Nicky Whalen is always willing to face challenges as an actress, and her latest is the Shark Survival horror film Saban Films, which stars Jessie, a woman who remained unattractive during her honeymoon despite her broken engagement with her friends at an idyllic island paradise, not knowing that a ravenous shark is stalking them. Whalen talked with Bleeding Cool about why she started the project, working with writer-director Justin Lee, her love of shark films, and more.
What attracted you to Maneater? Whalen: Every couple of years, the shark films come out, and they''re always so much fun. I was offered this script, and I was like, "Absolutely, I want to be involved in a shark movie in my career." This was an independent shot in 18 days, and it was super challenging; I took it on and loved it. It was an excellent experience, so I can now say, "I''ve been a part of a shark movie."
What exactly did Justin do with his set? We were filming in Maui [Hawaii], which is a breathtaking location, and the beautiful locals are so kind. Thank God, the actual film was extremely challenging, with so many things going against us throughout. We had a team of puppeteers and a guy operating in rough water for half a day, but some scenes implying that the mechanical one would be avoided.
I had to make a couple of trips to the pool before I got to it. I thought I was feeling the flu as a kid but couldn''t feel the water underneath. I was so relieved that I needed to be careful in the first stages of my journey. At the end of every day, I would have slept very well in my bedroom.
Was there a particular maneuver more difficult than others? At the end of the movie, I go to the boat, and the shark comes out. I turn around and go under it. The boat was dancing on the top of the water because, by that stage of the day, the water was really choppy. I had to up and then go under it. It looked so easy in the shot that you see: it is weird, but I had to go under the water and out holding my hands out, amazed by the shark right there.
Is there any particular shark films or survival films you grew up watching that inspired your performance? I''m a huge fan of ''Jaws,'' and every couple of years, I''ll watch that. It''s just a classic, brilliant film that will remain silent throughout the day, regardless of how many times you''ve watched it. There''s something about shark films I always find the excitement and scare factor. There''s something about ''The Shallows,'' however,
I''m not sure how I''ve gone from comedy to horror movies to filmmaking. And, for me, it''s such an adventure. I would then do more comedy if I could. I loved it all. I loved it all. I ended up getting engaged in horror movies and more dramatic films.
, which includes Trace Adkins, Jeff Fahey, and Shane West, is available in theaters, digital, and on-demand.
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