Usually actors don’t have to worry about doing crazy things like hang upside down for their movies. Except, that is, if you’re Jim Sturgess, who had to get pretty comfortable with a harness for his role in the new film, Upside Down.
The film, which costars Kirsten Dunst, portrays two people in a fantasy world—Sturgess’ character lives ‘Down Below’ and his love interest lives ‘Up Top.’ The actors were literally filmed upside down.
“Yeah, [it was] complicated, definitely,” Sturgess admitted in an interview with Moviefone. “It’s not like making your normal, average film where you’re both in a room looking at each other directly. They tried to make it as real and organic for us as possible. Juan [Solanas, writer/director] did as much as he could to bring reality into a fantasy world. So yeah, it was certainly a new experience.”
But Sturgess does admit that he didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into when he accepted the role. “I had no idea they would string me up to the ceiling and I had to play entire scenes with the blood pumping out of my eyeballs…Yeah, at first you go, ‘Wow, that looks so cool,’ but when you do it for five, 10 minutes, you go, ‘This is really driving me nuts.’ But I enjoyed every minute of making the movie, actually. It was one of those films that was just fun from top to bottom.”
Sturgess knows quite a bit about the film business, after appearing in movies like Across the Universe and Cloud Atlas (both films that did require a more fantastical approach.) But despite his knowledge, the actor wasn’t prepared for the ‘anti-gravity spinning kiss’ scene he shot for the film—mostly because he was suffering from a brutal hangover.
“Big mistake. Schoolboy error,” he confessed. “It was my birthday the day before, so the crew all took me out, so I stayed out until the very early hours of the morning. And then I realized, probably about four o’clock in the morning, that they weren’t filming the next day, that it was a second-unit team that was coming in. So they were fine. I was like, ‘You are kidding me.’ In all honesty, it was possibly one of the hardest days of my life. With a hangover, just spinning.”
Upside Down is in theaters now.