Kristen Stewart on Filming ‘Underwater’: ‘It Was F—ed Up Scary’

Shooting “Underwater” was no easy feat for Kristen Stewart.

Stewart and her co-stars spent the majority of their time filming the sci-fi flick in the water wearing heavy 100 lb. scuba suits — a challenge which none of them were prepared for.

“It was so scary and so horrific. It wasn’t fun scary. It was f–ed up scary,” Stewart said with a laugh during a Q&A moderated by “It” director Andrés Muschietti. The cast gathered for the panel Tuesday after a special fan screening at Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Los Angeles.

It was so terrifying, in fact, that Stewart (who is “scared of swimming”) skipped prep for it. On the other hand, her co-stars Jessica Henwick and John Gallagher Jr. took scuba diving lessons when they arrived in New Orleans to shoot the project.

“Kristen was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to learn how to do this. Just put me in [the suit] on the day. I don’t care. It’s going to be so awful,’” director William Eubank recalled.

Underwater” follows a crew of researchers (including Mamoudou Athie, T.J Miller and Vincent Cassel) stationed on an underwater research facility who get trapped in a flooding structure after a devastating earthquake. The only way to survive is to walk across the ocean floor to a distant abandoned rig, and as they make their way, they soon realize that they are being hunted by monstrous alien-like sea predators that are determined to kill them.

Popular on Variety

Since they had to shoot in subterranean environments, Stewart said she feared the possibility of using faulty suits or defunct submarines.

“I was just scared,” she said. “I was claustrophobic and I couldn’t deal with that. But this was a f—ing hell hole for a million other reasons.”

Henwick and Gallagher Jr. echoed Stewart’s sentiments, saying none of the cast had any idea shooting the film would be so challenging.

“When I signed read this, I didn’t think it was going to be a physically demanding,” Henwick said. “I thought, ‘This’ll be easy. Just put me in a suit. We’ll be walking around pretending to be under water.’ No. It was the hardest film I’ve done by far.”

Gallagher Jr. said he was equally clueless until he touched down in New Orleans.

“The suits were so hard to move around in that like I don’t remember any acting choice,” Gallagher Jr. chimed in. “And I remember honestly being like, ‘Okay, if Kristen’s scared, then I can be scared too.’ Then we can just kind of go through this.”

But Stewart said ultimately those obstacles, however terrifying, drew her to the film.

“We’re joking about how hard it was to make the movie, but I am attracted to things that are difficult. The only reason to do something is because it scares you.”

“Underwater” is in theaters on Jan. 10.

William Eubank, Kristen Stewart, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick and Mamoudou Athie'Underwater' film premiere, Inside, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown Los Angeles, USA - 07 Jan 2020
CREDIT: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Shutterstock

More Film

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Soaring to $70 Million Opening

    “Bad Boys for Life” is tracking for a solid launch with as much as $70 million at 3,740 venues in North America over the four-day holiday weekend, early estimates showed Friday. Universal’s opening of its fantasy-adventure “Dolittle” should wind up in second with about $30 million. That’s somewhat above studio expectations for the Robert Downey [...]

  • Olivia Colman Phoebe Waller Bridge Brad

    SAG Awards Predictions 2020: 'Parasite,' 'Fleabag' and Other Top Contenders

    No matter who wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, it will be a surprise. That’s because there aren’t many obvious frontrunners in either the TV or film categories at this year’s competition. Around 160,000 members from across the country vote for the SAG Awards, and with such a large voting body, members [...]

  • This is Us

    Los Angeles On-Location Production Slides 5% in Fourth Quarter

    Overall on-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 5% from October through December, according to a report released by permitting agency FilmLA on Friday. Officials said the decline in overall shoot days to 9,839 was due partly to record activity levels in 2018, which generated the highest level of local production activity of any quarter in [...]

  • Charlize Theron Jay Roach Bombshell BTS

    How Charlize Theron Helped Save Her 'Bombshell' Production

    Exactly two weeks before “Bombshell” was set to begin shooting, Annapurna backed out of the $35 million production. Producer Charlize Theron, who also stars in the film, was on a location scout with production department heads when she heard the bad news. “We had [cast] Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie — two of the busiest [...]

  • Wasp Network

    Netflix Scoops Olivier Assayas's 'Wasp Network' With Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has acquired U.S. rights and several other territories for Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network,” the Cuban spy thriller headlined by Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez which world premiered at Venice last year, Variety has learned. The streaming giant is believed to have bought international rights to the film outside of China, Eastern Europe, Greece, Portugal, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content