Naomi Watts feared for her life when a stunt she was filming in The Impossible went wrong. The incident occured when she was filming an underwater stunt, for the movie, which tells the tale of a family caught up in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami on the coast of Thailand. “Something went wrong technically with the chair they strap you to when they submerge you in the water,” she told The Metro. “It spins you around under water and [the crew] just weren’t able to shut it off at the right point. I couldn’t get out and was really struggling for breath.”

Watts was quick to add that although it gave her a glimpse into the horror suffered by the real victims of the tsunami, she acknowledges that “even this incident was nothing compared to what it was really like.” The movie also stars Ewan McGregor, as her on-screen husband and she reveals that she had something of a head-start on her co-star, as he had never played the role of a parent in a movie before, whereas she had plenty of on-screen and off-screen experience in that respect. “Definitely having been a mother and playing this character, it added a lot of weight to it,” she explained.

Naomi’s two sons, Sasha and Sammy, were onset with her during the filming and she made sure that they were involved in the make-up process when her injuries were being created, so that they were not upset by their mother’s appearance. “They were putting on the chocolate powder for dirt and the blood. They thought that it was incredible fun and they understand that it is all make-believe.” The Impossible is in cinemas now and has been well-received by critics, who have praised JA Bayona’s sensitive but moving treatment of the real-life tale.