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11 Actors Who Can Hold Their Breath Amazingly in Film Shoots

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Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise arriving for the Rock Of Ages Premiere, Odeon Leicester Square, London. 10/06/2012 Picture by: Alexandra Glen / Featureflash

When it comes to exceptional moments in the industry, we often recall daring stunts and incredible special effects. However, one rarely discussed but fascinating feat is the ability of some to hold their breath for an extensive period. From classic Hollywood stars to modern-day actors, here's a list of 11 celebrities who demonstrated this feat in their craft.

Esther Williams: The Champion Swimmer

Esther Williams, a classic 1950s movie star, was a competitive swimmer turned actress. The intricacy of her water-based performances in like “Million Dollar Mermaid” and “Dangerous When Wet” showcased her extraordinary under-water breath-holding skills. Although there's no record of her longest breath hold, her commitment to filming in water for long hours resulted in her rupturing her eardrum several times.

Ricou Browning: The Black Lagoon's Gill-man

Ricou Browning, a highly versatile Hollywood , was appreciated for his role as Gill-man in “Creature From the Black Lagoon”. Browning's proficiency in holding breath underwater for up to four minutes was instrumental in the portrayal of his character. However, he stated that activities like swimming or fighting could limit his breath-holding time to two minutes at most.

Shelly Winters: Disaster Epic Star

While working on “The Poseidon Adventure”, Shelly Winters learned to hold her breath underwater for a remarkable four minutes. Her outstanding performance in this disaster epic film earned her an nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Val Kilmer's Deep Dive Adventure

Underwater filming took a comedic twist in “Top Secret”, where Val Kilmer played the role of Nick Rivers. To bring authenticity to underwater fight scenes, Kilmer and co-actors held their breath for 10-15 second bursts. Kilmer fondly recalls “not laughing and running out of oxygen” as part of the fun.

Kurt Russel's Perilous Poseidon Adventure

Kurt Russell's role in the remake of “The Poseidon Adventure” required extensive underwater scenes. Russell asserts this role tested his ability to hold his breath to the brink of unconsciousness, enhancing the film's nail-biting sequences.

Jessica Alba: The Queen of Free Diving

Jessica Alba's knack for free diving, initiated during her time on “The New Adventures of Flipper”, was evident in her film “Into the Blue”. Her adeptness at rapid deep dives and holding breath for over a minute speaks volumes about her might underwater.

's Impossible Feat

Tom Cruise blew minds by holding his breath for six minutes for a scene in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”. Training for such skill was pivotal for Cruise's portrayal of Ethan Hunt, revealing the lengths he is willing to go for authentic representation.

Chris Hemsworth: Heroics On and Off-Screen

The “Extraction” film highlights Chris Hemsworth's character's exceptional breath-holding skill. This talent is mirrored by Hemsworth in real life, impressing his Instagram followers by comfortably staying submerged underwater.

Sigourney Weaver and Kate Winslet's Stint

While filming the “Avatar: The Way of Water”, Sigourney Weaver held her breath for six minutes and thirty seconds, and Kate Winslet surpassed her by clocking 7 minutes and 14 seconds. Their demand for authenticity clashed with the needs of CGI, which required them to be truly underwater without the interference of scuba gear.

Mabel Cadena's Close Call

Mabel Cadena came close to breaking Winslet's record for “: Wakanda Forever”. Her ability to hold her breath improved drastically in a single day from 30 seconds to six minutes and thirty-five seconds.

While these stars' abilities are impressive, they are outshone by professional diver Budimir Šobat's world record breath hold of 24 minutes and 37 seconds, hinting at the potential of human capability.

So, next time you watch an underwater scene, remember the grit and determination it took for the actor to nail that few seconds of perfect film.

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