I visited the set of the new Fright Night movie last September and wrote about the experience here. That post covers my thoughts on the whole process, but it’s not all I have to report. No siree, while I was there several members of the cast and crew took time out of their clearly busy schedule to chat with the press.
Unheard of you say? It’s true! And here are some words to prove it from the likes of Colin Farrell and Imogen Poots! [These are excerpts from group interviews conducted during the set visit.] Be sure to check out all of our Fright Night coverage here.
COLIN FARRELL, actor
So let’s talk about your incarnation of Jerry.
I’m in trouble on the first question. (Laughs) I have no idea. We’re halfway through the film and the character’s design in this is the less romantic rendering of the vampire, as represented even in the original myth of “Dracula” with the Madam Mina figure that he’s searching the world for. That woman who can be some form of counterpart for him in his immortality and could ease the pain of loneliness, which these vampires in the more romantic myth experience. In this one he’s more territorial. He’s more just a — he’s kind of got a large appetite really. He’s just, as I say to Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character in the film, yeah he’s not romantic. He’s not Edward Cullen, he’s not Dracula, he says he’s Jaws, he’s just fucking Jaws. He eats, he eats, then he moves on. And I don’t know how old, who knows. Like in the film he’s four hundred years old, so I think he’s probably also a little bit bored, a little bit lonely but just doesn’t have those romantic illusions like the other characters have.
So when I read the script, I was a fan of Fright Night. The original I probably saw when I was around nine or ten, and then the next time I saw it say around ten times when it went out in the next ten years. When I heard they were making a film I was like “fucking Hollywood,” impressively lacking originality once more. And then I read it and I was hoping I wouldn’t like it but motherfucker! Oh no! So I went from being able to slag to in the end I’m sure will be some nice pockets of stuff. It read as the original, but obviously it’ll be completely contemporized, a new perspective on the story. But in essence, as a read it was too much fun nearly as the film was to view for me, so I just jumped at the chance.
With (Craig) Gillespie, he had a really distinct idea for heading onto the film. Just looking and realizing that, there’s one thing that I knew about Craig Gillespie that was he had an incredible ability to kind of grasp a specific tonality in a film. He had to tread the line between the lies and the real world, between the more absurd and comedic aspects of the story and the more touching, deeply human and painful aspects of that film. That and I thought at the same time I thought that his ability on a scale would be something that essentially in the telling of this story, like it was in the original, is to tread that line between the horror and the comedy.
So it’s fun, I’m having fun playing Jerry. The whole fun is imagining taking what initially what any fan loved about the original is there and just addressing it in a different way. I would hope that you would be a fan of the original. I would like to think that other fans of the original would like it. Having said that, I don’t know what the film’s like. Maybe I won’t fucking like it, who knows. It’s not whatever it is, thirty, forty, whatever it costs million dollar exercise in nostalgia. At the end of the day, it’s made for a new audience and there’s some people who are attached to the original and let’s see if they like it best.
Have you found yourself drawing on any portrayals of vampires at all in fiction, film or literature at all? If not, what has informed your performance?
Not really man, it’s kind of overused, but I think this is one of those places where truly I think every single actor on this film is having a good time. The majority of the audience I think will enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. What’s funny, getting into preparation for it, getting into that kind of logic and going “If he can do that, then what do you do when..?” You’re waiting for the stars that you can’t even see in the darkest of nights. But it’s fun, thinking of all of these ideas like is there any assemblance of human consciousness or any sense of morality left in him and all of that kind of stuff. It’s fun.
IMOGEN POOTS, actress with adorable name
Is there a similar sexual tension between Charlie and Amy?
There’s a sexual tension. Probably mainly from Amy’s point of view. I think there’s a running gag where she’s constantly trying to get him to deliver “the goods” and he doesn’t because he’s always chasing a vampire. So that’s kind of funny. I guess maybe they’re unusual because they’re always dealing with running away from vampires and very suspicious situations. So there’s not much time to mess around.
Do you get a kick out of doing genre movies?
I suppose I find the characters intriguing for girls. I think a lot of the time a lot of the roles are stupid for girls. I knew that Craig Gillespie was very genius from Lars and the Real Girl. And I really respect Toni Collette to an extremely high level. Anton and Colin also, and David Tennant too. So I really wanted to be part of this so much. I know that I’ve done some genre films before, but often those are the parts where the journey is the most compact and the storyline is a real arch for the character to go on and that’s always important.
Can you talk about the comedic aspect of the film and what challenge that presents to you coming from genre films and darker stuff?
The comedy aspect is really thrilling. There’s a lot of room for improvisation. Craig is really liberal with the script. That’s important because Anton and Toni are very free with their language and it’s important to find the naturalism through that. People are funny. You don’t need to create humor. I think people are awkward enough to be hysterical. I think it’s a matter of finding that.
We’ve heard that the film kind of pokes fun at the current notion of romantic vampires. Is your character at all a commentary on today’s typical Twilight-loving girl?
Potentially. In no disregard to Twilight, those books are very special. But I think that in terms of how one as a girl would put a man on pedestal, a vampire is a very appropriate form. It’s something that is completely sexual and completely forbidden. A vampire is a real kind of wonderful allegory for that I suppose. That’s why the success of the vampire films has been so immense recently. I think girls can relate to that in many ways.
Without giving too much away, those that have seen the original know that Amy undergoes a little bit of change in the third act. Do you get a little bit of make up experience in?
Oh yeah. It’s a big make up experience. I’ll just say “chin.” That all I’ll say. I’ve never experienced so much experience on my chin before.
You turn into Jay Leno?
[laughs] No, but that’s another fun thing. There’s that little transition and that’s a really wonderful thing as an actor to then play a part within a part.
Just how evil does Evil Ed get?
Ed gets pretty evil. But I think his outrage with Charlie comes from their friendship that has been broken. So it’s not a pure evil. It’s hurt and it’s something human. Which I think is quite wonderful, that these vampires have something flawed in them that can be related to something flawed in human beings.
Can you talk a little bit about working in 3D?
It’s amazing. I haven’t noticed too much of a difference apart from that the camera is much bigger and that you get to wear cool glasses in between takes. It’s so interesting from an intellectual technological point of view of film-making. It’s really interesting and quite daunting how fast the transformation has taken place. Javier, the DP, is a genius and things just look so crisp and beautiful. I’m really excited about being part of this new 3D.
Can you talk about David Tennant’s performance?
David Tennant is hilarious. He’s so funny. I have seen him as Dr. Who, and I don’t know what it’s like in America, but it’s a big thing in England. He’s completely dismissed that character to play Peter Vincent., who is hysterical, and based on a lot of people that you may recognize in the public eye, and he’s incorporated that into his characterization. We’ve done a little bit together and he’s very funny, and it’s nice to have fellow Brit around.