Nathan Fielder’s High-Flying Finale in ‘The Curse’: How It Was Achieved

The Curse' ending (A24)

In the season finale of Showtime’s The Curse, aspiring HGTV hosts Asher (Nathan Fielder) and Whitney Siegel (Emma Stone) experience a bizarre and chaotic situation when Asher becomes stuck to the ceiling of their home in Española, N.M.

This unexpected event triggers approximately 40 minutes of surreal chaos as the couple struggles with reverse gravity to get Asher back on the ground.

The panic intensifies when pregnant Whitney goes into labor, necessitating an urgent trip to the hospital. Asher’s predicament worsens when he ends up outside, clinging to a tree branch, and the episode culminates in a tragic and unconventional conclusion.

How the show pulled off (A24)

The show’s creators, Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie (who also plays Dougie, the couple’s producer), crafted an unpredictable and out-of-this-world ending.

The sequence involving Asher stuck to the ceiling was achieved through practical effects rather than CGI. Stunt coordinator Timothy Eulich and his team used minimal visual effects, relying instead on intricate practical techniques and months of preparation.

The production featured two sets for the Siegel’s bedroom: one built right-side up and another upside down. This allowed the team to create the illusion of Asher being stuck to the ceiling.

The sequences were choreographed with precision, involving complex rigging and harness systems. For example, when Whitney tries to pull Asher down using a towel, the scene was filmed in both sets to maintain the illusion of reverse gravity.

The coordination extended to the actors’ attire and hairstyles to avoid giving away the tricks. The team had to consider every detail, from the way hair and pajamas would behave under reverse gravity to ensuring seamless transitions between sets.

One of the most complex sequences, dubbed the “human orb,” involved both actors suspended in mid-air. This required multiple harness configurations and precise timing to achieve the desired effect. Additionally, safety measures were paramount, with breaks scheduled every 90 seconds to prevent discomfort from hanging upside down.

The outdoor sequence, where Asher is pulled into a tree, involved using multiple trees and an 80-foot crane to achieve the high-flying stunt. Fielder’s stunt double, Craig Henningsen, performed the dangerous task of perching on a 65-foot-high branch, while Fielder himself was later filmed in a safer tree that matched the original.

Eulich praised the collaborative effort and innovative solutions that went into creating these unique and challenging scenes. The result was a memorable and artistic finale that pushed the boundaries of conventional stunt work and storytelling.