Emilio Estevez Says Famous Actor Saved Him From Drowning In Quicksand During ‘Apocalypse Now’ Filming

Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

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One of John Mulaney’s most notable bits is a joke about many of the realizations he had after becoming what society considers an “adult,” which includes the fact that quicksand never turned out to be as big of a threat as he was led to believe it would be as a kid.

While many movies and television shows have positioned that peril as a fairly ubiquitous danger, and they’ve made plenty of people (including myself) research what you’re supposed to do if you suddenly find yourself slowly sinking into a sludgy abyss.

Thankfully, the vast majority of us will never end up in a situation where that knowledge comes in handy.

It turns out it’s actually pretty hard to suffer death by quicksand, although Emilio Estevez recently asserted he could’ve befallen that particular fate if it wasn’t for the quick thinking of Laurence Fishburne.

Apocalypse Now is widely regarded as one of the best movies ever made, but one of the multiple masterpieces Francis Ford Coppola has managed to put together was marred by a number of issues that made filming the textbook definition of “production hell,” like

  • Wild tigers stalking the crew
  • Multiple people contracting tropical diseases
  • Prop assistants using actual dead bodies in scenes
  • Martin Sheen having a heart attack
  • Coppola having a seizure after learning Sheen had a heart attack

As a result, it was probably a bad idea for Sheen (whose real name is Ramón Estevez) to invite his 17-year-old son to join him in the Philippines while filming the movie, and it didn’t take long for Emilio to become one of the many people involved to end up in a scary situation while there.

Here’s what The Mighty Ducks actor had to say about what transpired via Deadline:

“Well we had only known each other a couple of days, and this was in the Philippines. He says, ‘Hey there’s this little boat, let’s go out on it,’ and I said, ‘Sure.’

“So we were out on this boat together and we started getting too close to the shore and I said, ‘Well let me jump out, I’ll push us offshore.’

“I jumped out and it was like quicksand mud and I was just sinking… I saw Fishburne looking at me, just saying, ‘Grab my hand!’ He pulled me back up. We were bonded ever since.”

I’m sure Esteves has no shortage of stories he can pull out at parties, but that one has to be near the top.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.