Adapted from the best-selling novel by Lauren Kate, the supernatural drama Fallen tells the story of Lucinda “Luce” Price (Addison Timlin), an ordinary teen girl who ends up at a mysterious reform school after a shocking accident. Once there, Luce finds herself torn between the inexplicable connection she feels with Daniel (Jeremy Irvine) and her attraction to Cam (Harrison Gilbertson), and the fragmented memories that haunt her threaten to shatter everything that she’s ever known.
At the film’s press day, actress Addison Timlin sat down with Collider for this 1-on-1 interview about how she got involved with Fallen, why she related to her character, her favorite aspect of making the movie, the story’s love triangle, and the experience of working with wires and things that aren’t really there. She also talked about joining Season 2 of the Crackle series StartUp, and what draws her to a specific project.
Collider: How did you come to Fallen? Was it just a script and audition that came your way?
ADDISON TIMLIN: Actually, at the time, the script wasn’t released because they were rewriting it or tweaking it. The property of the book was being developed into a film, and Scott Hicks came on, as the director. When that happened, the breakdown of the book was out. The book was available, but I hadn’t yet read it. It first came to me through my agent and my manager saying, “There’s this movie and the director is really great. This is who is casting.” I had a relationship with the casting director, and she wanted me to have a meeting with the director, so I had a Skype meeting with Scott. He wanted to talk to me about the character, the book and the story, and how magical it was to him and how he saw it. I am really, truly a hopeless romantic, myself, and I am also obsessed with past lives, knowing someone from a past life and knowing that right away, when you meet them. I really believe in inexplicable connections with people, and the way your subconscious enters your dreams. Those are themes in life that I’m really fascinated in, so when I was talking to him, I was like, “That seems like a young adult novel series that I could get on board with.” So, I started to read the first book, and then I put finishing reading it on hold for a little while because I was starting the audition process. I knew, really early on into reading the book, that I was seeing myself as this character and I felt like, if I didn’t get the part, I wouldn’t recover from it emotionally, so I had to put it to rest for awhile and just focus on what was in front of me, as an actor, which was just the script. I was trying to keep myself in check a little bit. But then, I just became a fan of the series, like everyone else, once we were making the movies.
Did you eventually continue reading?
TIMLIN: I finished reading the first one while we were shooting, or just before we started. I didn’t want to read further than that and find out a lot of information that I didn’t want to know. I wanted to be in the same headspace that Luce was, without knowing the specifics of their lives together, previously. That’s what’s explored in the following books. I was happy I waited a little bit. But then, when I was reading the second and third book, I was like, “Oh, my god, that’s what they were talking about!” After we finished, I read all of the books within two weeks.
Did your perception of the character change, once you did read the books?
TIMLIN: No. Part of the thing that I related to with her is the wisdom and self-possession that she has, in a way that she’s not totally tapped into or aware of. My mom always said to me, growing up, that I must have had nine lives because I was so old for my age, as a really young child, so my mom putting that idea into my head made me feel a connection to Luce. But as I was learning all of the details, I never felt like, if I’d known something, it would have made me think or feel differently. It was all stuff that I thought it was going to be. It was cool to see that, in all of these different lifetimes, the bones of her soul remain the same.
What was it like to get to explore the moments we see of her in the different time periods?
TIMLIN: We were only doing the flashbacks in small vignettes, but that was my favorite part of making the movie, with the Victorian wardrobe and corsets. That was so cool! We had a lot more that didn’t end up being in the movie, but Jeremy [Irvine] and I had so much fun. We’d be in stitches, looking at each other as these different versions of ourselves. It was really cool! Visually, it was a really beautiful way to tie in these little moments.
When did you get to meet Jeremy Irvine and Harrison Gilbertson and work on the chemistry between your characters?
TIMLIN: When I talk about those two relationships, there’s always this argument of Team Daniel or Team Cam. I’ve always said, without a shadow of a doubt and in such an unwavering way, that I’m Team Daniel. I think they’re both really important relationships. Luce, as a young woman, is still exploring things about herself. Her relationship with Cam is very reflective of her and her rebellious spirit. There’s a level of cheekiness that she has, that he has, so their banter is really easy and it’s really fun to watch. I understand why readers or people who see the movie could go, “This relationship feels fun and exciting to be in. Daniel is not even talking to her!” The kiss between Cam and Luce is exciting, dangerous and fun, but the kiss between Luce and Daniel is a feeling of coming home. That’s the heart of the movie for me. There didn’t have to be any words between them. It’s this invisible string that ties them together. The fact that the both of them just know that and don’t doubt that is really what I think is the most powerful part of the whole story.
What are the challenges of trying to represent a relationship that spans lifetimes, with somebody that you’ve just met?
TIMLIN: Jeremy and I are lucky, in that we’ve both experienced love before, in ways that change who you are, as a person. I think we’ve also both experienced the heartache of losing someone. And we were really open with each other about our experiences. The other thing is that, from the moment that we had our chemistry read and audition process together, and throughout the entire process of filming, Jeremy and I were really good partners. We really took care of each other, and we were really connected and respected one another, as actors and collaborators. The last scene of the movie is the first scene that Jeremy and I shot together. It was funny because we knew where we were ending, so it set the tone for how everything had to build to that, and that was really cool.
How did you work out where the wings would be and how you’d interact with them?
TIMLIN: Yeah, especially the scene when my character, Luce, is first touching them. Scott Hicks, our director, said, “It feels amazing! It’s like pure energy!” I was like, “Okay!,” and I was tracing my finger around because I had no idea. Scott said that, for Jeremy’s character, it feels really good. It’s a part of his body, so it feels nice to the touch. We were just giggling because we had no idea what we were looking at or reacting to. It was supposed to feel good for me and for him, and we were making these sounds. It was pretty funny!
What was it like to see the finished look?
TIMLIN: It was cool because we got to see them in multiple phases. We were both a little bit weary of it seeming really, really cheesy, or taking you out of the story because it was comical or funny. I’m really happy with how they turned out. I think they seem really cool. We were really lucky to have Scott Hicks really pushing for something that felt organic and as real as it could be, in a fantastical world.
How challenging was it to work on wires for this? Is there any way that that isn’t awkward?
TIMLIN: It’s always awkward. It’s also pretty uncomfortable, but it’s definitely much more uncomfortable for men than it is for women because of certain parts that I don’t have. They’re trying to hide pretty bulky harnesses under pretty tight jeans. When it was Jeremy and I together, we’d be harnessed to each other, so even in between takes, we couldn’t unhook from each other. It was good for us to bond, I guess, but it’s never comfortable.
One of the best parts of the film is the friendship between Luce and Pen, and that’s because you can see the genuine friendship between you and Lola Kirke. What was it like to work with her?
TIMLIN: That friendship is very real. Lola and I actually first met each other when we were in high school in New York. We were connected by way of very close mutual friends. We always had a fondness for each other, but we didn’t go to school together, so we didn’t really know each other. The first night that she got to town, we had a four and a half hour dinner, just the two of us, and it was instantaneous. She’s still one of my closest friends. We couldn’t even look at each other for more than 30 seconds without laughing. All of that stuff is real. The tenderness that they have for one another very much comes from a real place with us.
What was it like to work with Joely Richardson?
TIMLIN: She’s just the warmest, coolest lady. She was so fun! She doesn’t take herself very seriously, so she was always having a laugh at herself. She’s so visually intense and magically beautiful. She was a really fun energy to have around on set. I loved her so much.
You’ve joined Season 2 of the Crackle series StartUp (streaming on September 28th), and it looks like a pretty heavy-hitting season. How did you find that experience?
TIMLIN: I binge-watched the 10 episodes of the first season, and then I found myself immediately in the heart of the show, the next day on set, which was so cool. I became such a big fan of the show, right away, and then I was on it, and that’s a really weird experience. I don’t think I’ve ever binge-watched a show, and then found myself in the middle of the set of the show I was watching the night before, surrounded by all of the characters. It was surreal. The actors on that show are really incredible and the story is super fast-paced and really super intense. My character comes in with Ron Perlman. He’s just such a gigantic energy, and his character is quite large, as well. I play his daughter, and it shifts the show into relationships and the challenge of the relationships that these three have. It definitely stirs the pot a bit. I hope we get to do more of that for Season 3. It’s a very cool show!
What sort of character is she?
TIMLIN: Mara is the daughter of a morally complicated and very wealthy and successful businessman who has a lot of grand ambitions of her own. She’s trying to work out who she is, as a person, away from her father. She wants to get out from under his shadow and explore who she is, as a person. Ultimately, she’s a very bright young woman who leads with her heart.
What is it that either draws you to a project, or makes you feel like a project isn’t for you?
TIMLIN: It’s hard to answer that question because, a lot of times, I know it when I see it, but a lot of times, those are jobs that I don’t get. We’re in a very competitive industry, and sometimes the bigger Hollywood things are not so risk takey. I find myself mostly existing in this weirdo indie world, which I feel really comfortable being in. The thing that motivates me the most is to try to do something way different than the last thing that I did. Sometimes it’s fun to circle back to something that I feel I touched on, years ago. I also haven’t really had much experience, until very, very recently, playing grown-ups. I’ve been playing teenagers for a really long time. The first time that I played someone that was married was a couple of months ago.
Fallen is in theaters and on VOD, and will be on DVD on October 10th.