Why Kristen Stewart Signed Up For Underwater Even Though She ‘Hated’ Water

Kristen Stewart as Norah Price in Underwater (2020)

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Blockbuster filmmaking comes with a number of challenges, but the cast and crew of Underwater obviously had to deal with an extra element – water. The cast, in particular, had to engage in a number of sequences that tested their physical and mental endurance. Kristen Stewart, the film’s lead, actually wasn’t a fan of being in the water but still signed on for the project despite knowing what she was in for. So what ultimately led her to join Underwater?

Underwater director William Eubank caught up with CinemaBlend and explained that Kristen Stewart told him that she hated large bodies of water when they first met about her role. But Eubank believes it was a desire to overcome or challenge her fear that ultimately led Stewart to sign on:

We had a meeting, and she had this tattoo on her hand that said “swim” and she told me she hated water. She just basically couldn't stand like large, dark bodies of water, and the script just, I think appealed to overcoming that fear or at least challenging it on screen and tapping into something that she already inherently had in her. So I could just tell right away that she had connected obviously with the character and the idea and was willing to just jump into this thing and have fun with this.

Filming Underwater not only required the cast to perform in water but to also allow their imaginations to guide them as they reacted to things they couldn’t actually see. William Eubank understands the challenges within both aspects and could only praise the cast for committing to their roles and the situation:

We’re so lucky. The whole cast was so great. Obviously, the movies like this, it's not the most serious thing in the world. But for then people to commit themselves pretty seriously to a role that they have to imagine a lot and that is so physically intensive. We really just got magic out of it.

William Eubank makes a great point in that movies like Underwater challenge actors on a deep level. Stunt work is challenging in and of itself, but having to dramatically interact with elements that more than likely won’t be added until post-production is a true test.

In many cases, actors find themselves acting against green screen or even talking to a tennis ball. Ironically, while adapting to the water was difficult for her, Kristen Stewart found it much easier to “fantasize and play pretend” while shooting Underwater. But then again, she does have experience with effects-heavy films, having starred in Zathura and The Twilight Saga.

Nevertheless, it would seem that Kristen Stewart was at least able to gain a better understanding of her fear of the water, and she deserves credit for choosing to face her fear head on.

Underwater is now available on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.