'Thirteen Lives' Stars Tom Bateman, Sahajak 'Poo' Boonthankit Detail Intimidating Moments Amid Filming (Exclusive)

Thirteen Lives, the new film from iconic director Ron Howard, recounts the incredible true story of the extraordinarily collaborative global efforts to rescue a Thai soccer team who become trapped in the Tham Luang cave network during an unexpected rainstorm. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, actors Sahajak "Poo" Boonthankit and Tom Bateman, shared details about some of the more "ungraceful" behind-the-scenes moments that took place during the shoot. In the film, Bateman portrays Chris Jewell one of the cave divers who came to assist in the rescue attempts, and Boonthankit plays then-Thai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn.

In addition to Bateman, Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, and Paul Gleeson also play members of the foreign divers who traveled to Thailand to help with the rescue. Bateman revealed he previously had some diving experience, before taking on the role of rescuer Chris Jewell, disclosing he had done "quite a bit" over the years. "I've got my PADI Open Water License, and I've been lucky enough to — it's great, man. You get to travel with work and I can dive all over the world. I'd never done it with a ceiling on top of me. And that is... It's totally different."

He continued: "I thought naively, it would be a pretty transferable skill. Apart from the fact that you are in water and you can breathe in it, there's nothing really similar to it, so it was a really steep learning curve. And onto you're asking the awkwardness of moving around. The most awkward thing I ever found was we got pretty good in the water and it was pretty scary, but we got pretty good. What was always really difficult was when you come to the end, when we came to the end and we have to stand up into the scene and your fins, which were big fins, walking with those things was impossible."

Stating it was "hilarious" because the cast had to look all "graceful and wonderful coming up" from the circumstances their characters had met with but the reality was them "tripping over slowly" on their fins. "I remember treading on Vigo's fin once and he had to sort of getting in and get this line out and I was like, 'Why isn't he going? He was like, 'Tom, you're on my fin, man." So that was pretty ungraceful."

For Boonthankit, he confirmed that portraying Gov. Osatanakorn was an intimidating experience, further explaining how he did not have a chance to meet with the former political figure beforehand. "I just picked what I saw on the news as it... in real-time. But from what I read in the script, the screenplay, William Nicolson did a really great job," he told PopCulture. "Having spoken to a few of the people that had been in the situation, this was, of course, almost four years later, three years later. So they said it was quite, quite accurate. And then I just have to throw in the Thai culture, I think that was easy enough to get it rolling. And last night, I met a few of the people that actually know him and said he would be proud of this portrayal."

Other stars of Thirteen Lives include Weir Sukollawat Kanarot, Pattrakorn 'Ploy' Tungsupakul, Thiraphat Sajakul, Vithaya Pansringarm, Teeradon "James" Supapunpinyo, Nophand Boonyai, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and U Gambira. Howard directed the film from a screenplay by William Nicholson, based on a story written by Nicholson and Don Macpherson. Thirteen Lives is now playing in select theaters and on Prime Video.