News from the Fallen Movie Set
Returning home from my week on the Fallen movie set feels like waking from a dream. I flew to Budapest prepared to experience something related to, but separate from, the books I wrote. Instead, I found myself drawn more deeply into Luce and Daniel’s world, moved by their love in a new and profound way.
Budapest is beautiful, full of charming, welcoming people. Jason, Matilda, and I visited the famous Gellert Baths, Buda Castle with its sweeping views across the Danube, and the most haunting Holocaust memorial–Shoes on the Danube. We wandered the streets, enjoying the music of the Hungarian language. The food was marvelous, especially the desserts. I was lucky to spend an afternoon with readers at Alexandra, an elegant Hungarian bookstore. A few fervent fans snuck onto the set the next day. The entire trip was a joy and a privilege, and it is my pleasure to share some of it with you.
I got goose bumps as I pulled up to a nineteenth-century castle about an hour outside Budapest, which the brilliant Fallen production designer had magicked into Sword and Cross. It felt removed from the real world, and haunted–if not by the spirits of the dead, then certainly by a dramatic history. At the castle’s entrance sat an expanse of trailers for the cast and crew. I was surprised to find that one of them was for me. Seeing those trailers impressed upon me the scope of this project: two hundred people are working on a movie because I sat down one day at my computer, feeling inspired by a verse from Genesis? The thought filled me with gratitude.
I toured the grounds, thrilled by the details of this carefully crafted world: fog machines draping the woods in mystery, bronze Sword and Cross crests on the gates, student artwork displayed in Miss Sophia’s classroom. A parallel universe had opened up beside the one orbiting the books. Both places are bound together by the story of Luce and Daniel’s love.
I felt a little like Luce on her first day of school when, as a group, the angels approached me outside Sword and Cross. No introductions were needed–I knew at once who was playing who, because they are perfectly cast. I don’t often meet film actors, much less ten of them at once, but I instantly felt at home with these angels and demons. They are a funny, charming, passionate, and massively talented group, both in and out of character. You’re going to fall in love with them.
Want to know what else I did, gossiped about, and discovered while on the Fallen set–including the first scene I saw filmed? Stay tuned for the next installment. . . .
Yours Passionately (and only accidentally Tormentingly),
What I’ve been reading: Night Film by Marisha Pessl
What I’ve been watching: Noah (Teardrop inspo!)
What I’m listening to: “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey
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