Remember when Elena’s biggest problem was plain old water? Lots of changes since then but Elena’s drowning scene was a big challenge for the actors and crew. Entertainment Weekly has a great piece on the mechanics of filming that scene, as told by Supervising Producer Chris Grismer.
I started the actors training for the scene about two months before we shot. They had to train every weekend with dive instructors. Nina Dobrev was already PADI-certified, but those who weren’t had to become. They also had to learn how to act underwater for a long period of time without air: They had to learn how to do a scene and then get air between takes from a safety diver, who was never more than five or six feet away, instead of coming back up to the surface, which I think was pretty terrifying for them.
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