Like some of its best predecessors in the genre, Baltasar Kormákur’s new lost-at-sea flick “Adrift” is both an entertaining and agitating drama that toys with your blood pressure and capitalizes on the fear of open water.
Based on the true story of Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp, the movie recounts how the couple sailed directly into the powerful Hurricane Raymond on a trip from Tahiti to San Diego in 1983.
During shoots for the film, which hit theaters Friday, actors Shailene Woodley (Tami) and Sam Claflin (Richard) skipped full meals to accurately portray two very hungry people attempting to survive on a dilapidated sailboat for 40-plus days.
Both Woodley and Claflin followed strict diets of “flavorless food” while filming their scenes at sea in remote locations off the coast of Fiji.
“I didn’t eat dinner for about a month, and our breakfast and lunch was eggs, semisteamed vegetables ― they were mostly raw ― and lamb chops. It was hard to even eat it because it was the same thing [every day],” Woodley told HuffPost in a Build Series interview.
On top of that, the actors endured sea sickness and exhaustion to embody the real-life experiences of Tami and Richard.
It’s this fact, that the stars were pretty much starving and disoriented throughout shooting, that makes one of the film’s least stressful moments so watchable.
Cue the erotic peanut butter scene.
After being adrift for a few days, Tami, desperate for nourishment for herself and a badly injured Richard, decides to venture below deck to scrounge up any food that wasn’t destroyed by the tsunami-sized wave that hit their boat. She discovers a jar of peanut butter among the wreckage ― and absolute ecstasy ensues.
Back on deck with a laid-up Richard, Tami dunks what appears to be her entire hand into the jar of creaminess and sticks it in Richard’s mouth as he moans with joy. Tami enjoys the nutty goodness herself, adding to the already titillating feeding frenzy.
According to Woodley and Claflin, acting wasn’t needed to pull off this scene.
“Balt [the director] hates peanut butter, so we made it as pornographic as we could,” Claflin said. “The orgasmic sounds that we made were so genuine because we just hadn’t had any flavor for like three months.”
“It was just real! It was real,” Woodley exclaimed. “You’ll notice, the amount of peanut butter that I put on my hand to feed him and feed myself is absurd. But it’s because we had an excuse to!”
Kormákur, who was also present during the interview, said he’d overhear the ravenous Woodley and Claflin on set going on and on about one thing and one thing only: junk food.
“I’ve been in this kind of circumstance where you mostly hear [actors] talking about their landscape artist or the villas they’re going to buy at the end of the job. They’re just talking about simple food. Just a cheeseburger! That was their biggest dream,” he laughed.
Woodley agreed, explaining that aside from the underwater scenes she was looking forward to, she was constantly daydreaming about forbidden grub.
“I was looking through photos that [Sam and I] sent each other back and forth while we were filming,” Woodley said, “and there was about 30 in a row of just these hi-fi, Instagram screenshots or Google searches of ice cream sundaes and cheesecakes and pancakes.”
Luckily, there was one vice Woodley allowed herself during the grueling six-week water shoot.
“When you don’t eat, you have so much adrenaline running through your body from the day that I would just have to down a glass of wine to pass out,” she said. “That was my dinner every night!”
Watch the full interview with Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin and Baltasar Kormákur below. “Adrift” is out now.