By Gerrad Hall
June 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
  • Movie

Like Tom Hanks (Castaway), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), and husband Ryan Reynolds (Buried) before her, The Shallows‘ Blake Lively is joining the relatively small group of actors who have appeared alone on screen for the majority of a movie.

“It was super intimidating, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do it,” Lively told PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview. “An isolation film is, I think, one of the greatest undertakings you can take as an actor because it’s all you, and it seems like a terrible idea, and why would anyone want to watch all you for that long?”

“Then you’re going through this incredibly emotional journey and screaming, crying,” the 28-year-old explains, “then add a bikini element to it all. It just seems like the worst idea ever, which is why I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve to challenge myself, I’ve got to do this.'”

The fact that The Shallows, which opens Friday, is a “sexy, summery movie” isn’t lost on her. But this one, from Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of Orphan and Unknown, is also “a monster movie,” she says. “You should sit there, you should be scared and see the teeth, and throw your Milk Duds, and jump out of you seat. That’s the goal.”

Lively also shared what it was like to dive with sharks, why she foregoes having a stylist, and how she creates a delicious (and manly) burger. To see what Lively says is the secret to her happy marriage to Ryan Reynolds, what she made of recent controversy regarding her “Oakland booty” comment, why The Shallows is her “hardest role” yet, and more, watch the full interview above.

For more from Lively, tune-in to EW Radio (SiriusXM ch. 105) all weekend long.

  • Movie
  • PG-13
release date
  • 06/24/16
  • 87 minutes
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