Midnight Sun is a story that hasn’t been told before. This film is unique because it brings attention to a one in a million disease, Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), and it tells a love story for a young woman who never thought she’d have a chance with the man of her dreams.
Katie (BELLA THORNE) has a rare genetic disease, XP. If even a ray of sunlight touches her skin, it can be deadly. She has grown up her entire life trapped inside during the day. At night, Katie can feel like a “normal teenager” by playing her guitar at the train station and singing original songs.
“The music’s a key part of the film,” said Thorne. “But when I first read the script, I actually didn’t understand how important the music would be. Scott really brought that to life for me. I had no idea, reading the script that Katie’s music is her, and she expresses all of her feelings through her music.”
Thorne was the first actor who committed to the film. Director, Scott Spear, said Thorne was his first choice for the role of Katie.
“It all starts with Bella,” said Speer. “Bella is an incredible talent and one of the most rewarding work relationships that I’ve ever had. All of the emotions that she needed to access were right there, under the surface. She really has command of the different emotional values inside her.”
Katie had been watching Charlie (PATRICK SCHWARZENEGGER) from her window since childhood. Although the two had never met, Katie had been in love with him forever. When he stumbles across her playing the guitar at the train station, he was drawn to her singing.
“What’s really great about the story is that the character is so innocent. Her love for Charlie is so pure, from secretly watching him her entire life. It’s really not like most love stories. Katie’s a regular girl who has her heart set on this boy, who she believes that she’ll never, ever be able to be with,” Thorne said.
Schwarzenegger and Throne had met prior to filming, and their chemistry was undeniable on screen. Katie and Charlie had a very awkward first meeting, as most teenagers do, but it made the whole story more believable because of that. After a few dates, the two were clearly more confident in their relationship. Except, Katie refuses to tell him about her XP, in fear he would only see her as a disease.
This was Schwarzenegger’s first leading role in a film, which was hard to believe because he put on such a great performance.
“He knocked the audition out of the park,” Speer said. “That go my attention, and it got the attention of everyone else in the room. We brought him in for a chemistry read with Bella, and they had amazing chemistry together. He really claimed that role for himself.”
Schwarzenegger and Throne had a great off-screen friendship that showed through their characters as well.
“It was so much fun. We had such a great time filming,” Schwarzenegger said. “Me and Bella really got along. We were in Vancouver for two months. There was no one else we knew to hang out with, so it was just me and her. We worked, then would hang out. We would go on hikes and bike rides and just do stuff together.”
What I thought would be another cheesy chick-flick, turned out to be a pure love story that was exciting to watch. Midnight Sun will be released March 23.