The hero that helped rescue a Thai boys football team after they became trapped underground has hailed Colin Farrell for his diligence as he prepares to play him in a film.
John Volanthen was one of the brave underwater divers that risked his life to save the boys back in 2018.
The team, aged 11-16, had ventured into the cave after a training session in June 2018.
However, a strong downpour left the caves partially flooded and blocked their exit to safety.
The team and their 25-year-old coach were trapped in the cave for a total of 17 days as the authorities struggled to formulate a rescue plan.
All the boys and their coach were eventually returned to safety and Volanthen was one of the key divers in the mission. Two of his fellow rescue divers tragically lost their lives.
The story gained worldwide attention and millions became emotionally involved in the tragic and dangerous event.
The story is now being turned into a film, with Irish star Farrell playing the role of Volanthen.
In preparation for the project, the two men spoke several times online so that Farrell could gain a good understanding of Volanthen’s mannerisms and traits to help him represent him accurately.
Volanthen was impressed by the commitment shown by Farrell and was quick to praise him for his diligence.
He told ITV’s Eamonn Holmes: “I’ve spent a fair bit of time with him on Zoom, and talking to him. And I’ve been impressed by his diligence.
“So, over the time that he was filming, he’s been training to run.
“I do a lot of running and, ultimately, at the end of the filming, he ran the Brisbane Marathon in a very respectable time, which I think is quite diligent for a method actor.”
To have the person you are playing praise your commitment is something all actors hope for, and Farrell will be delighted he has the blessing of Volanthen.
The movie is called Thirteen Lives and shooting has begun in Australia and Thailand. It is being directed by Ron Howard and also stars Lord of the Rings actor Viggo Mortensen.