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Orphan: First Kill's Serious Fight Scene Was Quite Hilarious Behind The Camera

Fans were delighted to see the return of Esther in late summer of 2022. "Orphan: First Kill" was the long-in-the-making sequel to 2009's "Orphan" which featured Isabelle Fuhrman as the dangerous, not-so-innocent Esther. The twist ending from the first movie, in which it is revealed that Esther is indeed not a child at all and is a killer con artist, got fans talking and solidified the first film as a cult classic.

"Stay Alive" and "The Boy" director William Brent Bell resurrected the "Orphan" franchise with "First Kill," but opted not to digitally de-age Fuhrman for the 13 years later sequel, instead relying on old-fashioned camera tricks and practical effects make-up. Fuhrman was also deeply involved in the film, doing uncredited rewrites to the script to ensure that Esther's return to the screen was just right (via Dread Central).

The latest film debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Paramount+, and received some glowing reviews. Among the new cast members joining Fuhrman as Esther was "10 Things I Hate About You" star Julia Stiles. Stiles recalled the laughs she and Fuhrman shared while filming one of the more serious scenes in the darkly comic film.

Spoilers are ahead for "Orphan: First Kill." Don't proceed yet if you plan on watching the film because it is best enjoyed going in as blind as possible and letting it surprise you.

Julia Stiles is at the center of the big twist in Orphan First Kill

Following the big twist ending in the original "Orphan," "Orphan: First Kill" had some heavy lifting to do to try and top that first film's twist. It succeeds, making it more sophisticated than the average horror film with the reveal that Julia Stiles' character, Tricia Albright, isn't all she originally suggests. When Isabelle Fuhrman's Esther is brought into the affluent Albright family's home, it is under the guise that she is their long-thought-to-be-lost daughter, which of course she is not.

Esther has the father, Allen, fooled, but Tricia and her son Gunnar are not convinced. It is revealed halfway through the film that Gunnar actually killed the real Esther and Tricia helped cover it up. So the whole time Esther was impersonating the real Albright daughter, those two knew they were harboring a con artist, but had to continue to cover up the fact that they knew so as not to reveal the death of the real Esther Albright.

This leads to a showdown between Esther and Tricia, and the two actresses inhabiting those roles shed some light on their big fight scenes, which had them cracking up. Stiles told Screenrant that she finds fight scenes in general difficult because she is primarily focused on lines and blocking in a scene.

The crew of Orphan First Kill had to get creative on how they were going to film Esther in a fight scene

Isabelle Fuhrman responded in that Screenrant interview by saying they filmed their fight scene with her fighting Stiles in a wheelie chair. She said it was because "that was the only thing that we realized that I could do to move around that agile. Usually, I was squatting and Julia was wearing these platform shoes sometimes. You can't do that in a stunt scene, because she has to be able to run around and I have to be able to move quickly."

They used a dolly that the camera operator sat on for that scene. Fuhrman continued, "So, that scene when we're going around the kitchen island, I was walking with my feet on this little cart. It was so funny. When you think about it, it's hilarious. But it was so serious at the time because we're filming this intense scene."

Stiles also talked about the twist involving her character in the same interview. She said, "I was almost like playing two different characters. I treated it like the beginning part of Tricia ... You know that she is desperate to heal her family and she will protect her family at all costs like she says in the trailer. But then, once she figures out what's going on with Esther, to see how she handles that is, I think, really interesting. And that's what drew me to it. Esther's kind of met her match in that way." Esther did indeed meet her match with Tricia in "Orphan: First Kill," but it sounds like the actors portraying the characters had a good time doing it, as they shared some laughs on the set.