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24-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman to play 9-year-old again in 'Orphan: First Kill' without CGI assist

How can a 24-year-old play a 9-year-old with no CGI or makeup? We have no idea either!

By Vanessa Armstrong
Isabelle Fuhrman

Isabelle Fuhrman has played a 9-year-old more than once. The first time was in 2009’s Orphan, where she played 9-year-old Esther when the actor was 12 years old. Fuhrman is now 24, but that’s not stopping her from playing a 9-year-old Esther again, this time in the Orphan prequel, Orphan: First Kill

The fact that Fuhrman is playing a character much younger than herself isn’t all that new in Hollywood, just check out Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel or Mark Hamill in The Mandalorian. What makes Fuhrman’s reprisal so astounding, however, is that she – a 24-year-old woman – will be playing 9-year-old-looking Esther with no help from CGI or a bunch of de-aging prosthetics. 

Fuhrman acknowledges that this is kind of crazy, and told The Hollywood Reporter that it was a challenge to do so. “It’s kind of impossible. And we did it,” Fuhrman said. “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.”

How Fuhrman and the production team achieved this is a mystery, (camera angles and lighting, perhaps?) but Fuhrman is adamant that she really does look like a child in the film. 

“I was there every day. I know how we did this,” she said. “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 … 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 kid.”

Orphan: First Kill is directed by William Brent Bell and also stars Julia Stiles. No news yet on when the film will be released. 

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