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Matthew Modine: 'Everyone should try scuba diving'

The movie star loves life underwater.

Actor Matthew Modine has urged everyone to take up scuba diving, insisting the experience will change your life.

The Full Metal Jacket star, who appears in new shark thriller 47 Meters Down, has been diving since he was 15, and admits life underwater makes people who scuba really appreciate life on land much more.

"We're sitting here breathing and our hearts are beating and we're not really conscious of it," he tells WENN. "In this age where everybody's doing yoga, it's about being in the moment and listening to your breath. And when you put on an aqualung and a bottle of air on your back and go into the water you become acutely aware of your breath and your heart rate and the environment you're in.

"If you're not in the moment and paying attention is when you get in trouble. I encourage everyone, even if you do it in a swimming pool, that it's a great way to become more conscious of living (sic)."

But Matthew is keen to point out he's not a certified diver - just an experienced one.

"It was about $150 to get certified (when I was a kid). I didn't have the money to pay for my certification," he adds. "We put a deposit down and me and my friends took the whole class until the final thing and then we didn't pay because we didn't have any money.

"We took the course enough to learn how to survive under water. We had one friend who was certified because you had to have the card to get your tanks filled and he was the one who would go fill up all the tanks. They were always like, 'Why are you filling up 10 tanks?'

"We'd go to Point Loma in San Diego. We'd meet at the pipe that came out of the cliff. There were always lots of lobsters and abalones in this area and we didn't know until after a couple of years after meeting at the pipe that the reason the water was so warm and there was so much abalones and lobsters was that the pipe was dumping sewage.

"That stopped the scuba diving for a long time when we realised we were swimming around in a soup of poop and pee and gutter stuff! But, man, the lobsters and the abalone were so good!"

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