Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.
In one of the most memorable scenes in the new thriller The Invisible Man, Elisabeth Moss's Cecilia is thrown and dragged around a kitchen and dining room by an abusive ex thought to be dead (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), yet, as the title suggests, is merely unseeable. On set, however, the actress was not only battling a stunt double in a tight green suit, but also hurling herself around the house.
"I got really good at something that I never thought that I would get good at, being slammed into the wall and being thrown into the floor," Moss (The Handmaid's Tale, The Kitchen) told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above).
"We practiced for a long time. We put it at the end of the schedule so we had plenty of time to do it. And we just practiced, practiced, practiced, me and the stunt double and the stunt team."
Explained writer-director Leigh Whannell, who marks his third time behind the camera after Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and Upgrade (2018): "It's very mechanical. It's almost closer to dance choreography than it is to dramatic acting. Because there are marks that need to be hit. And so they were very mechanical days. We had a motion control camera, which is basically a robot, and the robot goes where it's told to go. So you have to hit your mark. And every time we would miss the mark even by [inches], we'd have to go back to the beginning."
Moss revealed that the action scene was captured in three separate shots that were then seamlessly stitched together in the edit in a process similar to Birdman and 1917.
In the first and third shots it's actually Moss, on wires and a harness and track, getting pinned by her neck, and later smashed into a breakaway wall. The middle shot, in which Cecilia is thrown over a table, featured her stunt double, Sarah Laider, "who's a superhero," the actress said.
"I probably shouldn't be revealing all the secrets," Moss added. "But I think it's really cool. And I think it turned out really well and lot of people worked hard on it. So I think it's fun to talk about."
The Invisible Man is now playing.
Watch Elisabeth Moss and Leigh Whannell talk about the film's deeper meanings:
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