Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for RadioFree.com
August 10, 2022

With time running out, two friends face long odds and perilous heights in the survival thriller Fall.

After being unable to move past the loss of her husband to a freak climbing mishap, grieving young widow Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) is convinced by her adventurous bestie Hunter (Virginia Gardner) to confront the trauma of the accident by participating in an extreme act of catharsis: scaling an abandoned 2,000-foot radio tower. But when the resourceful duo becomes stranded at the dizzying apex of their challenge, they must overcome harsh elements, dwindling resources, and an emotional revelation to escape their dire predicament.

Effectively tapping into a near-universal sense of acrophobia, director Scott Mann's Fall favors a surprisingly practical approach in the filming of its treacherous heights, eschewing many of the green screen digital effects audiences may expect from an independent production.

In this exclusive interview, Grace Caroline Currey talks about her experience on the ambitious project, from her collaboration with co-star Virginia Gardner to their intense working environment in the California desert. She also takes a moment to reflect on an early acting credit, preview her role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and share a story at the heart of her recent name change.

Fall is now playing in theaters.

RadioFree.com: How would you characterize your own tolerance for thrill-seeking activities such as mountain climbing, bungee jumping, canyon swinging, and skydiving (basically, anything where you could kill yourself by not doing it properly)?

GRACE: I would say it's not something I do! [laughs] I mean, filming Fall felt a little bit like a thrill-seeking activity.

How are you with heights?

I am "okay." I do get a little queasy and my palms start sweating if I don't feel safe at a high height. [laughs] So it's a gamble.

Even if you weren't strapped to the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower to Tom Cruise your own stunts, I'm guessing you and Virginia were still at a considerable height, especially for the climbing and swinging scenes. What sort of set was built, and how high off the ground were the two of you working?

Scott Mann scouted a 2,000-foot cliff in the desert outside of Victorville, in the summer, when it was just the hottest, roughest time. [laughs] And we had some engineers build this 100-foot tower on top of that cliff, so that when Ginny and I are up on that top of the tower, you get these incredible views that you would get if you were 2,000 feet up. But oh my goodness, we were up there. We were in stunt harnesses, of course, to be safe, which was a huge part of me building confidence in being that high up. But I do think I was a little crazy shooting this, because I wanted to play Becky so badly. I didn't feel the fear very frequently, because I just was geeking out over getting to film it so practically. Like, it was an actor's dream.

When a script like this comes your way and excites you, does it immediately register that you'll be dealing with extreme heights, or is that something that dawns on you later? Are there negotiations beforehand about what will and won't be done?

I did consider that I would be dealing with heights, but I also didn't know what approach [would be taken], because a script can be made many different ways in the hands of different directors, right? And so when I met with Scott and he said he wanted to do it practically, and they were actually building the tower...I mean, words like that make me emotional, because I just go, [gasps] "Oh, this is going to be fun!" And I don't care if I get scared, this is my dream, to do these sort of extreme acting experiences. It's not something I seek out in my real life, but if it's for a character and it's a scenario...Oh my goodness, I'm in! But no, there's not a ton of negotiation. I mean, a director's vision is a director's vision. I will say as far as stunts go, we were never forced to do stunts. It was always something that was offered to us. And if anything, I was getting giddy to do them and asking, "Can I try? Can I do it?" And I think by the third stunt I did myself, it started to become expected--you know, "Could we get Grace out here? Let's see, how does this go, how does she feel?" And I was like, "Let's do it, let's roll! I'm in!" [laughs]

Did you film the story relatively in sequence, so that the physical toll of the heat in the California desert would parallel...

[starts shaking her head no and laughing]

...your character's experience? No? [laughs] So what happened? Was it a case of filming the last scene first?

Oh, it was all out of order! And even when there was a plan to shoot certain scenes, because of the insanity of the weather we were dealing with and all sorts of predicaments we got ourselves into, we oftentimes had surprise scenes, where Scott was like, "We can't shoot this, we need to shoot this [other scene]. Surprise, Ginny!" or "Gracie Grace, we're going to do this scene instead." And so Ginny and I, over lunch, would be drilling lines. One of the scenes specifically is when we're doing the "phone drop challenge." Hopefully there's no spoilers here, but, you know, that's about a 7-page scene that Scott said, "We actually need to do this one today." And Ginny and I looked at each other, and we were just drilling those lines back and forth.

From the way you speak about her, I'm getting a very "partners in crime" vibe in your dynamic with Virginia...

Oh yeah! I mean, we were kind of each other's "set spouses," if you will. You know, we would drive to set because it was like a 45-minute drive from Victorville, where we were staying. So we would commute there, and then drive back at the end of a long day, and we'd kind of share our stories, once we were off set, of how we felt the day went. And oftentimes at the end of the day, we'd go back to one of our rooms to rehearse the scenes for the next day.

You've done so many types of horror throughout your career: survival horror with Fall, supernatural horror with Annabelle: Creation, and family comedy horror with Vampire Dad. But before all these films, you had a recurring role as a child actor on the mystery series Ghost Whisperer. Was that your introduction to the genre, or did you have an appreciation of it from an even earlier age?

I would say Ghost Whisperer was my introduction to the genre. But even then, I never thought of [my character] as interacting with ghosts. I was always thinking about [it as] interacting with a person, because for Melinda on that show, she sees them--to her, it's a person standing right in front of her. And even though I was really young, my imagination was running wild. [laughs] But yeah, Ghost Whisperer would have been it.

Your roles in Fall and the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods both obviously require a certain level of physicality. Did you film the two projects fairly close together, and did the training for one help with the other? And how does your background in ballet support all of that?

I think with being a ballet dancer, there's a certain mental grit that's required, and a desire to conquer something, even if you can't get it. Because so much of ballet is aiming for improvement and succeeding at a step. So whenever there's a stunt that comes my way, my brain just goes into total dancer mode--I'm thinking about the technicality and all the different physicality of it. But what was really special was working on Fall, I was in a harness so much, and doing so many stunts, that when I got to Shazam and I got to be in the suit, I didn't feel intimidated at all. So that was a pretty sweet carryover. And there wasn't too much time in between. I mean, we had to do a stunt pickup for Fall right before I actually left to film Shazam, so I was playing Becky right up to it!

After being credited as Grace Fulton for the majority of your career to date, we're now starting to see your name as Grace Caroline Currey to reflect your recent marriage. Is there a story behind why you chose to also go with your middle name?

I think it's something that I've been really attached to since I was a little girl. I used to tell my mom that I didn't want to go by Grace Fulton. I wanted to go by Grace Caroline when I was really little. For some reason, I thought Fulton was very masculine, and I was like, [swoons] "I want to be Grace Caroline!" I don't know. [laughs] But I think it was just a sweet thing for me to have that present, for me to kind of tell my story of where I've been and where I'm going.

Well, Grace Caroline, thank you for your time today, it's very much appreciated!

Oh, thank you so much! Bye!

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