MEGAN Peta Hill stars in Cage Dive – out on DVD from October 9. She spoke to Prestridge² about sharks, filming in tough conditions and her aspirations for the future.
Q: What can British audiences expect from the Cage Dive? Is it perfect viewing for Halloween?
A: CAGE Dive is definitely a great choice this Halloween! The film is a fun watch for any horror movie fan. It has some really great jump scares, while also being suspenseful and intense. But it is not just a film for horror and thriller buffs. There are great moments of romance and drama – you definitely connect and fall in love with the characters along the way.
Q: With Halloween coming up I must ask: are you afraid of sharks? Or do you have any other fears?
A: I WOULD not say I am afraid of sharks, but I definitely have a healthy respect for them. They are greatly misunderstood and misrepresented animals. They are such graceful and incredible creatures.
I did re-watch Jaws and the original Open Water in preparation for working on Cage Dive and they definitely made my hairs stand on end. I am lucky I do not have any true phobias, but I am definitely nervous about flying! The slightest bit of turbulence when I am in an aeroplane and my little white knuckles are gripping the arm rest!
Q: Cage Dive uses a found footage approach. Did you enjoy working in that style? Did it alter your approach to the role?
A: THIS was the first found footage project I have worked on and it was a completely different style of filmmaking. It allowed for a more fluid process on set and there was a lot more freedom. We were able to improvise a fair bit in the scenes which you are not usually able to do.
Q: You also have to act the second half of the film in water – and in the dark. What challenges did that bring?
A: BATTLING the physical conditions was definitely a big challenge, especially given the open water scenes were shot during the winter months. So we were spending day after day, and sometimes night after night shooting long hours in the freezing cold, fighting against ocean currents and tides.
It is probably the most physically demanding role I have ever undertaken. I remember between takes, I would swim over to the side of the boat the crew were on and they would pour hot water down under my wet suit to try and keep me warm.
Q: As well as terrifying sharks, the film has some interesting drama elements between yourself, Joel Hogan and Josh Potthoff. Your group chemistry comes across well in the film. How was it working with those two actors?
A: IT was truly wonderful. I feel so grateful to have met them and gone through this journey together. By the end of the shoot, Joel and Josh felt like brothers. From our first chemistry read, we had a natural interplay and connection which translated onto the screen.
Q: You have television credits on Supernatural and The X-Files – and now a standout performance in Cage Dive. Do you have a preference for big-screen or smaller-screen projects?
A: HONESTLY, I do not have a preference. That said, I do like the diversity of roles and genres you get when bouncing from film to film. But we are experiencing such an incredible ‘golden age’ of television right now – the opportunities for actors to really immerse themselves into characters and stories is just so incredible.
Q: What are your ambitions as an actress? Is there anyone you aspire to or would love to work with?
A: WE would be here for hours if I started listing artists. I have been inspired by so many great actors and directors, cinematographers and editors that I do not even know where to start (laughs).
But the actor who I aspire to most would be Cate Blanchett. The word that comes to mind when I think of her as an artist, and as a person, is ‘integrity’. She is phenomenally talented, a wonderful role model, and a truly decent human being.
Ultimately, I want to tell stories that matter, that inspire, that challenge. To make films that bring meaning and change.
Q: Finally, do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
A: NOTHING I can talk about right now, but wonderful things are on the horizon.
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