Colombian national freediving record holder Alex Llinas was featured this week on ESPN.com for his work training the cast of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” to hold their breath underwater.
The article goes into detail about the work Llinas did to make the actors comfortable underwater. Here’s an excerpt:
Llinas’ job didn’t end with perfecting the actors’ training regimen. Nothing mattered until the scene was captured on camera. Llinas helped actors with positioning, with coordinating the lighting and stunt folks, with getting the props in place — all of this underwater while being prepared in his blue suit to help the actors.
Pete Zuccarini, “Black Panther’s” director of photography, had previously worked with Llinas in underwater commercials, and, as a dedicated freediver himself, had followed Llinas’ competitive journey. He had wanted Llinas for “Avatar,” but the timing hadn’t worked out.
Llinas was perfect for “Wakanda Forever”: He was a world-renowned freediving instructor, which meant he knew how to handle a range of students, some who might already have a lot of experience in the water and some whom he would have to train from scratch. He was an athlete, which meant he could switch from playing the role of a trainer to a stunt double. He also spoke Spanish, which was necessary to communicate with some of the actors.
“I got to watch him adapt rapidly and well,” Zuccarini says. “You have to hold your breath longer than everyone because you have to get down in position before the actor is brought to you, hold the actor, guide the actor, not get in the way of the shot, don’t let any air out. And then when the scene is over, come up and recover and take air.”
Check out the full article here.
You can also check out DeeperBlue.com’s profile of Llinas here.