Recalling a traumatic moment on the set of Deep Blue Sea, LL Cool J details the time he was almost drowned by an animatronic shark. Released in 1999, Deep Blue Sea follows a team of scientists who are besieged in their facility by a group of genetically-modified sharks while attempting to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The movie, which is directed by Renny Harlin and features Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Jane, and Saffron Burrows, was met with mixed reviews but a strong enough box office performance to justify several sequels.
During a recent appearance on “Hot Ones” from the First We Feast YouTube channel, LL recalls one scary encounter he had on the set of Deep Blue Sea when an ill-timed lunch break nearly cost him his life.
The actor and rapper explains that after the technician controlling the animatronic shark was called away for lunch, he was left struggling in the water. Check out LL’s recollection of events below when asked about the veracity of his near-drowning story:
“Thousand percent true. I was on the set, I was probably number 479 on the call sheet. I was in the middle of a take and [someone called] ‘Lunch!’ The guy holding the little joystick, [he goes], ‘Pastrami!’ and they just bailed on me. And there I was [mimes drowning]. It was, like, real. And they gave me this little breathing apparatus and you blow out and breathe in. I blew out, breathed in all water, took it to another level. I ended up struggling, getting out, and when I climbed out, there was one dude sitting there with a cigarette like, ‘[laughs] I saw what happened.’”
How Deep Blue Sea Compares To Other Shark Movies
Sharks have been an object of fascination for Hollywood for decades. While Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, Jaws, still retains the title as not only the best shark movie of all time, but one of the best movies ever made in general, there have been a number of other shark movies that have depicted the sea-faring beasts with varying levels of effectiveness. Deep Blue Sea unabashedly leans into its somewhat silly premise and B-movie sensibilities, but the result still makes for a fairly fun viewing experience.
One of the biggest things holding Deep Blue Sea back is the film’s CGI. Coming at a time when visual effects couldn’t do what they can do today, many of the movie’s shark scenes (including Jackson’s character’s surprising death) really don’t hold up. Recently, however, The Meg, which stars Jason Statham, brought the shark attack movie to new heights, depicting a massive, man-eating shark with some impressive effects. The movie was even successful enough to warrant a sequel, due out this summer.
The Shallows, which stars Blake Lively, recently introduced another new take on the shark movie genre, telling a more contained but no less thrilling tale of one surfer’s fight to survive against a great white. Then, of course, there are also more silly shark movies like Sharknado, which is so ridiculous it’s really more of a comedy than anything else. It may not be the best shark movie ever made, but Deep Blue Sea does feature some genuine moments of tension and dread, something that evidently was also present on set for at least one actor.
More: How Deep Blue Sea’s Shark Deaths Mirrored The Jaws Franchise
Source: First We Feast