Naomi Watts left terrified filming The Impossible

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Based on a true story, this is an account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time.
December 31st, 2012

Naomi Watts relived her near-death experience while filming 'The Impossible.'

The 44-year-old actress stars in the true-story disaster drama about a family's struggle to survive the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, and revealed the disturbing scene where the wave hits brought back memories of almost drowning when she was 14.

She recalled: ''We were emigrating to Australia, and we stopped off in Bali. I wasn't a very good swimmer at that point. I'd been living in England and not spending much time at the beach!

''We [Naomi and her mother] got caught in a rip, and I just got very, very tired. Now I know how to deal with a rip - you don't try to swim to shore, you just let yourself go with the tide. But my instincts were telling me otherwise. I remember getting scared by it and my mum was very scared.''

Naomi's fears came rushing back during production when the actress had to submerge herself in a tank of water being used to recreate the Tsunami, and she admitted she genuinely feared for her life on set.

She told The New Review magazine: ''A lot of it wasn't acting, because you're literally being sucked under, and I was genuinely gasping for air. I couldn't get out, and I thought, 'Oh God, they can't stop it!'

''I remember being quite upset because I thought, 'Maybe they were trying to a trick to make me look more scared. You cannot complain because think about what these people went through.''