James Cameron has revealed that he had a near-death experience filming The Abyss.
The 1989 sci-fi hit follows a diving team who come across something mysterious while trying to locate a missing submarine, so much of it took place underwater.
The filmmaker had to go 30ft (90m) down to shoot some scenes and he has shared that on one occasion a blunder saw him getting close to “check-out point”, reported Variety.
Cameron, an experienced diver, explained that he had been running out of air but failed to get the attention of his underwater director of photography.
One of the safety divers spotted him and went over and popped a regulator in the director’s mouth.
However, Cameron said it wasn't checked and was ripped – meaning that when he took a deep breath he took in water rather than air.
“At that point it was almost check-out point and the safety divers are taught to hold you down so you don’t embolise and let your lungs over-expand going up,” said the 69-year-old filmmaker.
“But I knew what I was doing.
"And he wouldn’t let me go, and I had no way to tell him the regulator wasn’t working.
“So I punched him in the face and swam to the surface and therefore survived.”
Cameron also wrote The Abyss, which starred Ed Harris, Michael Biehn and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
Read more: Titanic: 15 things you might not know about James Cameron's romantic classic
It was a big success with critics and movie audiences alike and went on to win an Academy Award for the best visual effects.
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