Night Swim Star Wyatt Russell Followed A Crucial Rule While Shooting The Underwater Scenes [Exclusive]

EXCLUSIVES

During a recent interview with Russell conducted by /Film’s BJ Colangelo, the actor affably admitted that he cannot actually hold his breath for very long, and explained how he and the other actors on the film were given various aids to help them sustain filming in the water for long periods of time, such as a float to hold onto between takes.

When it came to shooting the moment where a possessed Ray tries to drown the boy next door after their chicken fight, Russell detailed how the real strain of the scene was down to modulating his performance and not his physical stamina, thanks to following the crucial rule of not panicking while underwater. As he said:

“It was a really fun scene to do because you had to convey that there was this otherworldly thing controlling me and the way we did it was interesting. It was sort of in two parts, but you had to go from having fun Ray to this crazy weird possessed guy who’s going to drown a kid. And that part was like, ‘Okay, you got to trust the filmmakers that they’re going to be able to make this transition work, otherwise I’m just going to look like a weirdo who’s drowning a kid.’ And so that was a lot of just leaving it up to them to try and figure out after the fact. ‘I’ll give you what you think you need.’ But yeah, that part was just patience. Just have patience underwater — don’t freak out. Panicking is the worst thing you can do. Never panic.”

“Never panic” goes double for Russell in that particular scene, of course — it would ruin the spookiness of the moment if his possessed character looked more worried about getting to the surface than completing his evil, murderous task. Fortunately, Russell pulls it off beautifully, making the scene about the drama and not about holding his breath.

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