It’s summertime, you know what that means, shark movies are swimming into theaters. One of the movies you need to check out is Deep Blue Sea 3 (review).
I sat down with the movie’s star Tania Raymonde (“Lost,” “Goliath”) to discuss the movie, her character, and much more.
Tania stars as marine biologist Dr. Emma Collins whose team is based on a manmade island studying marine biology and sharks. When her ex arrives begging for help to locate a group of sharks that have escaped from a secret research facility. But that will be easier said than done. These sharks have been genetically altered. They’re smart and brutal. Emma and her team are now locked in a fight for survival.
Horror Fuel: “So, I watched Deep Blue Seas 3 last night. I really liked it.”
Tania Raymonde: “Oh, I’m so glad!”
Horror Fuel: “I love that so much was included the real plight of sharks and the dangers of climate change. I love sharks. They are such amazing creatures.”
Tania Raymonde: “I know, it’s terrible. One of the cool things I got to do was really learn about them and more specifically what climate change means. When you are looking at the ocean on a global scale and how important these animals are, they influence the entire ecosystem of the planet. We’re so terrified of these creatures but they are the equivalent of bees and pollen. They’re instrumental in keeping up with a healthy ecosystem, which affects the rest of the world. So, yeah, I love sharks too. They are so cool and beautiful. I think they are majestic creatures. They really are.”
Horror Fuel: “I agree. Swimming with sharks is actually on my bucket list. I want to pet one.”
Tania Raymonde: “I really want to. We couldn’t in the movie, liability wise. We shot in South Africa and they are famous for sharks. They have tons of great whites there. A lot of people from all around the world go diving in South Africa to see great whites. Maybe I’ll go back next time, I’d love to cage dive.”
Horror Fuel: “Sometimes when you sit down to watch a shark movie and you have fingers crossed it won’t be cheesy. I was relieved to learn that Deep Blue Sea 3 wasn’t. It did have a couple of cheesy moments but for the most part, it was a kind of serious movie. It had real substance and a real message, you know.”
Tania Raymonde: “Me too. I kind of felt that while I was reading the script. When I read the title I remembered watching the first one as a kid and it was the coolest thing ever. I loved it. I was curious, but when I read the script, I forgot about the title and the franchise and all that. It almost didn’t feel like it was getting into that. I was a really a straight forward action movie with characters that are very passionate about what they did and I bought it. It felt genuine. To me, it was a beautifully written story and I care about Emma and I believe that she’s passionate about what she does and I understand why she fights back. I understand the things that she chooses to do throughout the movie. The movie makes sense to me. I really love the way that it unfolded. It was a straight forward decision for me. I don’t know if I would call it a serious movie, but we live in this world. It’s life or death for us with these sharks. We have to survive. To Emma, saving great whites is the most important thing on the planet. Playing the role, that’s all I had to remind myself of. This is real and this is serious. It [Deep Blue Seas 3] can still be entertaining and a little silly sometimes. It has heart though.
I’ve never been afraid of sharks. I know some people are terrified of them. Some people would rather go bungee jumping or jump out of a plane. That to me sounds insane. Sky diving? Forget it. But every animal serves a purpose. These creatures are not here to kill us. They aren’t hunting people, that’s a fallacy. I respect sharks, you know. Most of the movie is underwater. When you are diving and you are forty feet under, you feel a real sense of peace. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It’s almost like you’re flying in space. To me, it was so peaceful that it was almost hard for me to fake the fear.”
Horror Fuel: “Well said. Emma is a great character. And sharks are in danger. And it’s our place to help them. As for skydiving, there’s no way in hell. I’d happily get in the water with a shark though.
I kind of got the message of the movie as that people are the real monsters.”
Tania Raymonde: “Yeah. Messing with nature, I don’t understand. We’ve seen in movies like Jurassic Park that we’ve seen a lot of movies where nature fights back. I find it very scary that people try to profit off of things like genetically manipulating things. For what? There’s a fine line between progress and cruelty. If you change something in nature can you ever really go back and have we already crossed that line? Who knows?”
Horror Fuel: “You make a valid point. It is a terrifying thing. Once it begins, where does it stop?
When it comes to Deep Blue Sea 3, what was the most difficult part of filming? I have to say the trash compactor scene freaked me out.”
Tania Raymonde: “That was the last thing we shot, I think on the last day. You know what, that was one of the easier scenes. The water was warmer that day. It was winter in South Africa so the water was cold. We were always either in the water or out of the water or soaking wet. Any time that we looked dry they would have to hose us down to make it look like we had just got out of the water for every scene. We were always wet and always cold. So the trash compactor scene was actually really pleasant, it was warm. That was a nice day, I remember that day.”
Horror Fuel: “When you were interacting with and close up to the sharks, what was really happening? Was it all CGI? Did you interact with a prop?”
Tania Raymonde: “Most of the time there was nothing. The director, John Pogue, and the camera guy, we would all decide where the shark was, how big it was, where the head was, where the tail was, how big the mouth was. We had a mental image of what it would be. Like the scene with the compactor, it was a tennis ball on a stick [laughter]. For me, it’s crazy to watch. I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ That thing was huge! I didn’t imagine it that big while we were doing it.
Horror Fuel: “Really [laughter]? Wow! That does not sound easy. I assume it is much harder than it would be if you were interacting with another actor?”
Tania Raymonde: “It depends on the person [laughter]. I’m really glad I had never done this before, I had no expectations. I didn’t know how hot it would be or know what it would feel like. To be honest, the movie was so physical that I never had too much time to get in my head about it. When I was acting with the sharks I was underwater. I was concentrating on filming and making sure I have enough oxygen to breathe. It became very physical very fast. It tricks your mind a little bit, you’re no longer thinking about acting you’re thinking about surviving. I think it’s a lot harder when you’re standing on stage or you’re supposed to be looking at a dinosaur on a green screen. You’re not underwater, you’re not cold, you’re just supposed to look at it. That’s harder.
Horror Fuel: “I really love that the movie is female-driven.”
Tania Raymonde: “Yes, me too.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m not going to spoil it, but I really like the ending. Could it lead to a sequel?”
Tania Raymonde: “I hope so. I think the female characters are really strong women. I think maybe five, ten years ago, they would all be male characters. I’m almost sure of it actually. You could change their gender and leave the lines exactly the same and not change a damn thing. It’s about the strength of the person. It’s that simple. Gender almost has nothing to do with it, which is wonderful. Emma’s based on real-life conservationists, marine biologists, women like me. Women who are really doing this kind of work, dangerous stuff, and that are really passionate about the things they do. There are some kickass superhero type ladies my age that are doing this. And they’re doing it this way, without the sci-fi.”
Horror Fuel: “I love that the women are real. They aren’t the fake characters, they are out there being badasses doing what women really do.”
Tania Raymonde: “What I like about Emma, in the beginning, she’s sort of not great around people in the beginning. She has all of the same issues an alpha male character would have. Again, I think that’s nice. We’re all women, we’re feminine in that way but we’re not feminine in a way that makes us weak. You can be a strong woman and be a scientist. You don’t have to be a Navy Seal to be strong.”
Horror Fuel: “I think that’s a great way to explain Emma. And it’s a great example for young women coming up.”
Tania Raymonde: “Yeah. Look at the Coronavirus right now, the scientist working on the vaccine is a British woman with three kids. She’s at Oxford about to discover a vaccine for the virus, you know. Talk about a superhero. It should inspire women to be a scientist. It’s kind of badass.”
Horror Fuel: “Right. I would have loved to have been a marine biologist. When I was a kid, 5 or 6 years old, I watched Jaws on the beach. I went racing down the beach to the water, my mom chasing behind me because I wanted to find Jaws. I thought he was misunderstood and just needle cuddles. I’ve loved sharks since.”
Tania Raymonde: “That’s so funny. You’ve got to go diving then.”
Horror Fuel: “I’ve been snorkeling. I’ve swum with dolphins, stingray, and barracuda, but that’s a whole other story.
Tania Raymonde: “Wow. Barracuda? Those things are more aggressive than sharks.”
Horror Fuel: “Lesson learned, never use an underwater camera with a flash. I still have scars where he chased me up a reef.
You know, I’m so glad that you had this role. You’ve been great in so many different things, but Emma really seems to fit you.
Tania Raymonde: “That’s so nice.
Horror Fuel: “I know that you starred in 2013’s Texas Chainsaw. So hypothetically if you had to face either one of the smart sharks or Leatherface, who would you rather fight?
Tania Raymonde: “Leatherface. He’s like brain dead and just runs around with his chainsaw. At some point he’s going to trip, right? I would rather face him than an intelligent shark, no question. The sharks are smarter than he is.”
Horror Fuel: “What was your experience like, filming Texas Chainsaw?”
Tania Raymonde: “It was kind of crazy. That was a physically challenging movie. There was glass shattering and some of the chainsaws were real chainsaws. They had the teeth sawed down. I haven’t really seen any of the other chainsaw movies except the original, which was very good, and I was terrified by it. It was cool.”
Horror Fuel: “What would be your dream role?”
My dream role would probably be to play Amy Winehouse in a movie, like a biopic. I’ve always loved her and her music. That would be my dream role.”
Horror Fuel: “I could definitely see you playing her. Hopefully, that will happen for you. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a Deep Sea 4 that will pick up where 3 ended.”
Tania Raymonde: “Who knows. You might. I was going to make a joke about the men in Deep Blue Sea 3 but I can’t without giving any spoilers.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s always the hardest part of an interview, wanting to talk about something but it’s not out yet and can’t spoil anything.”
Tania Raymonde: “It was like that a lot for me when it came to “Lost”. It was very difficult to answer questions about the show before it aired.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine. Lost was a great show. So is Goliath.”
Be sure to follow Tania on Instagram to stay up to date on what she’s working on and her adventures. Pick up your copy of Deep Blue Sea 3 on August 25, 2020, on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD.