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Exclusive Interview – Grace Caroline Currey – FALL

The “Fall” Gal

Grappling with a killer doll in Annabelle: Creation or supervillains in the Shazam! movies was easy-peasy compared to the death-defying scenario actress Grace Caroline Currey endures in the Lionsgate survival thriller Fall, opening in theaters this Friday.

In the nail-biting film, directed by Scott (Heist) Mann, the 26-year-old Currey plays Becky, whose husband died in a mountain-climbing accident (seen in the film’s tense prologue). Looking to overcome her grief, Becky agrees to accompany thrill-seeking friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) in scaling a 2,000-foot TV tower out in the California desert. When the ladder collapses, the two daredevils are trapped atop of the rusty tower, at the mercy of the elements, starvation, and pesky vultures. In this exclusive interview, Currey recounts the lensing of the pulse-pounding Fall.

If you didn’t have vertigo before you started this film, do you have it now?

[Laughs] Thankfully, I did not have it before, and I don’t have it after. I don’t think I could have shot Fall if I had vertigo.

How did your dance background help with the part?

Ballet is such a technically specific form of dance, and there is so much discipline required that it really helped. And it was something that I eagerly discussed with Scott early on. When I read the script, I recognized that Becky and all that she goes through was gonna require a lot of discipline on my part, as far as mapping out her emotional journey. Plus, being cognizant of where she is in space in the story, considering we’re mostly on one location on the tower. It was a lot of mental gymnastics to keep track of her as a character, but the ballet background and having that foundation was really helpful for all the stunts that we did. Stunts are very choreography-heavy. So, being able to understand choreography and then execute it, ballet was really handy.

You had to be pretty gutsy to take on this role. Any second thoughts while you were shooting when you got into some of the intense stuff?

What’s pretty wild is we were on a 2,000-foot cliff and then on the edge of that cliff…so dangerous. On the edge of that cliff was a hundred-foot tower. It was so immersive. I didn’t have any hesitation because when we climbed up to the top of that tower for the first time, I just got overcome with emotion at the concept of getting to act in such an environment with so much real texture, which you just don’t always get as an actor. So, if anything, I fell in love looking at the views and felt incredibly blessed to be in that situation to tell the story.

What made you want to do your own stunts in some scenes? Obviously, you could have had a stunt person do them.

I was forced [laughs]. I think curiosity, coming from an athletic background and in general, being a bit of an old movie nerd myself, it’s always exciting when you hear that the actor did a stunt themselves. Scott was definitely referencing Tom Cruise the whole time we were shooting. And the environment was very conducive to challenging myself and seeing what I was made of. We had such amazing professionals present that I felt safe, and I trusted them to try some crazy things.

Your character only had to contend with the vultures, but while shooting, didn’t some other animals and insects prove to be a menace?

Oh, gosh, did they. Scott encountered a snake when he first scouted the location, which I didn’t hear about until later. He didn’t want Ginny and me to know that there were snakes about. We had a flying ant infestation because our tower was built on top of a flying ant nest. All it took was a beautiful desert rain to activate that nest, and we had a sheet of flying ants around the tower. And that was after the bee infestation. The bee infestation came first. And then there were the mice; Ginny and I would see droppings on our bags and some evidence of mice, but we never saw them. Then one night shoot, there they were, doing a little ballet on our stuff. So, when I say it was immersive, it was immersive.

I assume the vulture was an animatronic?

No, it was not an animatronic. We had a real vulture on set. There’s just something about a wild animal. Granted there’s a trainer, and maybe you could argue that it’s not a wild animal, but it is by nature a wild animal. And they are huge birds. You can’t help but have respect for them. If anything, I was a little starstruck by the vulture [laughs].

What could be considered a key scene is not shown. Remaining spoiler-free, why was that?

Sometimes you just need to get to the point. You don’t need to show how the character went up the stairs to get to the room upstairs for their next scene. Right? You just get them in the room already.

What was the toughest scene to shoot?

All of ’em [laughs]. There were just so many different variables every single day. Every single person on set was having to be mentally, emotionally flexible for whatever we encountered. There definitely was a lot of grit amongst everyone present. We wouldn’t have a movie if that wasn’t the case. But gosh, one of the most difficult was holding onto the pole when Becky is trying to charge the drone. I was out there in the sun heating up for hours. And at times there would be really strong winds, which was nice, but then it would knock me around, which required a lot of arm and leg strength to stabilize myself in the scene. So, I wasn’t just swinging around on the pole. I guess the hardest part was doing an acting job that required emotional vulnerability, while practically working out at the gym every day with all the stunts.

You never actually got to meet your father in the film, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, while shooting because you were sick with COVID and a stand-in had to take your place. Have you met him since?

Still haven’t met him [laughs]. He works with [my Shazam! co-star] Cooper Andrews from The Walking Dead. And so when we were shooting the most recent Shazam!, I said to Cooper, “I’d love to meet him.” And he was like, “Do you want to?” And I said, “Yeah!” But I was so busy on set, I didn’t get a chance to meet him. But yeah, pretty crazy.

Tony Timpone