Fall, the latest film by filmmaker Scott Mann, is one of the best movies I have seen all year. In fact, it might be one of the best of the last few years. Very rarely does a movie make me sit on the edge of my seat, hands gripping the armrest, yelling, “Nope!” at the screen. Fall did all of these things and more. It shot my anxiety through the freaking roof. I have been telling everyone who will listen to go watch this movie.
To celebrate the release of the film, I chatted with stars Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner about filming the movie on a mountain with no green screen, preparing for their own stunts, what’s up next, and more!
PopHorror: I loved Fall so much. Thank you for making a film that made me feel so uncomfortable and actually had me on the edge of my seat. Thank you for making such an amazing movie.
Grace Caroline Currey: That’s awesome to hear. Wow! That’s the best reaction. That’s what we want, to make people uncomfortable.
PopHorror: You succeeded! What intrigued you about the script, and made you want to be a part of the project?
Grace Caroline Currey: For me, I read the script, and my palms started sweating. I was like, “If this is what’s happening to me reading this thing, like what are audiences going to experience seeing this in the theater?” It was so exciting. And then Scott [Mann], our director, told us that we were going to be filming this with practically no green screen, no CGI, in the desert on the top of a 2,000 foot mountain on top of a 100 foot tower. We were doing the film practically. I thought, “What an incredible physical challenge, mental challenge.” As an actor, so much is green screen now. It was like finally, we get to interact with the real environment. It makes our job so much easier and exciting. All those things really attracted me to the project.
Virginia Gardner: I was really enthralled by the idea of getting to play a character from start to finish with such a long range. She’s starting in one place, and she ends in a totally different place. All that happens in between to get her to that place is really brutal and physically challenging and challenging. I was a little afraid of what the task was, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it, which made me want to do it as almost like a thrill-seeking actor myself. I was like, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to do this, but let’s see.” I want to find out.
PopHorror: That is incredible that there was no green screen. It looked so real. That’s one thing that made it stand out from some other movies like that. That’s so incredible. I know it also had to be physically demanding for you. How did you prepare for your role?
Grace Caroline Currey: We had a tiny bit of time to train. This was the pandemic though, and we were one of the first projects to come back, so we were in quarantine mode. We just really needed a trainer to come and make sure that our bodies were going to be somewhat conditioned, since we were climbing and doing stunts. There’s a wear and tear when you’re out there climbing a ladder for hours on end and hanging from things. I got very ripped by the end of our shoot. Ginny looked at me one day and goes, “Dude, you’re like, ripped.”
Virginia Gardner: Her arms had gotten jacked. I was like, “Hell yeah, girl!” It was great.
Grace Caroline Currey: We did have trainers right beforehand, but so much of it was the slow, steady buildup of being on set, doing stunts, getting comfortable with that stunt. Kind of understanding how it worked. Then the next day with a new stunt happening, and us going, “Okay, I kind of got the gist of how this works. We’re being dropped even farther, but I’ve been dropped. I’ll drop farther. Let’s go!”
PopHorror: I was impressed by your upper body strength. For both of you, that was impressive. What were the challenges of filming in mostly one location?
Virginia Gardner: We had so many challenges on this thing. We had days where the wind was so intense, we had 60 mile an hour winds at times, that we couldn’t film because the camera would shake and the tower would start to shake and it just wasn’t safe for us to be up there. So we had delays because of the wind. At one point, we had a flying ant infestation. Swarms of these flying ants coating the tower to where you couldn’t put your hands on the bars because it was just these bugs everywhere. And there’re actually scenes in the film that if you look closely, you can see them on the back of my head. We were just coated. I got stung by bees in the middle of takes. We had a bee infestation. We had a thunderstorm come through that shut us down, and we had set pieces flying. We just got hit by every challenge that you could imagine, but it really did lend itself to the camaraderie and kept us on the edge of our seats while filming this thing. It ended up, in a strange way, working in our favor as actors that we had all of these elements working at once.
Grace Caroline Currey: Yeah, a lot of camaraderie.
PopHorror: I like that you mention the camaraderie because not giving spoilers, but I would not have helped my friend after the big reveal of what had happened, although I like that the film still focused on their friendship and them helping each other. What is up next for you both?
Grace Caroline Currey: I have Shazam! 2 Fury of the Gods, that’s coming out in December, so I’m super excited for that. I got to be in a super suit, so I am kid version and superhero version, and I got to be in a harness for that as well. It was kind of fun doing Fall and then Shazam. I was like, “I’ve got this. This is a piece of cake. I’m so happy. There are no bugs. This is so nice.”
PopHorror: That’s awesome!
Virginia Gardner: I just did a very fun project—based on a book series called Beautiful Disaster—that they’re now making into a film. They’re very much R-rated comedies. It’s Dylan Sprouse and I, who is just fantastic, and our director, Roger Kumble, who did Cruel Intentions and Just Friends. Really incredible comedies. It’s so much fun. And then I did another film called See You in Venus. It’s a really heart-warming story that I won’t give too much away. Definitely a little bit lighter and a very different direction than Fall. It’s not nearly as intense as Fall.
PopHorror: I am recommending Fall to everyone I talk to. It blew my mind.
Virginia Gardner: Thank you!
PopHorror: I just have one last question for you both. What is your favorite scary movie?
Virginia Gardner: I’d go Hereditary. Hereditary like… That messed me up for… I still can’t look up at my ceiling, at the corners of my ceilings, sometimes at night because I think of that one scene. That movie really stuck with me.
Grace Caroline Currey: That’s a great one. Mine’s kind of a weird one. There’s a movie called Hostile with Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike. It’s actually kind of a western period piece. But Christian Bale has talked about it being a horrific film because of what they’re enduring and what they’re going through in the wild west. I feel that. There’s just this heavy blanket the whole time you’re watching it. Like, “Are you going to be okay? This is, like, a lot.” Yeah, that’s my favorite.
Thank you so much, Grace and Virginia, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to check out Fall, in theaters now!