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Something in the Water Star Lauren Lyle Talks Shark Thriller and Outlander

Something in the Water Star Lauren Lyle Talks Shark Thriller and Outlander

A swank Caribbean destination wedding suddenly turns disastrous in the action thriller Something in the Water. Directed by Hayley Easton Street and written by Cat Clarke, the gripping battle-for-survival tale recalls the jump-seat scares found in Fall and 47 Meters Down. Like those films, Something in the Water revolves around several women fighting for their lives as they battle brutal twists of fate in a natural environment.

But there’s some humor in this film (and sharks). The emotionally fraught story revolves around Meg (Hiftu Quasem of Ten Percent), who agrees to attend her friend Lizzie’s (Outlander’s Lauren Lyle) in the tropics, along with pals Cam (Nicole Rieko Setsuko) and Ruth (Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart). The arrival of Meg’s former partner, Kayla (Natalie Mitson), triggers Meg as the two survived a traumatic event in the past. When the ladies take a girls’ day out on the water, none of them could have predicted the terror that awaits them.

In this exclusive MovieWeb interview, Lauren Lyle opens up about the new thriller, returning to the eighth and final season of Outlander, working with Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker on the upcoming miniseries, Toxic Town, and much more.

A Different Kind of ‘Jaws’

Something in the Water movie poster with shark

Something in the Water (2024)

Release Date
May 3, 2024

Hayley Easton Street

Hiftu Quasem , Lauren Lyle , Natalie Mitson , Nicole Rieko Setsuko , Ellouise Shakespeare-Hart

1h 26m

Cat Clarke


Samuel Goldwyn Films

Audiences know Lauren Lyle from Outlander, where she played Marsali MacKimmie Fraser opposite César Domboy (Fergus). The married couple was last seen in Season 6 of the popular Starz drama. (More on that in a moment.) She also turned heads as the main star in the stirring detective seriesKaren Pirie, garnering two BAFTAs — Best Television Actress and Audience Award for Favorite Scot on Screen. By the looks of it, Lyle is surfing a great wave of success.

In Something in the Water, the waves are filled with danger. Lyle’s character, Lizzie, is a few steps away from being Bridezilla, anyway, and her girls’ day trip just pushes her over the edge. When one of her friends gets attacked by a shark, suddenly, Lizzie and her pals must fend off the unpredictable creatures. Funny enough, Lyle says that when she was approached about the project, she was told it was “Jaws meets Bridesmaids.” She added:

“That’s how they described it at the beginning. When we were auditioning, that was sort of the vibe they were trying to go for — this gang of girls, and they were all a bit mad and silly, and this mad bride. Then yes, obviously
… it kind of goes a bit wrong.”

Lyle has seen Jaws, in fact, noting: “I love Jaws, although Jaws is apparently the worst propaganda ever for sharks. I’ve been told that apparently sharks… no one was afraid of them, but [the movie] was the thing that really kicked off the propaganda for being so afraid of sharks.” To that end, there’s an underlying message in this film beyond the high drama, and it’s this: The ocean is home to sharks and human beings are entering their territory. There’s a touch of environmental stewardship tossed in for good measure, but mostly Something in the Water is about the five women who ultimately become abandoned at sea, and what they do to survive.

Big Water Tank, Fake Sharks

Director Hayley Easton Street shot the film in the Dominican Republic, using special ocean tanks to keep water scenes safe, contained, and controllable. “Wave machines are just pummeling waves at you, and [the filmmakers] are going, ‘You can just try and stay in the same position.’ And we’re all going, ‘We’re in the water. How?’ So, we all start moving, and you move, and you move, and then all of a sudden, ‘cut,’ and it [the water] drops off into the extreme depths.”

The actors were also surprised by the water temperature. “I had this idea that we were going to be in the Dominican Republic, this beautiful beach, and the whole time in the water,” Lyle added. “You think it’s going to be 38 degrees [Celsius]. So, we’re going from extreme heat in the morning to being put into the water for like 16 hours a day, and it’s actually really brutal… cold. You force yourself in. You’ve got all the crew around you in wetsuits, so they’re sort of insulated, and we were all in teeny, little outfits.”


The 10 Most Thrilling Ocean Movies of All Time

Whether fantastical or based on real events, the sea is often a harsh mistress on film.

To make the “sharks” look believable, she said, “We literally had a man with a shark fin strapped to his back and he’d go under the water in what they called an underwater scooter, and he’d just zoom around. And occasionally he’d come up behind you, and it freaked me out.”

Lauren Lyle on Returning to Outlander

Lauren Lyle as Marsali in Outlander

“Prepare for tears,” Lauren Lyle says of the eighth and final season of Outlander, which will premiere in winter 2025. “You’ll cry loads… they have not held back on giving you some drama, and it’s the last go, so stuff kicks up for the final time.” She continued:

“So, I am back. I’ve shot some already. I can’t tell you what I’ve shot. There has been a clip released of me back on set on my first day,
and I’m not pregnant, which is really nice, because my character is perpetually pregnant
. So that’s quite nice. We’ve got some of the original kids that have always played my kids.
It’s been really cool to come back
. I wasn’t sure if I ever would because I’ve been away for a bit now, doing my detective show,
Karen Pirie
, which has been going really well.”

“But Outlander has been such a huge part of my life and Marsali has been such a formative character and role for me in my life,” she went on. “I feel like I’ve really grown up with her and I love her. I think she’s badass, and really unlike a woman of her time.”


Outlander: The Best Relationships in the Series, Ranked

Here are the best relationships in Outlander, ranging from romantic to familial and even friendship.

“It’s also quite emotional to be able to say goodbye to the character,” Lyle said of playing Marsali, who is Claire and Fergus’s daughter-in-law. “It’s a huge end of an era. It’s one of the biggest shows in America… no one knew that it would be as big as it became. I couldn’t believe the fan base I was stepping into when I joined, and it’s totally changed my life. I felt like I owed it to the fans. I felt like I owed it to myself and my career a little bit to say goodbye. I’m thrilled to be doing that.”

Unpacking Toxic Town, an Upcoming Netflix Miniseries

A split image of Lauren Lyle, Jodie Whittaker, and Aimee Lou Wood, the cast of Toxic Town

In the meantime, there’s Toxic Town. Lyle stars in the upcoming four-part Netflix British drama from writer Jack Thorne. The story tracks the tragic toxic waste case in the East Midlands, focusing on three mothers wanting justice for the high rates of upper limb defects in babies born in the town of Corby. Rory Kinnear (Men, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education), Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones), and Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker. Lyle added:

Jodie is brilliant. She’s mad
. She’s such a good fan. She told me the story of how she got
Doctor Who
and how she was sworn to secrecy around getting it.
She wasn’t even allowed to tell her agent
. She really did keep herself secret, and then she thought she was going in for a final interview, and it wasn’t, it was the offer.”

Lyle went on to note about Toxic Town: “It’s a really fascinating story that no one really knows about. I’m playing a real person. I’ve got some amazing ’90s power suits that I get to wear the whole time. It’s very different, it’s quite glam. It’s a different character to what I’ve played before.” Watch this space for updates. In the meantime, catch Something in the Water, which hits theaters May 3. Watch the trailer below.

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