Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘Wakanda Forever’ Freediving Trainer Alex Llinas Featured On ESPN


Colombian national freediving record holder Alex Llinas was featured this week on 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’s profile of Llinas here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.