Interview: Cage Dive star Megan Peta Hill

Megan Peta Hill Cage Dive

Shark films are very much back in the zeitgeist with the success of last year’s The Shallows and the recently released 47 Meters Down, but have you ever seen a found footage shark thriller?

Of course the answer is no, but the wait is almost over with Cage Dive, as a team of divers are stranded at sea after a natural disaster with the small matter of being in shark infested waters.

We got a chance to chat to star Megan Peta Hill about the film –

How did you first hear about Cage Dive?

I first became aware of Cage Dive in 2012 when I was living in Australia. I originally heard about the project through some other actors, and so by the time I was offered an audition I was already really excited to read for it.

Tell us about your character?

Megan is a very outgoing, adventurous and bright person but we meet her at a time in her life where she’s burdened with a very difficult dilemma.  She’s faced with the difficult situation of loving two people at the same time. So that inner struggle and confusion is constantly bubbling underneath the surface. What I love most about her, and what has really stuck with me, is her thirst for life and adventure. She chooses to go on this once in a life time experience, travel the world, and face some of her fears.

The film is quite unique as its the first ever found footage shark film, was this one of the factors that attracted you to the project?

Absolutely. The fresh and original concept really inspired me to work on the film. I definitely find myself drawn to projects that challenge the norm or subvert the expected, and Cage Dive certainly does that. It takes the well-known genre shark film and explores it in a way that’s unique and imaginative.

How much of the film was shot in studios compared to on-location shooting?

Almost the entire film was shot on location, either out in the open water or in rural parts of Australia. I think that the decision to shoot in the real environments has enhanced the audience’s experience of the story. There’s an authenticity that comes with shooting on location that I think has really transpired onto the screen. As actors, we were right there in those harsh conditions, and so the viewers get to be right there battling the waves and the currents and the freezing cold waters with us.

What was your favourite scene to film for Cage Dive?

I feel the need to say ‘spoiler alert’ here haha! One of my favourite scene to shoot was without a doubt when Josh, Jeff and Megan are inside the life raft and discover the safety flares. Megan decides to set off one of the flares into the night sky, and it’s this great moment of hope for the three of them. But honestly, that once in a lifetime opportunity to let off a signal flare was a ridiculously fun experience!

The trailer looks pretty scary, were the attack scenes quite scary to film?

Absolutely. Those scenes were shot in the open water, sometimes in the middle of the night, and so our senses were in a state of high alert – a kind of fight or flight sensation. There was this ominous mood that would creep in among the cast when we were shooting those scenes. Plus, working with such talented actors, you really can’t help but be caught up in the story that we were telling and the reality that our characters were experiencing. So yes, they were quite frightening scenes to film.

But our director also liked to have some fun with us on set too. One night we were out in the ocean and about to start filming, when he started playing the classic ‘Jaws’ soundtrack! I’m not sure if that actually made me more scared or not haha!

Shark films are becoming quite popular again with the success of The Shallows and 47 Meters Down, do you think Cage Dive goes to the next level compared to these films?

I think you can’t really compare the films in that way. They each approach the genre in a unique way, and this renaissance of shark films we are currently experiencing seems to be really connecting with audiences. I do feel that the found footage style of Cage Dives gives viewers a really visceral and raw experience, and it’s exciting to be a part of such a project.

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