Colin Farrell Was Not A Fan Of The Underwater Sequences In Thirteen Lives

In 2018, a junior association football (soccer) team of 12 children, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old assistant coach decided to go spelunking in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. While they were in there, heavy rains began to fall, and they became trapped by a flash flood. It took a team of incredibly brave people, including four British cave divers, 18 days to rescue the group. 

Ron Howard's new film "Thirteen Lives" gives us a look at what it was like for the trapped children and the divers who performed this daring rescue. It stars Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, and the Australian cave explorer Craig Challen.

The rescue itself involved over 10,000 people all over the world, with losses on the team of rescuers, though all of the children and the coach were saved. It was incredibly dangerous in real life, but it sounds like the film shoot was no picnic either, even with safety precautions. 

Farrell plays real life British cave diver John Volanthen, who specializes in rescues — though Farrell wasn't too jazzed about the underwater portions of those scenes. As someone who has a deep fear of caves and diving after watching James Cameron's "Sanctum," I'm nauseated just thinking about it. Farrell spoke to Variety about the experience, and it does not sound like a good time. 

That isn't acting -- that is torture

Farrell told Variety: 

"The water stuff was horrible. They built four or five tunnels that were designed based on the drawings of the Tham Luang cave. I mean, there were twists, turns, down, up, pitch points, stuff you had to go upside down. And we had safety divers, but it's still water. And there was no f****** surface — they had holes on the side of the tunnel where the safety divers could watch us. Yeah, I definitely had a few anxiety attacks under the water."

Nope. Nopenopenope. I mean, great, they had holes in the tunnel, "where the safety divers could watch us." Watch them? Watch them drown? Honestly, I don't know how the man slept during the shoot. I'm probably going to have nightmares tonight and I haven't even seen the film yet. 

Farrell isn't the only one who had anxiety attacks. Bateman, who plays diver Chris Jewel, said in the same article that they had an incredible camera operator who had to do some fancy moves to get the shots in. "The dude was, like, going backwards and stuff! So yeah, I had a hell of a lot of panic attacks in there," he recounted. The real divers who helped with the rescue were consultants on the film, which helped, I'm sure, but I don't know how you get past the panic this would cause. Maybe I'm just a 'fraidy cat, but it makes me shudder, even thinking about it. 

"Thirteen Lives" was released in select theaters on July 29, 2022, and will hit Prime Video on August 5, 2022.