Whenever we look at Blake Lively she is taking on a new challenge. As a mother of one, with another on the way, Blake has set herself up as a celebrity homemaker and a self confessed foodie and cook. She also continues to grace our screens with her vast collection of hit-films. Now Blake is getting as far away from her role as an Upper East Side princess and rather than the vicious gossip of Manhattan, she is fighting off a great white shark. In our July/August issue we shared Blake’s secret for picking the perfect movies to appear in.
Blake has a very simple, straight forward litmus test for deciding whether to do a film – if she’s scared by the challenge ahead, then it’s ‘yes, please, I’m in.’ The Shallows, in which she plays a young medical student trapped on a rock by a great white shark 200 metres from a beautiful but isolated beach, fit the bill perfectly. It was, she says, both exciting and terrifying – just like the film itself.
In the taut thriller, medical student Nancy Adams is surfing on a secluded beach, when she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 metres from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.
From the moment Blake first read Anthony Jaswinski’s screenplay, she was hooked. “The script was such a page-turner. It was incredible how quickly it moved because immediately you put yourself in that scenario and you think ‘what would I do if I was isolated and I was being hunted by a great white shark?’”
Not afraid of a challenge, Blake spent long days filming in the sea and in a giant water tank, a daunting, exhausting test of physical endurance. “Every single day of the shoot I was in the water. We probably had two days where we weren’t in the water and that was the opening scene but other than that we were in every day.”
“It has to be something that I would really regret not doing”
Blake is set for an eventful year, with The Shallows coming to cinemas in August and the soon to be released psychological drama-thriller All I See Is You and Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. “I always look for diversity and I always look for movies that will scare me – ones that I feel are incredibly challenging.
I’ve had a really cool year from working with Marc Forster playing a blind woman and that was a very raw movie that was the exact opposite of this being very pre-planned. Ninety per cent of the movie was improvised and I had great co-stars that I got to play off of. The Woody Allen movie was also some improvisation but that was a 1930s movie and it was more fast paced and comedic at times. The Marc Forster movie was very heavy and then here is this shark movie which is all me and blue screens to act against and it’s thrilling and it was an acting challenge in a completely different way and it was a physical challenge, too.
And that’s what I look for – movies that I feel like I can’t not do, that’s really my barometer because I have such a wonderful family and person in my life that I think ‘OK, if I’m going to ask my family to come with me to the other side of the world it has to be something that I would really regret not doing’ and that’s how I decide what I’m going to fight for and what I’m not.”