Following turns in box office hits including the Georgia-lensed Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, Madison Iseman takes on the challenging role of a teenager living with schizophrenia in the new thriller Fear of Rain, out this weekend from Lionsgate.
"You start with a ton of research," says Iseman of preparing for the role. "Tons and tons of videos and TED Talks, and there was actually one book, a memoir, that I kind of carried with me as a Bible. It’s called The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks, and that really was the thing that really guided me through this entire thing."
Writer-director Castille Landon did similar research in creating the character of Rain, using the tried-and-true framework of a suspense thriller to present a unique look at the character’s struggles with mental illness.
"I wanted to make a movie about mental illness to challenge stereotypes and contribute to a larger conversation and end stigma, or at least challenge it. So, that was the very inception of it," says the filmmaker.
Landon shot the film on-location in Florida, infusing the film with the inherent Gothic, moody atmosphere of the South; of course, what works so well on-camera doesn’t always make for the most comfortable filming conditions.
"Thankfully you don’t notice too much, but there’s a scene where we’re on the car, and we were all sweating — Joshua Reis, our cinematographer, Castille, Madison and I — were pouring buckets of sweat due to the Florida humidity and the Florida heat," laughs co-star Israel Broussard.
Along with Iseman and Broussard, Fear of Rain stars Emmy winner Katherine Heigl and Grammy winner Harry Connick, Jr. as Rain’s parents, and Eugenie Bondurant as the next-door neighbor who may or may not be hiding some dark secrets. The film is available on digital, on-demand and in select theatres this weekend, and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 16.
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