The youthful space adventure Crater is a thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly emotional film. The success of the lunar based sci-fi story is largely due to the excellent chemistry between the film’s five leads, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Mckenna Grace, Orson Hong, Thomas Boyce and Billy Barratt, who feel like a true found family.
I had the opportunity to speak with Isaiah Russell-Bailey, who plays Caleb, and Mckenna Grace, who plays Addison. Russell-Bailey describes his character Caleb as a natural leader, and said that some of the most important traits of a leader are compassion and loyalty, which are also critical in building lasting friendships.
To prepare for the role, Russell-Bailey said that he drew inspiration from Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix in the classic film, Stand By Me. “I tried to mimic the courage that the character Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) had and the sensitivity that Gordie, Wil Wheaton’s character, had as well, to add layers to Caleb and make him a more well-rounded character overall,” Russell-Bailey said.
Mckenna Grace spoke about the lunar education and preparation that all of the main cast members went through for the film, including a two-week Moon Camp. “They put us in harnesses and wired us up and then we’d just go and run around and learn how to look like we’re anti-gravity,” Grace said. She also mentioned that they spoke with a representative from NASA, who showed them photos of the moon and helped them prepare.
Grace credited the time the cast spent together living in the same apartment complex during filming as a primary reason that their chemistry is so strong, and said that they really enjoyed spending time together. “It’s funny, the end, as emotional as it is, I think we got in trouble because none of us could stop laughing,” Grace said.
Check out my full conversations with Russell-Bailey and Grace and be sure to watch Crater streaming on Disney+ on May 12th!
“Crater” is the story of Caleb Channing (Russell-Bailey), who was raised on a lunar mining colony and is about to be permanently relocated to an idyllic faraway planet following the death of his father (Mescudi). But before leaving, to fulfill his dad’s last wish, he and his three best friends, Dylan (Barratt), Borney (Hong) and Marcus (Boyce), and a new arrival from Earth, Addison (Grace), hijack a rover for one final adventure on a journey to explore a mysterious crater.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.