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Fallout Stars Ella Purnell & Aaron Moten on the Scary but Exciting Shoot


Fallout Stars Ella Purnell & Aaron Moten on the Scary but Exciting Shoot


Fallout, Prime Video’s adventurous new dystopian series, joins the growing list of video games making their way to television and streaming. From Halo and The Witcher to the smash hit The Last of Us, these bold adaptations have fans (mostly) cheering. Ella Purnell (Yellowjackets) and Aaron Moten (Emancipation) sure are. The duo is part of some serious world-building here in what looks to be a multi-season odyssey. Purnell and Moten star as Lucy MacLean and Maximus, respectively, in the series created by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Graham Wagner (Silicon Valley, Portlandia).




Set in L.A. more than 200 years after the apocalypse, think of the series as a trippy have/have-nots spectacle where surface dwellers live in a crime-laden post-apocalyptic wasteland. Meanwhile, those living in cozier fallout shelters suddenly must confront the truth about life and humanity as they know it. Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises) directed the first three episodes, which pack a punch and introduces audiences to a colorful array of characters, such as Walton Goggins’ (Justified) The Ghoul, one of many mutated humans that exist in various stages of external decay.


Ella Purnell and Aaron Moten unpacked some of the finer details of the production and their characters in this exclusive MovieWeb interview. Read on or watch our interview above.


Creating a Dystopian Wasteland Off the Skeleton Coast

Fallout

Fallout

4/5

Release Date
April 10, 2024

Seasons
1

Studio
Amazon Studios, Kilter Films, Bethesda Game Studios

Creator
Geneva Robertson-Dworet

Fallout begins with the scenes leading up to the nuclear apocalypse. Then it leaps forward 219 years into the future and the aftermath. The overall story revolves around three survivors — Lucy, Maximus, and The Ghoul — with completely different life experiences above and below the surreal irradiated surface. The production design (by Howard Cummings) is off the charts.


Hoping to faithfully conceptualize and adapt the expansive landscapes introduced in the Fallout video games, part of the series was filmed along the sweeping coastlines of Namibia. It was here the crew shot in and around a famous ghost town, the former diamond mining village Kolmanskop, and the beaches of the Skeleton Coast. On the second day, in fact, shooting took place in an abandoned diamond refinery on the coast, where no film crew had ever shot. Between a massive abandoned ship and hyena dens, it was an unforgettable excursion that Ella Purnell may never forget.

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Fallout Review: Something For Everybody in a Slick Adaptation of the Popular Video Game

The creators stay true to the spirit of the source material in a romp that soars high, but leaves you wanting more. And that’s (mostly) a good thing.

“It was incredible,” Ella Purnell shared of shooting in and around an abandoned ship off the Skeleton Coast. “Quite a surreal moment, to put it mildly. My personal favorite moment was… we were on this abandoned ship, and they wanted to do this beautiful wide shot, so no one can walk because of the footprints in the sand. So, the first take… you’re walking up to the ship. It’s just an incredible moment where Lucy is seeing things, anything, for the first time [outside the fallout shelter].” She continued:


And [director Jonathan Nolan] goes, ‘Action!’ And I start walking up, and he goes, ‘Watch out for the jackals!’ I’m like… ‘I’m not gonna die on this ship.’ But no, I didn’t see any jackals, which is exciting… or disappointing?

Aaron Moten chimed in about the experience: “Sometimes walking around in Namibia, you would see hyena footprints going in the direction that they’re asking you to walk. You would think like, ‘Okay, well, I’m not gonna go into that abandoned building over there.”

The Role of Aaron Moten’s Maximus


Meanwhile, Aaron Moten’s Maximus does confront obstacles early on. A soldier in training, Maximus has pledged to serve the Brotherhood of Steel’s militaristic agenda. Think suped up, more powerful Stormtroopers by way of massive, protective exoskeleton suits a la Iron Man. Ultimately, Maximus questions his fate when he truly sees the extent of the Brotherhood’s misguided actions. Lucy and Maximus cross paths, too, and, of course, The Ghoul is out there with his own agenda in the Wasteland. Moten revealed he felt a connection to Maximus in some ways, noting:

“I relate to operating in a place where you are gaining new information from what is newly being put in front of you, and needing to make your own decisions about the world that you live in.
What’s different about Maximus and our other two main characters is that he’s lived and was raised his whole life in the Wasteland
. The others have a different reference point that they come from.”

“That was… the fun of creating Maximus — how to change my mind to fit one that would have a reality of the Wasteland,” added Moten, “and how to survive there, but how that moral code differs from the one that resides within myself. But he’s an interesting guy.”


5:36

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Unpacking Fallout’s Wit and World-Building

The Fallout video games were insanely popular, selling more than 55 million copies, according to recent figures. The full role-playing game spawned six titles, which bodes well for the Fallout series. Things are just getting started, folks. Moten believes that even viewers who aren’t familiar with the games wouldn’t need a reference point to enjoy the series. Fallout is for everyone.


People that don’t know the games are going to be really surprised at how cleverly witty the show is, how funny it is, and how the violence isn’t really built in a way to turn your stomach, but in a way to make you want to applaud at the extravagance of the wildness of what’s happening,” said Moten. “It exists in a different kind of realm than I think what people are used from their post-apocalyptic shows.”

Related: The 30 Best Apocalyptic Movies of All Times, Ranked

Purnell added:

“I think they’ll be surprised by how many times you can watch this same show and see a new thing every single time.
There is so much attention to detail
… the world is just so vast and so broad and [with] so much context. Every time you watch it, you’ll notice something different.
I’m excited for people to find things
.”

​​​​​​

1:54

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Ella Purnell on Her Upcoming Project, Sweetpea

And we’re excited for people to find Purnell’s work. Coming off the success of playing Jackie in Yellowjackets, the actress is now attached to Sweetpea, in which she stars and executive produces. The female-driven original drama is also helmed by Emmy-winning executive producer Patrick Walters. The plot tracks an oft-overlooked young woman named Rhiannon (Purnell) who cracks. Will she get away with murder?

I’m excited to see how it all comes together,” Purnell shared. “It was a new challenging experience, which I always embrace… definitely learning how to balance producing and acting was a whole new ball game. But I’m up for it. It’s actually hard to turn off — the hardest thing is cutting; stopping work at the end of the day because it’s so all-encompassing. You just want to keep going, but I have seen a couple of the episodes, and it looks good.” Watch this space for updates.


Catch the entire binge-worthy season Fallout when it is released at 6 p.m. PST April 10 on Prime Video during a global live-stream fan event. You can watch it through the link below:

Watch Fallout

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