On the Set of the Fallen Movie with Author Lauren Kate

Fallen, our favorite dark romance of all time, is now a movie!

Author Lauren Kate got to spend some time on set and reported back on her experience. . .

I spent ten days in Budapest on the set of the Fallen movie.

I’ll never forget the feeling of pulling up to the set the first time. White trailers stretched as far as I could see, and beyond them was the formidable, fog-cloaked castle that would become Sword & Cross School on-screen. I was struck by how many people—camera grips, makeup artists, publicists, and on and on—were employed for a few months because of an idea that I’d had years earlier, sitting on a tomato farm staring out the window.

We filmed at a castle in Tura, so we drove by this every day.
We filmed at a castle in Tura, so we drove by this every day.
A (rare) sunny day at Sword & Cross
A (rare) sunny day at Sword & Cross
Exterior of Sword & Cross and equipment
Exterior of Sword & Cross and equipment
Trailers for days
Trailers for days
Yours truly, entering the gates of Sword & Cross
Yours truly, entering the gates of Sword & Cross
When we weren’t filming at the castle, we filmed in downtown Budapest. Sometimes, finding the set was like navigating a maze.
When we weren’t filming at the castle, we filmed in downtown Budapest. Sometimes, finding the set was like navigating a maze.

I scoped out the castle, watched the daily reels, sipped supersweet Hungarian tea, and got the lowdown from director Scott Hicks on how the film was progressing. When the cast filed out of their trailers and approached me, I knew—even from a great distance—whom each of them were. I felt as if I were being approached by real angels—that’s how faithfully each actor conveyed his or her character in costume, in effect, and in attitude.

You might not know that Jeremy Irvine, who played Daniel, is a huge practical joker, or that Harrison Gilbertson imagined his character, Cam, across history and brought to set articles of clothing and accessories that Cam might have picked up in ancient Jerusalem or seventeenth-century England. You might not know that the first scene Addison Timlin (Luce) and Jeremy filmed is the last scene of the movie, in which she called on something very personal from her past to produce an exquisitely emotional performance that brought everyone watching to tears.

This statue didn’t want to leave Luce alone. . . .
This statue didn’t want to leave Luce alone. . . .
One of Budapest’s many famous thermal pools. The superhot pool scene with Luce and Daniel was filmed here.
One of Budapest’s many famous thermal pools. The superhot pool scene with Luce and Daniel was filmed here.
The Sword & Cross library was filmed in a working and extravagantly beautiful public library. The only thing we had to change was to remove an antique chandelier, for which the world’s foremost chandelier mover had to be called in. Seriously.
The Sword & Cross library was filmed in a working and extravagantly beautiful public library. The only thing we had to change was to remove an antique chandelier, for which the world’s foremost chandelier mover had to be called in. Seriously.
I got to see Lola Kirke’s amazing performance during Todd’s funeral scene.
I got to see Lola Kirke’s amazing performance during Todd’s funeral scene.
The famous fencing scene, which turned out so great—though the cast hated wearing those suits.
The famous fencing scene, which turned out so great—though the cast hated wearing those suits.

My favorite thing about my time on set was becoming a part of this close-knit group of actors. By all accounts, the angels and demons bonded on and offscreen. Penn and Luce really were best friends. Cam and Luce really do share an indescribable connection. Daniel and Luce, well, let’s just say there was real chemistry. I could feel how much fun they were having making the movie and how much the crew was enjoying working with them. It was thrilling to watch Scott Hicks bring his vision for the film into being. He and I have had a kind of mind meld since we first met years ago, and I’ve trusted him ever since.

We pumped in mist to fill the woods for a party scene.
We pumped in mist to fill the woods for a party scene.
I did get a little time to wander and sightsee in beautiful Budapest.
I did get a little time to wander and sightsee in beautiful Budapest.
For one of the flashback scenes (to Russian Luce and Daniel), the crew had to make it snow on a balmy day in March.
For one of the flashback scenes (to Russian Luce and Daniel), the crew had to make it snow on a balmy day in March.

One night we all went dancing at a club in Budapest. I was six months pregnant and wearing absurdly uncomfortable shoes, but nothing could have stopped me from dancing with those angels into the early morning. I hope you love Luce and Daniel’s story—both on the page and on the screen!

Thinking deep thoughts with Luce, Daniel, and Cam
Thinking deep thoughts with Luce, Daniel, and Cam
Surrounded by a heavenly crew—Molly, Arriane, Gabbe, and Roland
Surrounded by a heavenly crew—Molly, Arriane, Gabbe, and Roland
Bonding with Addison, whom I’ve come to love
Bonding with Addison, whom I’ve come to love
Yes, I brought my director’s chair home and totally have it displayed in my house.
Yes, I brought my director’s chair home and totally have it displayed in my house.

What book do you want to see made into a movie? Tag us @GetUnderlined!

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