AUSSIE actor Rhys Wakefield, who stars in the new 3D epic underwater adventure Sanctum, describes the film as “man against the elements”.
The film was produced by three-time Academy Award-winning executive producer James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic).
Sanctum follows a team of underwater cavern divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth.
When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea.
Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) has explored the South Pacific's Esa'ala caves for months.
But when McGuire's exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's key team – including 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield) and financier Carl Hurley – is forced to radically alter plans by navigating an underwater labyrinth to make it out.
Soon they are confronted with the unavoidable question: can they survive or will they be trapped forever?
Wakefield said his role was his most challenging so far.
“It was incredibly exhausting,” he said.
“It's such a physical role – I had to learn how to rock climb, do breath holds and scuba dive.”
The former Home & Away star has gone from strength to strength.
After starring in the award-winning Australian film Black Balloon and Broken Hill, Wakefield decided to try to make a name for himself in the US.
This film is a major step in the right direction and with a few projects looming in Los Angeles, Wakefield is a force to be reckoned with.
Even though he could not be happier with his US exposure, he said he missed Australia.
“I miss Oz – I love coming home after time away,” he said.
Being involved in such a highly anticipated international project in Australia was a massive thrill for Wakefield.
He said it was a great feeling to know Australian talent would be viewed on a worldwide screen.
“Everyone was so dedicated to the project – it was a hard slog,” he said.
“But it paid off.
“The film looks great.”
From the first moment Wakefield read the script, he fell in love with it.
“I just loved it,” he said.
“The action and adventure – it is a fun movie.”
The young heartthrob has looked up to Leonardo DiCaprio as a role model since he was very young.
And he hopes to have a sustainable film career just like his hero.
“He (DiCaprio) has made so many great films,” he said.
“If I have half the career he has had, I will be more than happy.”
Wakefield said he would like to continue working both in the US and Australia.
“It would be great to have a balance,” he said.
“But I will be happy as long as I am acting.”
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