Warner Bros. Pictures
April 06, 2018 at 12:00 PM EDT

In The Meg, Jason Statham plays a diver tasked with rescuing the crew of a deep-sea submersible after it has been attacked by the titular creature, a 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. So, did the Fast and Furious franchise star actually go swimming with sharks prior to shooting director Jon Turtletaub’s movie? Of course he did. He’s Jason bloody Statham!!! 

“On the early stages of the prep, we took a trip to Fiji, and we went diving with some bull sharks,” says the British actor. “They hand-feed them and it’s a spectacular thing to see. These things are three meters in length, huge big things. There were 20 or 30 of these things, and they were hand-feeding [them] big tuna heads, and we got very, very close, and it was a spectacular moment. To swim in close proximity to a big, three-meter shark, is to be recommended to all and everyone.”

And he wasn’t scared at all?

“You know, it’s funny, because you get anxiety when you’re on the boat,” says Statham. “But once you get in the ocean, things take a very different turn. You get very relaxed, and when you’re in their environment, it’s quite a tranquil sort of thing, the anxiety goes away completely. It’s remarkable to experience. All of the fear — or the perceived fear — is done in your own head before you get down there with them. Once you’re swimming down there with all the other divers, it’s phenomenal. It’s one of the greatest experiences you could have, for me anyway. I’m a big SCUBA diver fanatic. Wherever I am in the world, if I get a chance to get in the ocean, I do.”

The Meg costars Winston Chao, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Robert Taylor, Cliff Curtis, Shuya Sophia Cai, and Masi Oka.

The Meg is in theaters Aug. 10. See an exclusive still from the film, below.

Warner Bros. Pictures

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