you to know that most of the physical feats required for the role were authentically performed. "They didn't hire a stunt double until the last two weeks of shooting," Lively told Entertainment Tonight . "There wasn't a single scene that wasn't stunt-heavy." She even wetsuited back up for some re-shoot scenes early in her second pregnancy. The actor showed off her character's injury and her own balance in an Instagram post and was sure to inform fans that the former was just an illusion. "No, I wasn't actually attacked by a shark," the caption reads. Phew.
It seems that working on this film awakened the star's interest in the worsening plight of sharks. In a Cannes Film Festival interview, Lively praised The Shallows for pushing a very real environmental issue about shark habitats to the forefront. "Because of global warming, sharks are pushed closer and closer to the shallow waters," the actor said. "We always depict sharks as these villains, but we kill more sharks than sharks ever kill humans."
In fact, Lively's Instagram is as adorned with sharks right now as it is with fabulous accessories and handsome husband Ryan Reynolds. Earlier this week, she posted a shot that she proudly states was captured with her own iPhone. The Shallows actress headed back out to sea with South African shark expert Mike Rutzen and a conservationist team to study the species depicted in the film. "This great white beauty is one of the largest females around!" Lively writes in her caption. "What a life changing experience. Eye opening."
A lot has changed since Jaws. The CGI shark she battles in the film posed no danger to Blake Lively or any of the crew. But environmental shifts are affecting the great white population. The closer they move to shore, the greater the risk to both sharks and humans.
Image: Columbia Pictures