Robert Redford was terrified of sustaining an injury during the shooting of his new solo movie All Is Lost as it would have forced the entire project to shut down.

The Hollywood veteran plays a man stranded on a yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean and he is the only actor to appear in the film, which is virtually dialogue-free.

The bold move to have just one actor onboard led to huge insurance premiums to cover losses in case Redford, 76, hurt himself in a stunt scene, and director J.C. Chandor admits they all lived in fear of an injury.

Chandor tells the Sydney Morning Herald, "It was very expensive (the insurance) and it hung over our entire shoot.

"Mr Redford and I never really slept well for the entire time, knowing that it would have been a total loss, basically, if something had gone wrong."

The film includes a number of stunts, and Redford's body double was on hand to help make sure the star did not take any risks.

Chandor adds, ''He was a wonderful guy, he was Mr Redford's body double in five or six shots, and all the other times he was there helping me build the sequences so we could do them safely."