An experienced film and television actor, Tania Raymonde is most noted for her roles in the J. J. Abrams series Lost and alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the Amazon drama Goliath. With her new movie Deep Blue Sea 3 out for release Tania sat down with us to discuss all things shark related.
STARBURST: How do you feel about the water now after making this movie?
Well, we had to learn how to scuba dive and get certified for this film. And I thought that because I was scared of flying and being all the way up there, how am I going to feel being all the way down there? But I absolutely loved it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a state of peace and tranquillity as I did under the water. It’s incredible; the light, the sound, it’s almost trancelike. You feel so calm underwater that it was hard to act in a panic for the film.
We presume you didn’t encounter anything underwater close to the size of the sharks in your film?
[Laughs] No, thankfully nothing like that. I’m sure if I did, I might feel differently about the water now!
The Deep Blue Sea franchise has always had strong female characters. Your character Emma is driven but there’s also a humanity to her. How would you describe her?
Emma is very motivated by her work, a true marine biologist and she cares deeply about climate change and the environment. And she carries a guilt because she can see how important sharks are for the eco-system. And she’s more comfortable around sharks than humans. So, at the beginning she’s firmly rooted in her belief of science and conservation, but she feels she’s fighting a losing battle. As the film the progresses she must figure out how to save her team and the sharks they protect from the bull sharks that come in and start killing.
Does the overall message within a film or series have a bearing on how you select a role?
I think it’s a combination of many things. It always starts with the script, though, as it must be entertaining. There was something in the writing here that was very direct and wasn’t winking at the audience in anyway. There was an earnestness in the way the film and the character were written and that made me invested in it. If I end up caring what happens then the choice becomes easy.
Is there something in the action or shark subgenre that’s enticing to an actor?
Yeah, sure. You know, this was one of the best sets I’ve been on in my life. I remember watching Waterworld with my Dad when I was a kid and this set looked exactly the same. As a little girl, I went to the Waterworld theme park ride and I remember thinking ‘there is nothing cooler than this’. And so when I walked on set it and it was the same it was amazing. It was such fun, like an adult Jungle Gym.
You did a great Instagram video from the set.
Yeah, that was my first day there. It was amazing, but it was cold. They couldn’t heat the water as it would change the colour or something, but it just felt so real.
Did you film in sequence as, without giving away spoilers, there are some explosions?
We sort of did; the third act was all filmed last. It was a shame because this amazing crew built this set and aged it, and then we destroyed it. I remember the first day things started blowing up we were all a little sad.
Why do you think shark films remain so popular?
I think it’s because it’s something that provides a universal, common fear. I think human beings are innately terrified of these prehistoric creatures under the surface of the water. The ocean is such a mystery and perhaps we feel at such a disadvantage in their world.
DEEP BLUE SEA 3 is out now. Read our review here.