[This story contains spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Fall.]
Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Grace Caroline Currey quite literally put her blood, sweat and tears into Mary Bromfield and her superpowered counterpart.
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Currey originally played young Mary in David F. Sandberg’s 2019 film, Shazam!, but ceded Super Hero Mary duties to Michelle Borth. However, with Mary now a full-fledged adult in the sequel, Sandberg promoted his frequent collaborator to the Shazamily, making her the only family member to play dual roles.
According to Currey, this scenario nearly played out in the 2019 film since Mary was right on the verge of adulthood.
“When they first cast me, they were toying around on whether or not to have the same actor for Mary, considering she’s the oldest of the kids,” Currey tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But now, with the second one, it was really neat to have that explanation that she’s an adult now.”
Currey is also shedding light on some deleted scenes that she hopes will see the light of day on the Fury of the Gods Blu-ray, including her homage to an indelible moment from Jurassic Park.
“I had a Jurassic Park moment when Mary first went into the library, and I took my sunglasses off really sloppily, like when Dr. Alan Grant [Sam Neill] sees the dinosaurs for the first time. Sadly, it didn’t make the cut, but it was my own fun moment,” Currey shares.
In August 2022, Currey starred in Scott Mann’s survival thriller Fall, and the $3 million film took in a respectable $21.8 million at the worldwide box office. However, it’s since become a cult hit through streaming and VOD, so much so that a sequel is now being developed. Currey played a grieving climber, Becky, whose best friend, Hunter (Virginia Gardner), urges her to climb a 2,000-foot radio tower in order to snap out of her grief and subsequent alcoholism.
If you’ve yet set to see Fall, skip ahead, as Currey is now commenting on the idea of Becky returning in a sequel, having narrowly survived in the first film.
“I am definitely excited about the idea of [Fall 2]. It’s been a surprise to see how much people love that movie and how it’s had a little bit of a wildfire on streaming platforms,” Currey says. “It definitely makes us happy just because we didn’t think we were gonna have a movie when we were shooting it. It was such a nightmare just trying to get the movie shot. So the idea of getting to return would definitely be really cool, and I’m sure it would try to one-up the first one, which is a little scary to think about.”
Below, during a recent spoiler conversation with THR, Currey also discusses another Fury of the Gods deleted scene involving a pizza-delivering Mary, as well as the day she learned how to wash her own superhero suit.
So, between flying as a superhero and riding a unicorn, which was the bigger dream?
I mean, the unicorn was pretty awesome, especially considering they built an animatronic unicorn-riding device, but flying as a superhero, that’s the dream.
When you first worked with David on Annabelle: Creation, did you walk off that set with a gut feeling that he’d call you again someday?
I sure hoped so. On Annabelle: Creation, we had quite a collaborative dynamic. It was horror, David’s wheelhouse. Every day I’d show up to set, new ideas were brought to the table, and I felt like I was able to bring ideas to the table. So I got to come up with a gag with the axe, which was really fun. So that was definitely one of those moments where it was like, “Oh, we work really well together.”
Well, how was the news delivered that you’d be getting a promotion in Shazam! Fury of the Gods as both Mary and Super Hero Mary?
I got the official call when I found out that a second one was for sure gonna happen, and it was definitely a dream come true considering I love Mary so much. When I auditioned for Mary initially, I had a box of her comics and her different appearances, so I was just nerding out over who she was in the Golden Age of Comics. So to get to play the entirety of her role was definitely a dream come true, especially considering I didn’t get to do that in the first movie.
She’s an adult now, so it really didn’t make much sense to have another adult play her. Was that the explanation you were also given?
Yeah, when they first cast me, they were toying around on whether or not to have the same actor for Mary, considering she’s the oldest of the kids. So I was actually told that they were trying to decide if they were gonna have the same actor or not, but for that initial reveal of all the kids becoming superheroes in Shazam!, you really did need another actor to sell that idea of, “Okay, they’re now in their superhero form.” But now, with the second one, it was really neat to have that explanation that she’s an adult now. There’s also the discussion of the superhero form being their greatest potential or their fully formed self, so there’s a lot of theories.
Since you got to play both roles, were you the envy of the other young family members?
There was a rare moment where the kids happened to see me in the suit. and it was definitely a funny moment for them to see their big sister in the superhero suit. They were a little confused about how to take it in, but I’m envious of myself when I’m not in the suit. When I was in my human form, I was like, “I want to be in the suit again.”
David is obviously your biggest fan, but it quickly dawned on him that you would be the one cast member who’d have to go back and forth to hair and makeup. Did those 40-minute trips become a thing at all?
I definitely tried to figure out how to streamline putting the suit on and all its different pieces, and it also became a game to see how fast I could multitask. I’d have my leg up on the table and my costumer would put on the armor of the boots, while I would fasten the gauntlets. And then Dawn [Turner] and Hagen [Linss], who were on hair and makeup, were really creative with how to streamline changing me from human Mary to Super Hero Mary. So there definitely was a lot of thoughtfulness about how to do it quickly, because it was almost an everyday occurrence. It was like, “Okay, time to jump in with the kids. I need to get a wipe to take off all the blush and eyeshadow.” (Laughs.)
So her sister, Darla (Faithe Herman), comments at the start that Mary has been grumpy lately, and it’s probably tied to delaying her collegiate dreams and stressing over the family’s financial situation. But then the parents revealed towards the end that they bought the house, nullifying Mary’s previous concern. So was there any more to that story that didn’t make the cut?
As far as Victor [Cooper Andrews] and Rosa’s [Marta Milans] story goes, there’s nothing that I can remember, but there are some deleted scenes with Mary that’ll hopefully show up on the Blu-ray edition. There’s one of her visiting a college to drop off pizzas and then running into some kids she went to high school with. So you see more of that angst she’s feeling about the fact that she didn’t go to college, while her former classmates are now living her dream.
Mary was hungover at the beginning of a scene, and it turned into this mythology lesson with Steve. And to account for Mary being more active, she is shown drinking Gatorade. Who added that bit of business to sell her hangover recovery?
(Laughs.) I did! We were trying to figure out how to carry the continuity of Mary being so hungover, and I actually had a migraine that day, so there were a couple moments where David came over to me and went, “You seem like you’re really in pain. Maybe lay off a little bit.” And I was just like, “I’m doing my best!” But Henry [Gayden], our writer, and David and I thought, “Okay, she’ll have a Gatorade. She’ll have some sort of hydration going on.” And there was also the continuity with the sunglasses, which I’m bummed about, because it didn’t make it in the cut. I had a Jurassic Park moment when Mary first went into the library, and I took my sunglasses off really sloppily, like when Dr. Alan Grant [Sam Neill] sees the dinosaurs for the first time. Sadly, it didn’t make the cut, but it was my own fun moment. And yeah, the Gatorade was my idea, and I definitely showed off the Gatorade product placement and realized it in the scene. I went, “Oh gosh, there it is. There’s that G.” (Laughs.)
So, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman makes an appearance at the end to bring Billy/Shazam back to life. Was the question of will she or won’t she appear hanging over the entire production?
Absolutely. We kept wondering if we were gonna get that dynamo ending throughout all of production. We had some pretty involved scenes with CGI, animatronics and all sorts of madness, so everyone was focused. But every once in a while, you’d have the whispered conversation of, “Are we gonna get Gal? What’s going on with that? Do we know yet?” At the same time, it was such a top secret appearance that we kind of didn’t want to talk about it anyway. But we were still really curious, and it was definitely exciting when we did get her. I didn’t even know if we got her by the time we finished shooting. I still didn’t know for sure because we filmed our parts separately.
Was it still thrilling to see the separate footage come together in the way that it did?
Oh yeah, and that’s the epitome of working on these kinds of films. There’s so much to do within post-production, and there’s so much of us having to use our imagination. So when you watch the finished product, it is a lot like watching a brand new movie with new characters that you didn’t really get to work with, like the unicorns.
So there’s a climbing wall in the lair if one looks closely. Are you responsible for that in some way?
I wasn’t, but that was pretty cool, huh? I thought that was such a neat touch.
So even though you’re known for playing a climber in Fall, it was a complete coincidence?
Yeah, it’s a pretty funny Easter egg.
When Mary loses her power in the air, did you get to relive your days on Fall by dangling on a wire of sorts?
The joke that I’ve seen some people make online is that I am just always falling. (Laughs.). “Gotta find a way to have her fall in a movie.” That was all done super creatively with wires and fans and my own physicality, while imagining that I’m flailing through the air. And then Zach [Levi] kind of ran into me like a football player and I got launched as he grabbed me through the air. So it was very different from Fall where I was actually hurtling through the air off of a tower in the desert.
Speaking of Fall, there was some really interesting news recently involving Fall 2. What can you say at this point about the likelihood of a return?
I am definitely excited about the idea of that. It’s been a surprise to see how much people love that movie and how it’s had a little bit of a wildfire on streaming platforms. And for the first time, people are coming up to me in public and going, “You look like that girl who was stranded on the tower.” So it’s wild, and I don’t think we expected it to get such a loving response. It definitely makes us happy just because we didn’t think we were gonna have a movie when we were shooting it. It was such a nightmare just trying to get the movie shot. Fall was the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on in my life, and I’ve never grown so much from a project. So the idea of getting to return would definitely be really cool, and I’m sure it would try to one-up the first one, which is a little scary to think about.
It’s tough because I want you to come back, but at the same time, I can’t imagine your character would want to climb a ladder again, let alone another mountain or tower.
I know, right? She needs therapy so badly. (Laughs.)
And Gatorade! (Laughs.) Seriously!
I didn’t know until recently that there was an F-bomb cut and that deepfake technology undid them all to land a PG-13 rating. Have you seen the F-bomb cut?
(Laughs.) Well, I lived the F-bomb cut, but I’m trying to remember the first cut I saw. Yeah, the first cut I saw had quite a few F-bombs, and if anything, they had cut out quite a considerable amount at that point. But then it was so confusing when I saw the cut without them because I couldn’t tell that my mouth had been [deepfaked]. They changed shit with CGI and technology. So it wasn’t noticeable even though that’s my mouth, and I know my mouth pretty well. (Laughs.) So that was a little weird, I gotta say.
When Becky took out the lightbulb at the top of the radio tower to charge the drone, I thought she was going to be rescued once someone noticed the light was no longer flashing, as that would risk a potential airplane crash. But that wouldn’t have been as active or dramatic as what she ended up doing with the second phone drop.
It’s also just the lack of people noticing those kinds of things. I mean, I’m no expert on towers, lights and aircrafts and how much they are on the lookout for those lights going out. Maybe they monitor it pretty regularly, but even with the guys in the desert who reacted to Becky and Hunter [Virginia Gardner] signaling for help by stealing Hunter’s car, there was just a hopelessness to their situation. So who’s gonna pay attention to that in their day to day? Maybe there’s some strange person in that desert who regularly wakes up and checks the tower light, but not that much time passed, so I don’t know how quickly someone would notice the light going out.
Maybe the sequel should be Becky hunting down those car thieves, John Wick-style.
Oh my gosh! She gets obsessive about the stolen car. I recently had my car stolen, actually. So that would be personal. You just addressed a personal pain. So now I’m method, and I’m ready. I know how to act in that scenario. (Laughs.) I got it back, though!
Well, that’s good. Life has been imitating art a lot these days.
Yeah, it has.
During my first watch of Fall, I really did ponder the dark idea of Becky dying because of an airplane that couldn’t see the tower.
Oh my gosh, I haven’t heard that yet.
I’m so sorry for putting that thought in your head.
To end in a fiery explosion of death, would that be the arthouse ending? (Laughs.)
Well, that’s the thing about genre movies. They can do anything, whether it’s one survivor or no survivors.
Yeah, that’s true. I’m now imagining her eating the bird, only to have a plane crash into the tower. That was going to be the ending, but they changed it. (Currey jokes.)
Yeah, thank goodness for last-minute reshoots.
(Laughs.) Reshoots, yes. They realized the plane would be too expensive.
Decades from now, when you’re reminiscing at the top of a radio tower in the middle of nowhere, what day on Shazam! Fury of the Gods will you likely recall first?
Oh man, I had a day where I was hanging out with costumes. Chris [Donio], one of our costumers, was about to wash my suit and he just looked at me and went, “Do you wanna wash your suit?” And I was like, “Yeah, can I do that?” So I learned how the superhero suits are washed. I put my suit in a tub with a hose and scrubbed it with antibacterial soap, and something about it was really sweet. So one of my favorite memories was just hanging out and washing my superhero suit, although it didn’t smell as clean as it normally did when our costumers would do it. They’re pretty good at it. The material is like a wetsuit material, and I think it’s all in the soap and getting the rinse right. Not to be gross, but it was the summer in Georgia and our suits had a level of smell that you just couldn’t get rid of. (Laughs.)
Thank you for this answer.
(Laughs.) It’s the real behind the scenes of all the sweat that goes into a superhero movie.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now playing in movie theaters. This interview was edited for length and clarity.
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