(L-R) Actors Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell, Co-Showrunner Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Actor Aaron Moten

(L-R) Actors Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell, Co-Showrunner Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Actor Aaron Moten
| Photo Credit: Anna Webber/Getty Images for Prime Video

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that we are on the cusp of a new era of live-action video game adaptations. With Halo Season 2 just ending its run, we have Borderlands, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Return to Silent Hill, The Witcher Season 4 and more eyeing for release in 2024 before The Last of Us Season 2 makes its entry in 2025. But if there is one title that is certainly creating all the buzz among video game enthusiasts, it’s Prime Video’s upcoming series adaptation of Fallout, one of the most beloved sci-fi video games. Premiering on April 11, the series created by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner hails from executive producers and iconic sci-fi television filmmaking duo, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

Told over eight episodes, Fallout is advertised as an epic post-apocalyptic series made with the best filmmaking technology. Set in a futuristic world reeling from a nuclear war, it takes the viewers into the barren Wasteland and tells a story from the eyes of Lucy, a ‘Vault Dweller,’ one of those privileged sections of survivors who took refuge in fallout bunkers. Lucy steps out into the Wastelands with a mission and having been raised in a shelter cut off from reality, she is forced to take re-stock of the foolhardy idealism and kindness she had believed in all her life. Lucy’s journey is interspersed with that of Maximus, a squire of a technocratic military order called Brotherhood of Steel, who vows to find his true identity as he takes on a journey of no return.

Ella Purnell as Lucy in a still from “Fallout”

Ella Purnell as Lucy in a still from “Fallout”
| Photo Credit:
Prime Video

Actors Ella Purnell and Aaron Moten, who play Lucy and Maximus, respectively, can’t wait to speak about their reactions while stepping into these huge sets, their takeaways from playing these roles and the journey they had in bringing to life this beloved game

Excerpts:

Ella, have you played the ‘Fallout’ video game and what was your reaction knowing that you are a part of an IP that has such global popularity?

It’s really exciting. It can definitely be a little bit daunting knowing that you’re going into something that is so well loved because you want to do it justice and you want the fans of the game to like the show. I knew of the games and asked Jona (Nolan) which one I should play. And he said ‘Fallout Four’ and I gave it a try. I wasn’t great at it; I died a lot of times (laughs). I quickly realized that my character wasn’t in the games and I realised the show is a separate thing that exists within the universe. But it was still really cool to get to know the props, sets, costumes and so on.

Aaron, I hear you are a huge fan of the game…

I haven’t played the game but I have spent a lot of time watching people play it on Twitch. Our characters are original to this story in the world that we’re telling and so this is very exciting to get the introduction, visually, to the world and to see the scope of it.

When they begin their journeys, Lucy and Maximus don’t know much about the Wastelands and are exploring much of it for the first time. What was so captivating for you both about stepping into these huge sets and understanding the world that you are creating?

Aaron: Howard (Todd Howard; Fallout video game designer and an executive producer on the series) did a wonderful job with our scenic designs. So, it was often these incredible elements, whether it’s something small like these barrels on the side that you’ve actually seen in a game or the incredible town of Philadelphia that’s been created for this series. There’s something that gives you ‘awe’ when you walk out onto a set for this series.

As an actor, you have to imagine many things but when so much of it has been taken care of with so much detailing — of course, you get to imbue things with maybe some history to them — you feel right at home and ready to go.

Ella: It was a very humbling experience. Jona (Nolan) likes to work with everything as real and practical as possible. So there’s not that much green screen and it’s such a treat as an actor to be able to work like that and react in real-time. I remember the first time I put on the Vault Dweller suit and just really feeling the gravitas of that moment — the responsibility but also the honour of being the first person to be able to play this part in this way.

Power Suit and Aaron Moten (Maximus) in a still from “Fallout”

Power Suit and Aaron Moten (Maximus) in a still from “Fallout”
| Photo Credit:
JOJO WHILDEN

From being a bullied squire, Maximus goes on this incredible journey to find his identity and it’s exciting to see how his arc is set to unfold. What was your biggest takeaway from this experience of playing the role?

Aaron: I’m continuing to learn from playing him how important it is to be present in the moment with your other actors. The first big conversation that Jonathan, Graham, Geneva and I had together was about how to create this person who is struggling with a lot of different ideals in their head and trying to find themselves; and how to craft different things at different times and elements so that when we get back to putting it all together, we get to see something that I can also relate to when watching it. Like, yeah, Maximus is putting something on here; he’s trying to be something that maybe he doesn’t feel like he is. But, oh, he’s naturally that in this moment. Like, he can be heroic and he can be a total coward. And I think we all could relate to that in our daily lives.

Ella, in the series, Lucy steps into this town and gets unsettling stares from people, who she realises may not be as kind as she assumed them to be. Your reaction there, looking around at the town and the folk, instantly reminds one of the many situations in our world, particularly faced by women, where one is made to feel intimidated, unsafe and vulnerable. Did you channel any real-life experiences from our world in that scene or in playing Lucy?

Ella: What’s funny is that I know the exact moment you’re talking about. Jonathan, interestingly, didn’t let me see that set the whole time. They were building it, we were rehearsing and talking about the scene but he didn’t let me see it! And then, instead of doing the wide shot, that he wanted to start with, he did a mid-shot with a Steadicam and caught my reaction while walking around and seeing the town for the first time. So that was live and that was the first time I was seeing that set. And he was like, ‘Okay, so where you can see the New York skyline… that doesn’t exist, that’s the Wasteland. Don’t look at that. Okay, just look at everything else. I won’t tell you what, but just look at it.’ And it was really fun. I love to be kept on my toes. And there wasn’t time to think about anything, because that reaction was like… ‘I can’t believe they built this in the back of a studio in New York,’ and all of the actors, the background, the costumes, and people wearing earrings made of birds’ skeletons. Every tiny detail of that set had so much to look at.

Jonathan Nolan and Ella Purnell on the sets of “Fallout”

Jonathan Nolan and Ella Purnell on the sets of “Fallout”
| Photo Credit:
JOJO WHILDEN

And I assume that helped you in emoting more authentically as Lucy …

Yes, about Lucy’s first reactions at being treated unkindly…no one’s ever been rude to Lucy before. She comes from a community where everyone cares about each other. They believe in doing the right thing. What I admire about my character — and I struggled to understand at first — is that even when people are unkind to her, she doesn’t let that deter her or put her off. It actually takes her a bit too long to learn her lesson; that not everyone can be trusted. She keeps picking herself back up and choosing even in this wasteland — that is horrific, challenging and scary — to live by her golden rule of being kind because that’s who she is.

Fallout premieres on Prime Video on April 11



Source link