Summit Fever follows a group of friends, including Freddie Thorp, Michel Biel and Ryan Phillippe, as they begin their quest to climb the three most dangerous mountains in the Alps. Their friendship is tested as they search for a way out when a storm threatens their lives.

Thorp, who plays Michael, and director Julian Gilbey recently sat down for a conversation with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss how they made the climbing scenes in their new film.


“I had this advantage that we weren’t going to shoot the entirety of the film in one fell swoop,” Gilbey said. “We were going to have a couple of scenes where we went out and filmed some climbing sections which were initially planned to be with doubles and stunt people. Freddie just came across as very physically able very early on when we had shot a few bits and pieces and so we realized very quickly that Freddie could do a lot more than just say lines and look nice. We joke, but he was very physically able and up to do this really, really cool climbing. Of course for me that makes it so much more exciting. I’m now not limited to always going wide close up, wide close up. You get into the rhythm almost watching it as a viewer, knowing it isn’t the actor. I was able to do so many mid-wides on Freddie. Without ruining the film, the last shot in the film and I won’t say more than that, we had to be in enough to see it was Freddie, but not so far that it could just be him against a polystyrene wall 100 feet up or something. A hell of a lot of it is real. There are a few green-screen shots and you’re always going to have a few effects shots.”

Thorp also revealed what it was like for him to work on some terrifying climbing scenes.

“There was obviously some scary bits, but pretty soon after I signed on, I understood that Julian had a background in climbing and he’d taken on some pretty epic things himself,” Thorp said. “He was quickly educating me in the world of climbing from his experience purely. Then, it started to unfold more and more that perhaps they’d want me to do these things for real and I’m not one to shy away from adventure. I think probably for their own sake they probably had to feel out that I wasn’t just more brazen than I was sensible. We went to Snowdonia. Me and Julian had a weekend there with an English climbing guy. I suppose that was an audition in itself. It was a great chance to get to know Julian. We discussed the script lots and learned to climb and pretty quickly we were out there doing it for real. Pretty much all of it was real. We had to fake a few sequences, but they were on real pieces of rock and with all the real equipment. To do some of those sequences, they have to be in slightly less precarious situations than the actual film, but there wasn’t one studio shot or studio day.”

Summit Fever is available for streaming on Prime Video now. 

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