Upload's Season 3 Finale Director Breaks Down How Robbie Amell Dealt With Playing Out Nathan’s Wild Final Scene

 A screenshot of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking up in Upload.
A screenshot of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking up in Upload.

Spoilers for Season 3 of Upload are ahead! If you haven’t seen the comedy, you can stream it all with an Amazon Prime subscription.

At the end of Upload Season 2, the big cliffhanger revolved around Nathan being in the Real World, and a possible copy of him existing in Lakeview. Well, that Back-Up came to life in Season 3, and everyone grew to love the two versions of Robbie Amell’s character. Now, the third installment has come to a close, and we have the opposite problem. It appears the two versions of Nathan have been captured, and possibly merged together, or one was killed. Either way, in the final moments, there’s only one version of him. Luckily, the director of Episode 8, Sarah Boyd chatted with CinemaBlend about this wild final scene, and how Amell dealt with playing it.

A screenshot of Nathan talking through a computer screen.
A screenshot of Nathan talking through a computer screen.

Upload’s Finale Director Breaks Down Nathan’s Final Two Scenes

Like the ending of Upload Season 2, the third installment finishes on a major, major cliffhanger that centers around Nathan and his survival. Real World Nathan is arrested. Meanwhile, while an ad is showing how “happy” people can be if they go into this afterlife, Back-Up Nathan is being chased around Lakeview, and while his friends and the A.I. Guys try to help him, he’s caught.

When they filmed that, Sarah Boyd told me Robbie Amell actually wanted to do his own stunts, and they had a lot of fun with it. During an interview with CinemaBlend, the director said:

And then Robbie really wanted to do his own stunts. So he's actually doing that big flying kick and hitting him in the face. I was like, ‘Are you sure? I don't want to like twist your wrist when you fall.’ He was like ‘No, I got this.’ So he did his own stunts, over and over, and really enjoyed doing that stuff.

Overall, it’s an intense, yet funny, scene (as Upload tends to be). However, it didn’t prepare me for the very end of the episode when we find out the two Nathans have seemingly been captured, and one is apparently "destroyed." The horror on Nora and Ingrid’s faces accurately describes how I felt during that moment too. Commenting on the fate of Robbie Amell’s character, Boyd said:

Well, we definitely don't know which Nathan survives. And they purposefully asked me to make sure it was not going to be clear. So, I mean, to the point where they didn't tell Robbie, right? So nobody knows, nobody knew. But that's why we filmed it with a gray background. And clearly whichever Nathan it is, has been through hell.

Honestly, “been through hell,” feels like an understatement. This guy has been through the wringer this season, and assuming the show gets renewed for a fourth season, things are only going to get more intense, for everyone. This is because at the end of the finale, we don’t know which Nathan we’re seeing, or if they’ve been merged. We see the horror on his loved ones' faces as they come to this realization, and that’s where the audience is left. It turns out, the cast and crew were also left hanging on this cliff too.

A press image of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking at Nathan on his phone in Upload.
A press image of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking at Nathan on his phone in Upload.

How Robbie Amell And Sarah Boyd Filmed The End Of Upload’s Finale

Even though other Upload directors spoke about Robbie Amell’s commitment to playing the Nathans differently, when it came to this final sequence, they wanted to keep things ambiguous. Sarah Boyd explained that the actor did differentiate the two characters when he played it, however, it was nuanced. They made sure to have options so either Nathan could be the guy talking to Ingrid, Nora and co. She said:

So Robbie did a bunch of different takes. In his mind, he was doing different takes as either one of them, and I'm not sure whether it's entirely that different, each version of that in those specific lines. But throughout the season Robbie was really enjoying having these two different Nathan's to play with. So he did very consciously work on them being different characters. So yeah, that was fun. And, and [it was] meant to be mysterious and meant to keep you coming back, anticipating Season 4 for sure.

Speaking about the conversations she had with Amell leading up to shooting this scene, Boyd said the goal was to make it so the audience couldn’t tell which Nathan was left at the end of the season. She explained:

I think the conversation was just basically that, we don't know which one it is, the audience shouldn't know. And so while still being true to the character, to each of the characters, you know, do your version of what that would be so that we had options.

So, while Amell shot both versions of Nathan, and they worked to keep things very nuanced and mysterious on his end, when it came to the reactions of his loved ones, that’s where Boyd was able to get a bigger range of extreme emotions. She said:

There was a lot of variety on the other side of it for various levels of humor, as well as horror, with the women, with the people reacting to Nathan on screen. So that was a lot of fun, because there were some really, really funny [takes], some really, really over the top ones, and then some in between ones. [There were takes of everyone] screaming for how long, and everyone's saying the exact same words, sometimes that worked, and sometimes it didn't work. So we did lots of versions of them reacting to seeing Nathan and being relieved and being horrified. And then Nora saying, 'Wait, wait, wait.’ So that was more and more of the variety happened.

Overall, the ending of Upload’s third season is as intense as it is hilarious. There are still so many loose ends and questions to be answered. Much like with Season 2, they’ll need to prioritize plot points going into a new season. I think priority No. 1 has to be saving the Nathans from the goons who took him, and figuring out if it’s possible to get Real World and Back-Up Nathan back so they can go about their lives and be with Nora and Ingrid respectively.

While we got a great explanation of how Robbie Amell dealt with shooting Nathan’s wild ending, there are still so many questions to be answered. Season 3 has officially wrapped up on the 2023 TV schedule, so hopefully we’ll have news on Season 4 soon, so we can find out what happened in Lakeview.

In the meantime, you can stream Seasons 1 through 3 of Upload, as well as all of Prime Video’s best shows on Amazon.