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'Uncaged' Sistine Stallone: When dad Sylvester literally pushed me into shark-filled waters

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Four teens’ dive takes a deadly turn when they find themselves submerged with massive sharks in “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.”
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures / VVS Films

Sistine Rose Stallone did not need inspiration to act petrified of sharks in her movie debut, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.”

Her father, Sylvester Stallone, planted that fear when he literally pushed her into shark-filled waters during a boat tour off the island of Bora Bora.

The action played out as Sylvester was chumming the waters to attract the reef sharks during the family trip four years ago. He succeeded in attracting the sharks.

“So my dad thought it would be funny to push me in. He fully pushed me in,” Sistine, now 21, tells USA TODAY. “I could see the sharks around me. I had a full-on panic attack.”

To be fair, swimming with the moderately sized reef sharks is a common activity in the Polynesian paradise. But Sistine was prompted to quick movement once she hit the water.

“I didn’t know it was possible to jump 10 feet out of the water, but I managed to,” she says. “I’ve never moved so fast in my life.”

No hard feelings. But once back onboard the boat, Sistine took immediate action against her father.

“I pushed him right in,” she says. “Are you kidding me? If I went in, he’s going in, too.”

The experience has paid off now that Sistine is playing headstrong Nicole, one of four young friends pursued by killer great white sharks in the action-thriller opening Thursday.

Sylvester was on hand for the film’s Los Angeles premiere Tuesday night to see his daughter for the first time onscreen. The action star already takes some credit her effective shark-fearing performance.

“When I bring that story up today, he says, ‘I was just preparing you.’ ” says Sistine. “He acts like he knew the day would come where that would come in handy.”

Sylvester had further advice for his daughter, when he found out that her character would have to – gasp – swim away from an approaching great white.

“He suggested that I talk to the director and rewrite the scene,” says Sistine. “Instead of swimming away from the shark, he thought I should confront and sucker punch the shark. I was like, ‘That is ridiculous.’ But of course he would say that.”

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