‘Sanctum’ Cast Describes Surviving Frigid, Soggy Shoot

Richard Roxburgh and Rhys Wakefield spent many hours in 'shivering cold' to make James Cameron-produced 3-D thriller.

Given the stereotypically glamorous and seemingly pampered lives of actors, hearing them complain about rough conditions during filming doesn’t necessarily strike a sympathetic chord in the average fan.

Unless, of course, that film is “Sanctum,” the James Cameron-produced underwater 3-D thriller wherein filming conditions required the cast to be submerged in frigid temperatures, for hours — and sometimes days — on end.

When MTV News caught up with castmembers Richard Roxburgh and Rhys Wakefield, we asked them what happens to your body when you spend that much time underwater.

“What happens to your skin is not so much an issue, it’s what happens to your personality after you’ve had 60,000 liters of water falling on your head for 14 hours,” Roxburgh said.

“In shivering cold,” Wakefield added.

“It was as if the environments were dictating performance so much. You would be doing something that you didn’t like doing and it was harsh and cruel and unfair,” Roxburgh jokingly whined. “That would dictate performance a lot of the time, and I think that’s good. I think that shows in the film.”

So, how does one maintain sanity and bodily function in those conditions?

“We would do a lot of push-ups inbetween [takes] actually — just to stay alive, I think,” Wakefield explained. “The sound stages that we shot in, they had to be set at this [low] temperature because the 3-D cameras don’t really like anything over any human [body] temperature. It was freezing cold in these sets we were shooting in, so we were either huddled in space blankets or we were just doing push-ups. We had to stop using space blankets, actually, because they were leaving a silver residue on our wetsuits. It was pretty funny.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Sanctum.”

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