James Cameron Could Have Died While Filming The Abyss

James Cameron’s near-drowning was just a fraction of an extremely difficult shoot. Ed Harris also nearly drowned while filming the movie, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio walked off the set due to shooting conditions and is reported to have suffered a physical and emotional breakdown due to 70-plus hour weeks required by filming. Harris told Entertainment Weekly in 2016 that during the climatic scene in which his character tries to rouse Mastrantonio’s back to life by shaking, shouting at, and slapping her, the camera ran out of film and no one called cut on the take. This understandably upset Mastrantonio, who walked away while exclaiming, “We’re not animals.”

“We were guinea pigs, in a way, Jim wasn’t quite sure how this was all gonna go down,” Harris told EW. But apparently he holds no grudge against Cameron for the experience, as he praised the director’s genius in the same interview, and “The Abyss” has gained a positive reputation as one of James Cameron’s best movies.

For those who missed out on the film when it was first released, you can catch the remastered version of “The Abyss” in theaters for one day only on December 6, buy the film in digital on December 5, or snag it for the first time on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray on December 12.

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