Moonfall: Patrick Wilson Explains Musical Opening Scene

By Brandon Davis
Heading into Moonfall, audiences expected see chaos but not in the form of Patrick Wilson‘s rendition of Toto’s “Africa.” The film opens with Wilson’s Brian Harper performing an off-pitch version of the song as he floats through space on a NASA mission, several years before the main events of the film take place. As it turns out, this is a testament to Wilson’s acting abilities because the actor is actually quite a talented singer, having performed in such titles as Phantom of the Opera. The comedic bit was discussed in Wilson’s interview with
“That was always in there, because they got the rights through mutual friends, which I won’t bore you with, but that was always the tune,” Wilson explained, definitively ruling there was never another song to be used in the opening of Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster film. “The question was, and actually, not to bring up what you don’t see, but I remember, I would kinda sing it just a little under, just bad enough to have someone be annoyed, ’cause there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re an actual singer and they go, ‘Hey, I need you to sing really badly.’ You’re like, ‘Ah, man, all right.’ But it’s fun, it’s fun to do that. Just sing flat, so it just sounds kinda terrible. But I did do the entire solo that rolling cut. I was like, ‘Oh, that was the most fun part.’ Did the whole thing, I just kept letting it roll, I’m like, ‘This will never be in the movie, but I’m just gonna keep going.'” 
We’ll just have to have our fingers crossed for seeing and hearing Wilson’s entire off-pitch rendition of “Africa” on the Moonfall blu-ray. All of that said, singing as though he could not actually was only one of several challenging aspects of Wilson’s performance in Moonfall. A later sequence saw Brian Harper getting pummeled by waves in a Los Angeles hotel lobby and Emmerich, despite acknowledging it is easier now to pull off visual effects than it was 25 years ago, decided to make sure all of the water-y chaos was captured practically in camera.
“That was crazy. I’m not gonna lie,” Wilson told “I’ve done a lot of stuff, wire work and all that stuff, I’m pretty comfortable in, as comfortable as you can be, but that, because it’s literally just, you go outside and you see this giant container of water and then they’re like, ‘Okay, basically, we’re just gonna tip that over. Now, we’ve padded the stairs and that thing that looks like rocks that’s actually rubber, but we’re not quite sure where it’s gonna take you, so good luck.’ They’re as careful as they can be, but you are just kind of, they said, ‘Listen, if you go out too far, you go this way, you go that way, just be careful. Make sure you’re facing what’s gonna happen.’ So yeah, we were in it, it was probably just one, or was it, I think it was just one day for that one shot. I think we probably did it like four times maybe, four or five times, the real sweeping you away.”
Watch’s full Moonfall interview with Patrick Wilson in the video above or on our YouTube channel. Are you excited to see Moonfall? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on InstagramMoonfall hits theaters on February 4. 
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