When movie director James Cameron dived in a submarine to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench in 2012, it wasn't his first big underwater stunt. Neither was his 1997 film Titanic. He went underwater in a big way for the 1989 science fiction film The Abyss, in which a deep-sea crew encounters a "non-terrestrial intelligence" that lives in the water. The movie was a hit, and a technical wonder, but making it was anything but easy.
9. Ed Harris almost drowned on set.
At one point he’d signaled for someone to bring him some oxygen since he was out but the person that finally brought it to him handed the regulator upside down. Water filled his throat before another person could set it right. Harris apparently broken down after this.
8. The resuscitation scene was a little too real for comfort.
Apparently Harris was really pounding on [Mary Elizabeth] Mastrantonio’s chest and got a little carried away. When she found out the camera broke halfway through the scene she wasn’t too happy.
Read more of the difficulties of filming The Abyss in a trivia list at TVOM.