Mandy Moore on 47 Meters Down

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Mandy Moore & Claire Holt (©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

Every summer there is a movie with shark. This summer won’t be any different. 47 Meters Down ‘dives in’ Friday, June 16, the first film distributed by Entertainment Studios. The film was purchased from The Weinstein Company a day before it hits the DVD shelves, fortunately we can watch this creepy story on the big screen. Directed by Johannes Roberts who also wrote the script alongside with Ernest Riera.

On the rebound after a devastating break-up, Lisa, played by Mandy Moore, is ready for adventure while on vacation in Mexico. Even still, she needs a little extra persuasion when her daring sister Kate, played by Claire Holt, suggests they go shark diving with some locals. Once underwater in a protective cage, Lisa and Kate catch a once in a lifetime, face-to-face look at majestic Great Whites. But when their worst fears are realized and the cage breaks away from their boat, they find themselves plummeting to the bottom of the seabed, too deep to radio for help without making themselves vulnerable to the savage sharks, their oxygen supplies rapidly dwindling. Aside from Moore and Holt, the film stars Matthew Modine, Yani Gellman, Chris Johnson, and more.

47 Meters Down is a terrifying tale of survival set in the domain of the ocean’s fiercest creatures. Let’s check it out what Mandy, who also stars in the hit NBC series This is Us, playing a young triplet’s mother, said during the roundtable interviews a couple of weeks ago in Beverly Hills.

The film is pretty intense and an exciting summer popcorn movie. You’re out of the water now, but is the fear ever over? Would you actually go shark diving?

Mandy Moore – No. I think it would be fun as long as someone could guarantee there is plenty of oxygen and a shark couldn’t make its way into the cage, I’d be fine with it.

You weren’t actually in open water when you shot this?

MM – No, we were in a tank.

Why did you want to make this movie? I imagine it was a physically grueling experience.

MM – Just that was so enticing to me. I’m not usually thought of for this particular genre so that was pretty exciting as well. But I loved the script; I found it so compelling from start to finish. The twist at the end, I didn’t see coming. I knew that it would be a challenge as well as be entirely rewarding.

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Kate (Claire Holt) tries to calm her panicked sister Lisa (Mandy Moore) after they realize they’re trapped at the bottom of the ocean. ©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

Spending all that time in the water, how did you keep up the energy? Did you do a lot of training beforehand?

MM – A lot of sugar and caffeine. You go into it knowing it’s going to be somewhat physically taxing but I don’t think Claire or I had any idea how taxing it would be until we finished the first day and the first week. I’m not usually a napper, but I could not keep my eyes open at lunch. I would just pass out in my trailer. I’d eat and then take a nap. (someone mentions very low it’s kind of dangerous to do after diving, right?) I know, but we couldn’t help it. You don’t realize how much you’re extending yourself when you’re underwater like that. Even the smallest movements. There were days where I would come away thinking, “Oh, that wasn’t too physically taxing,” and yet I was still bone tired.

Have you always been a fan of this genre? “Jaws?” “Sharknado?”

MM – Sharknado! What I loved so much about this and we talked about this a lot during production, as much as everyone’s putting the emphasis on sharks, and I understand, they’re terrifying, what was much more terrifying to me and Claire was this prospect of drowning, of running out of air at the bottom of the ocean, and this race against the clock. Just that ultimate test of survival scares me way more than sharks. That’s my deepest fear.

After you had your dive training and practical lesson in the ocean, what did you think?

MM – I thought, “Is there going to be two months of this?” What was easier for us was that we were wearing not the regular mask and regulator that the camera-crew used. We were lucky enough to have the full facemask, obviously so we could talk underwater and you could see our facial expressions. Had I been in a regular mask and regulator, it would have been too much. Too scary.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

MM – Probably skydiving. I’ve done it three times.

Oh so, you’re a thrill seeker?

MM – I don’t know. That’s pretty much where it begins and ends, to be honest. I like to think of myself as being spontaneous than I probably am, especially as I’ve gotten older. Bungee-jumping, no. That scares me. Windsurfing and all that kind of stuff sounds fun to me. But I haven’t been that adventurous as of late.

You’ve been in the public eye for a long time, since you were a teenager. How do you keep yourself centered or stable?

MM – I think the most important part is finding that balance with your life. From a young age, I was always keenly aware I was really lucky to be in this position. I didn’t take it for granted. I really tried to take advantage of the opportunities that came my way. You just find good people.

Your career as had the typical Hollywood ups and downs. Did you ever think about disappearing from Hollywood?

MM – Sure. I certainly thought of that during certain moments of my life and career, but you just keep sticking it out and hope that it will all come around again.

You became a celebrity at a time before social media was so ubiquitous. If you were starting out today with A Walk to Remember and your music, do you think you’d be any different?

MM – I’m not sure how kids do it these days. I feel like I have a bit of a wall, a bit of a veil. You keep your distance because I didn’t grow up around social media. I don’t think I would have fared very well. I probably just would have been very quiet.  When I think of young, I think of like 17 or 18. It’s so confusing.

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(©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

Are you pleased that 47 Meters Down is now going to be released in theaters instead of going straight to DVD as it was initially supposed to do?

MM – Yeah, because I thought that the concept is so unique and the fact that 95 percent of this movie takes place underwater. That’s what really drew us to (this project) as well. That’s a really compelling conceit or premise. We were guinea pigs. No one had really shot a movie like this before. No one knew how it was going to turn out. It was a gamble for all of us so to see that it paid off and that it will see the light of day, and it’s coming to fruition in a way that we hoped for but none of us expected. You never really have a guarantee, especially with a project like this. It’s not a giant studio movie where it’s a superhero picture, of course it’s going to come out. So, we’re really grateful.

What do you want out of your life now?

MM – What do we all want out of our lives? How much time do you have? Balance, peace, happiness. I want to be challenged.

Of course, during the interviews the NBC’s series This Is Us was brought up and a could of questions were made. Here they are:

How’s your life changed in the past year because there are so many fans of This is Us? It’s also a big comeback for you.

MM – Sure. Yeah. It’s difficult being in this industry. We all sort of ride the wave and ebb and flow of our careers having higher moments and lower moments and balancing life. But when you find those projects and those moments that seem to click, it seems to make it that much sweeter.

How many times a day are you asked how Jack, who is her husband on the series This is Us, died?

MM – I’ve been telling people on this press junket that he got eaten by a shark.

How do you feel to be on this successful series?

MM – I feel like it’s come along at exactly the right time. People are looking for positive, hopeful entertainment, to say nothing of the incredible writing of (the show’s creator) Dan Fogelman. It’s such a wonderful cast. I just think people were hungry for this kind of cathartic material.

Are you in production on the next season of This is Us?

MM – We don’t go back until next month.

You haven’t seen any scripts yet?

MM – No, I think they just convened on June 1.

Do they ask for your input as to what you think should go on?

MM – No!! I wouldn’t trust my judgment anyway. I trust Dan Fogelman, the show’s creator.

Are you usually surprised to see what they have in store for your character?

MM – As an actor, we don’t always have all of the answers. It’s part of the job. Oftentimes, we don’t have any of the answers. It’s our job to figure that out because we need that information for ourselves. Whether or not that ends up on a television show aligning with what they write down the road, who knows. But it’s part of my job, I need that information for myself. Rebecca and Miguel may get together in some other way than I’ve imagined. I’m excited to get started again with the new season; I miss everyone.

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Kate (Claire Holt) & Lisa (Mandy Moore) (©Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)

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