As revealed in the trailers, Darby and the Dead features a lot of inspirations, especially from the many high school films that released throughout the years. But, one can easily tell that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off plays a big inspiration in how Darby Harper breaks the fourth wall throughout her misadventure with the dead. Actress Riele Downs had the challenge of not only speaking to the deceased but also the audience and it seems it took some time getting used to.
As revealed during the official press conference for the film, Downs shared what it was like trying to communicate with the camera and “needing to play all these different beats” with whoever she had to interact in a specific scene. She’s an introverted character that is quite outspoken and that took some time to adapt to for Downs.
Honestly, it was maybe a little difficult to adapt to at first, just, like, how much dialogue there was and needing to play all these different beats, and to Auli’i’s characters who was not supposed to even be visible by other people. So, a lot of different dynamics happening, but it became natural pretty quickly, believe it or not. I guess maybe being more of an introverted slash introspective person that sort of, you kind of live that out in your life anyway I guess a little bit.Riele Downs
Adding the fact that she can see the dead that aren’t visible to others lends the film a certain unique challenge. We’ve seen the fourth wall being broken by quite a few characters, as it became popular once again with the arrival of Deadpool but it does add a unique take with Darby’s ability. So, it’ll be interesting to see how she brings it to life when Darby and the Dead release son Hulu on December 2nd.