HOLLYWOOD – Talented British actor Ben Whishaw is absolutely terrified of Sharks, he revealed to the Studio Exec today.
Although his hi-tech boffin Q is preparing to arm James Bond in the upcoming Spectre, British actor Ben Whishaw has confessed to an irrational phobia of sharks. He popped round to the Studio Exec Penthouse to explain himself more fully.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been morbidly terrified of sharks. If I’m in the ocean swimming and I say the tell tale dorsal fin of a Great White, or a Hammerhead Shark coming in my direction, I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I just begin to shake and my heart starts to race and I get this irresistible urge to get out of the water.
That’s terrible. What do you think caused it?
When I was a child, we would always go on beach holidays to Cornwall, first with my family and then with an elderly aunt. I was swimming with my brother and he started to make the music from Jaws, with his mouth. Du-num, du-num etc. You know John Williams. Of course it kind of freaked me out but just then a shark swam up from the depths and took his leg off below the knee. I don’t know if it was that, or perhaps it was the music but ever since then I’ve really felt uncomfortable being in the water while sharks swim near me.
The 35 year old actor first came to prominence as the poet Keats in Jane Campion’s Bright Star. Since then he has had roles in Cloud Atlas, The Danish Girl and most famously as Q in Skyfall. However, he hasn’t let his debilitating phobia effect his career.
The thing is there are roles I would have to turn down. Sharknado for instance. But even then I hear they use CGI sharks and I’m not at all scared of them at all. I mean they can’t hurt you, can they?
How about socially in Hollywood? How does it feel to be openly sharkphobic?
Elasmophobia is the technical term, but I feel fine about it. Once I opened up about my problem, I was amazed by the flood of support and messages that came from many people who suffer from the same fear. It turns out that almost everybody in Hollywood is elasmophobic except for Gary Busey. There are groups that meet and talk about it and there are even therapists who get you to confront your fears and swim with the sharks, but I don’t think I’m ready for that.