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Ambulance’s Eiza Gonzalez Says She Had A Real Panic Attack Shooting One Crazy Scene In The Michael Bay Movie

If there’s a broad adjective that can be applied to Michael Bay’s Ambulance, it’s definitely “intense.” (In Bay’s own words, it’s a “study in tension.”) Set over the span of a single day, the movie goes from a first act bank heist to what becomes a non-stop car chase – with two criminals (Jake Gyllenhall, Yayha Abdul-Mateen II) holding an EMT (Eiza Gonzalez) hostage in an on-the-move emergency vehicle while she tries to save the life of a dying police officer (Jackson White).

It’s a crazy thing to behold watching it on the big screen, and that’s partially an extension of the fact that it was a pretty crazy film to make, as evidenced by the fact that shooting one sequence actually led Eiza Gonzalez to hyperventilate and have a mid-scene panic attack.

The sequence in question involves the movie’s characters performing a surgery while the titular ambulance races away from pursuing police officers, and while I won’t get too far into the details (it’s best to experience in a theater), you can definitely get excited for what unfolds via my interview with Eiza Gonzalez. As captured in the video above, I asked her about what it was like shooting the scene, and she explained that it not only required a lot of preparation, but that she fully recognized what the moment means for her character:

It was so cool to do because, you know, prepping for it and educating myself on what that looked like and what that process was, and really speak to professionals and educating me on the process and then being there. And they had a real dummy with every single piece of insides that I needed. And it was so real. And I mean, there was a moment that I was hyperventilating, 'cause she's going through so much emotions at once, not only because of the surgery – because she's doing what she's been wanting to do her entire life. And so it's a rollercoaster of emotions.

Continuing, Eiza Gonzalez added that the impact of the stress didn’t stop with just deep and quick breathing. The anxiety of the moment also caused the muscles in her hands to tense and cramp up to the point where her fingers started involuntarily clenching, making them look like claws:

I remember at a moment I hyperventilated so much, and my hands cramped up. I had Gollum claws... From a panic attack, from hyperventilating, from the breathing and the nerves and, and those moments become so real. It's like those things that you push yourself, and you really feel it on your body, but when you see it on screen, it really works. I am really having a panic attack in that scene.

It probably goes without saying that it’s typically best to not perform life-saving surgery while in the midst of a panic attack and not having full use of your hands… but this is just a movie, and it’s some wild cinema. In fact, it’s the best sequence in Ambulance.

You can witness it all for yourself very soon, as the intimate-yet-still-Bayhem-filled blockbuster arrives in theaters everywhere this Friday, April 8. As I note in my Ambulance review, it’s a fun and crazy ride, and one that definitely deserves the big screen experience (check out the official website for where it’s playing near you).

To learn more about all of the films that are set to come out between now and the last week of December, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.