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For even the most experienced, seasoned actors and actresses, attempting something new onscreen can be both thrilling and utterly nerve-wracking. For Paul Walker and Jessica Alba, the daily thrills on the watery set of "Into the Blue" involved something a bit more than mastering difficult dialogue or achieving subtle shadings in character development: they had to swim, for hours, with sharks. Big, hungry sharks. In retrospect, it seems, they both enjoyed it — but in the moment? Maybe not so much. MTV News' Chris Williams spent some time with Walker and Alba recently cruising in a boat through the blue waters off of Hawaii for MTV's Your Movie Show — half a world away from the Caribbean, where "Into the Blue" was shot, but still wet enough an environment for the pairs' shark tales to be fresh in their minds.

Your Movie Show spent quality time with two "shark wranglers" from "Into the Blue." It's insane stuff. Watch it right now, on Overdrive.

MTV: First off, let's talk about the sharks. The first day that you were required to get in the water with them on the set, what was that like?

Paul Walker: The first day with the sharks was actually pretty relaxed, and I think that was a conscious effort by John [Stockwell, director] and the crew, because they don't know how the cast is going to react. Scotty [Caan] was scared big time, and Jessica was scared, too, but she didn't want to be. Scotty was just up front about it. It was funny. The guy was like, "You gotta be kidding me. I'm getting in the water with sharks?" And John says, "Well, it's in the script.' And Scott says, "Yeah, but I figured you'd have a double to do it." The last thing he wants to do is get in the water with these things. So they wrote that into the script, that Scott's character has this shark phobia, and it played out perfectly.

Jessica Alba: I think that I went in the water for three minutes, at first, and I was shaking. Then I went in for five minutes. Then I did ten minutes. I had a guy I went down with, initially. I just kind of held on to him and let him take me wherever he felt was safe. He had a spear — you feel a bit safer when you're with someone with a spear. But at the end of the day, the sharks are bigger than both of us, so you're pretty terrified. My character having a camera to play with gave me something to do so that I wasn't thinking about the sharks. Any time you see my character in the movie with a camera, it's because I needed something to take my mind off the sharks.

MTV: Any near-misses with them?

Paul Walker scuba dives into the Oahu waters

Paul Walker and Jessica Alba on the set of "Into the Blue"

Walker, Alba, More at the Premiere of "Into the Blue"

"Into the Blue"

Alba: Yes, an awful one on a real nasty day. They had Paul in the water and were throwing fish heads so that there would be sharks on the surface of the water. Now, when sharks are on the surface, that's when they're the most rambunctious because they're trying to get the fish and make sure that another shark doesn't get it. So Paul is in the middle of the water with all this stuff going on, and my character had to throw him some fins and a mask. When I threw the fins and mask, a huge shark came by and snapped up the mask and took off with it.

Acting in a movie is entertainment, and no one should get their head or arms bit off for a shot. So yeah, I was really scared for Paul. He was laughing, but it was a nervous laugh. He must've seen his life flash before his eyes at some point in the water.

Walker: I always thought I was a little ballsy, but I'm really beginning to think that I'm straight stupid, too. And I don't know if it's a mind-over-matter thing, or the way I was raised - my father is the gnarliest guy you'll ever meet in your life. He always tried to [teach us to overcome our fears] when we were kids. Anyway, in the scene Jessica's describing, I'm getting splashed by [the tossed fish heads] - they're landing right in front of me, and right over my shoulder, and I'm getting bumped by sharks under the water. I was in there for close to an hour. Every once in a while one would stay around a little too long, so I'd reach out and hit him on the nose, or I'd kick him - and some of them would hit you really hard. One time I got rammed hard enough where it knocked the wind out of me.

So [Jessica] throws the mask, it lands short and as I'm reaching for it a shark comes up and pow! — it hits the mask, and it's gone. It was pretty intense, man.

MTV: Was that one of your proudest moments in making the film? All you, no stunt doubles?

Walker: Well, there's a fine line between being tough and brave and being stupid, and I think I definitely crossed into the stupid category with that one. Would I do it again? I don't know. But I always feel like I have something to prove, to a degree, so maybe I would. I'm just grateful I didn't come home with any serious scars, or missing a limb. I've still got all my fingers and toes, so I feel like I'm one up right now.

MTV: Any examples of Scott's heroics while fish heads were being thrown at you?

 Jessica Alba on the weather in the Bahamas

 Paul Walker on his close-call with a shark

Alba: Well, Scott jumped out of the water. He actually almost walked on water, he jumped out so fast. But there we were, with big sharks with big giant teeth, and when they bite their eyes roll back in their heads. [She turns to Walker] You saw that when they bit down. [He shakes his head] You didn't see that?

Walker: No. [laughs]

Alba: I did. I saw that from above.

Walker: I just know that they have the deadest eyes. They look lifeless. Just this big, black

Alba: Evil.

Walker: Just a void of an eye.

MTV: What was it like to play each other's significant other?

Walker: Playing Jessica's boyfriend wasn't very hard. She's obviously beautiful, and I just had a lot of fun with her. And on top of that, we [have a little history].

Alba: My parents are friends with a friend of his, and we both come from Southern California and are both around the same age, so we've had a similar experience in this business. The fact that we never met was a little bit weird. And you've surfed with friends that I grew up with, so that was another interesting coincidence.

 Watch the "Into the Blue" trailer

Walker: That was really the ice breaker. I remember when I first told you, "Oh, you know so-and-so," it just brought it closer to home and it made it easier. It just sorta humanizes somebody, I guess.

Alba: It was the easiest boyfriend-girlfriend relationship I ever had on a film, because we did spend so much time together. Usually when I play someone's love interest, I only spend two, three weeks with them, and then we're shooting a scene where we have to be madly in love. But in this, we really spent four months together. We went through all the training together, and we spent a lot of time off the set getting used to each other.

MTV: What was a less-pleasant aspect of the shoot?

Alba: It is absolutely impossible to act under water. I don't know how the heck we did it. You're basically just using your eyes and your facial expressions, and they have to be exaggerated because there's no way you could really see our facial expressions — especially mine. I already have big lips, so when my mask is on I'm sitting there with some humongous, bizarre blow-up doll lips. I looked like a damn parrot fish the whole time. It was not cute.

Check out everything we've got on "Into the Blue."

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Photo: Sony Pictures

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