Isabelle Furhman is known for her breakout role in the horror feature Orphan, in which she stars as an adult with a hormone disorder who poses a child to get adopted by a family. Now, the actor is returning to the role as Esther for the forthcoming prequel Orphan: First Kill, in which she—an adult—will play a nine-year-old version of the character. Fuhrman has revealed that she will lead the film without the use of any de-aging technology, and she promises that she really looks like a child in the film.
“I love the challenge of being able to play a kid because that’s never historically been done in cinema. I was like looking all this up—because I love looking up old movie history and things like that—and I was like, ‘Oh, an adult has never reprised the role that they played as a child,’” Fuhrman tells THR.
“It’s kind of impossible. And we did it,” Fuhrman continues. “We didn’t use special effects, we didn’t use any crazy makeup tricks. And I think that’s what makes the movie work, is because you really can’t figure out how I look like a [9-year-old], but I do. And it’s really creepy.”
Now if you remember, in the original Orphan, 12-year-old Furhman played an 33-year-old who was only pretending to be a child. Now, the 24-year-old will play the nine-year-old version of Esther in the prequel. What’s also different about Fuhrman’s role in the prequel is now she also serves as a producer, and was in on the creative process.
“I was there every day. I know how we did this. I know all the tricks, and I’m so thoroughly disturbed right now because I somehow am 9 years old again, and it doesn’t make any sense,” Fuhrman says. “I was like, ‘How do I revisit this part and then also convincingly play a kid?’ Because that was the easy part last time—the hard part was trying to be an adult! Now the hard part is I have to be a kid.”
We will have to wait and see if this turns out to be a stroke of genius or simply Dear Evan Hansen part two. The film is directed by William Brent Bell (The Boy, The Devil Inside), and Fuhrman co-stars with 10 Things I Hate About You’s Julia Stiles. No release date is currently set for Orphan: First Kill.