It’s a good thing Teressa Liane didn’t suffer from galeophobia before starting work on “The Reef: Stalked.” She had enough to worry about just being the star of the movie that filmed almost entirely on the open sea. A fear of sharks would have just compounded her anxiety.

“I never had it and I still don’t in a very real way,” Liane says. “I think if we stay out of their way, they will stay out of ours.”

Had Liane’s theory on dealing with the sea predators been true with the feature film that will be in selected theaters, available via digital platforms and on the streaming service Shudder starting July 29, there wouldn’t have been much happening.

“The Reef: Stalked” is the follow-up film from director Andrew Traucki to his highly acclaimed 2010 feature “The Reef.” A nasty shark does show up when a group of friends go on a kayaking adventure in an effort to heal after a tragic event. Hours into their expedition, the women are stalked and then attacked by a great white shark. They must band together to survive.

Production on “The Reef: Stalked” in Australia was delayed a few weeks last year because of the pandemic. But, once filming started, Liane felt comfortable playing the role of Nic because so much of the movie was shot on the ocean.

The openness of the set was good for COVID concerns but came with its own set of filming problems. Unlike dry land, all of the actors and crew had to deal with the constant movement of the ocean.

“It was something I didn’t anticipate until we were out there,” Liane says. “There were certain scenes that did require grounding which is not possible. So it was just a matter of trying to find ways to connect and hope the emotion comes through.

“You are trying to find this space but are at the whim of the ocean really.”

“The Reef: Stalked” features a very small group of actors. Along with Liane, the cast includes Ann Truong, Saskia Archer and Kate Lister. The fact the small group spent a week together before filming started helped create the kind of bond of friendship that had to come through on screen. Liane found that the scenes that needed to resonate with emotions were easier to play because she already had a deep care for the other performers.

Handling the physicality of the film came relatively easy for Liane who admits to being a tomboy. She was so good at playing basketball when she was a teen that she was scouted to try out for the Victoria State basketball team. Liane opted for an acting career instead.

Her passion for team sports ended up helping her as an actor. Liane knows it takes a concentrated effort by every member of a team – or a cast – to make sure the final result is a winner.

As if the motion of the ocean and emotions was not enough, there was also the real possibility that a few sharks would show up to be uninvited extras in “The Reef: Stalked.” Liane came to the project with no real fear of sharks but did find it slightly unnerving to go to work and see there were people assigned to be on the lookout for sharks.

Terror in “The Reef: Stalked” comes from a very real place. It is far more likely that a person will be attacked by a shark than a man in a ski mask. The fact the film is grounded in so much reality helped Liane find the right emotions to play her character.

“I did find myself sometimes in a scene and realizing that I wasn’t actually needing to dig too deep to have a certain feeling of fear or anxiety,” Liane says. “The moment you are out in the water, there is something so real about the potential of a danger in that moment.

“It definitely does more for you than when you have to dig into your imagination when you are doing something supernatural.”

“The Reef: Stalked” offered some unique challenges for Liane but the majority of the other acting credits for the Australia native are more traditional. Her first big break came with the Australian television show “Neighbours.” That was followed by “Into the Badlands,” “Roman Empire” and “The Spy Who Never Dies.”

Liane is best known for her portrayal of heretic Mary Louise on The CW series “The Vampire Diaries.” Being part of that series really helped Expand the fan base for Liane.”

“The fact is that the viewership is so wide in the range of people who watch it,” Liane says. “I have really met some awesome people who are fans of the show. It changed my life in remembering that the work we do is not just about the work.

“I was reminded that the work we do really gets to people.”