As a teenager, Mandy Moore sang about “Candy” and was the school mean girl in The Princess Diaries. Since then though, she’s expanded her acting horizons to include all manner of genres. TV audiences know her for her work on the critically acclaimed This Is Us and kids know her voice for her work with animated Disney characters. Now, she’s taking on a thriller at the bottom of the ocean floor in 47 Meters Down, but filming the movie was no picnic.
Moore stars with Claire Holt as a pair of sisters who try cage diving while on vacation, but when the cage breaks from the boat, they are left racing against their own air tanks in shark-filled waters. As Moore pointed out to Jimmy Kimmel in an appearance on his talk show, the movie is “95% under water,” which meant Moore and Holt spent a lot of time in a water tank, but not just any water tank – one filled with broccoli and urine.
The movie’s team needed their water to look like they were filming on the ocean floor, and the closest they could mimic the algae was by finely chopping broccoli and placing it in the 20 foot water tank with the girls and the camera crew. The broccoli was the only part of the movie that “concerned” her, Moore revealed, after being asked about the possibility of pruning skin when shooting in water for eight weeks. She explained that the chlorinated water was kept warm, so it was like filming in “broccoli soup” for five weeks, with a “pungent” smell.
What she discovered while shooting for hours on end though was that no one in the water crew was taking bathroom breaks, meaning that to save time, and not disrupt the shooting schedule, the crew and the actors were relieving themselves in the water tank, something Moore had trouble with, but she eventually hopped on the bandwagon.
That’s one unique filming experience she’ll probably never forget.