Flatliners star Nina Dobrev was literally set on fire making the sci-fi reboot

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Mar 25, 2021, 9:00 AM EDT (Updated)

Fresh off The Vampire Diaries, Nina Dobrev is trading in brooding bloodsuckers for a different type of undead in the big screen sequel/reboot of Flatliners. Turns out, she was willing to go all in for the project — even when things started heating up a bit too much.

Dobrev plays Marlo, who is part of a group of 20-somethings who start dabbling in near-death experiences like the ones Kiefer Sutherland tried out in the 1990 original. The first footage from the new film actually looks pretty good, and we’re just a little over a month from seeing this one on the big screen. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dobrev reveals one scene called for her arm to be set on fire, and they handled that with pretty much no CGI. That fire creeping up Dobrev’s arm? It’s real, and they had to do it more than a few times to get it right.

Here’s how she explained the practical effect process:

“Well, first of all, your wardrobe gets fireproofed, which is a certain chemical that can’t really burn. They dip your clothes in it and let that dry. And then they put this jelly stuff all over your skin and underneath. They put gas on your arm — well, the did on my arm — and then they come at me with a blowtorch, right before they call ‘Action.’

They call ‘Action,’ they light my arm on fire, I have to act like I’m on fire — which I am — and react to the scariness of it, which wasn’t too hard. And then, after a few seconds, as it moves up my arm, they call cut, and they run in with fire extinguishers. So it goes from hot to cold very, very quickly. … We did that…five or six times at least? You also have to get it from different angles.”

Along with Dobrev, the film stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons and Charlotte McKinney. Sutherland is also said to be returning for the project, though they’ve kept his exact role under wraps. Rumor has it he’s playing the same character from the original film, which would make this reboot more of a re-quel. If that’s the case, look for him to probably show up in the next wave of marketing, which should be hitting pretty soon.

The new Flatliners opens September 29.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)