Equipped with crucifixes and garlic, Total DVD met Dracula – well Gerard Butler
How do you start getting your head around being transformed into the legend that is Dracula?
Panic, panic, panic… and then let it go, you know? That was the thing, I really, really wanted the part and as often happens you get it and go ‘Oh my God I can’t do this’. This isn’t the same Dracula as the myth. In fact we actually talk in the movie about the myth of Dracula and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I wasn’t going to get caught up in watching all the movies and getting bogged down with that… it was more just having discussions with the director about the history of the character. Because he has a different history in the movie as well… where he comes from and why he does what he does. And then I had a feeling about the way he moved and the way he spoke and what that entailed because I think there was a feeling about this Dracula that even when he was standing still it was all going on inside and you just never knew what he was going to do. So that was it, then just let it go and trust it.
How was it decided that you’d have a really cool sexy look?
I don’t know… I think they always had that idea… I never really… you know, it’s funny, I was playing Attila the Hun beforehand and I had the beard and the long hair when I met the guys in LA I was then asked to do a tape for the role while I was out in Lithuania and I thought that Attila was the best look for Dracula, with the long hair and the beard it was just so intense. It almost looked like Jesus, which I thought was pretty relevant. But they didn’t want that, they wanted a clean shaven look and I have to say that I still prefer the other way. But the fact is, this film pushes forward the various notions you have about Dracula quite far, and one of those is that he is sexy. But then I always feel a bit uncomfortable talking about that.
What about the special effects, were there any demands made of you in that regard?
The teeth were a bit of a nightmare. They were still negotiating the part when I was sent over to London to get moulds of all different parts of my body and teeth moulds, but they didn’t work because they were done so quickly. So then when I got to Toronto I literally got straight off the plane and had to go to the special effects guys’ workshop and have the moulds done again. I wasn’t crazy about the teeth because they pushed forward in front of my own teeth and I kept biting my lip. And also, whenever I had to bite anyone I really went for it, so I was always scratching people’s necks with them. I cracked the teeth a couple of times as well which was a bugger. When I get tense I grind my teeth and with those fangs it would just break them.
Tell us about the contact lenses, were they very uncomfortable to have to wear?
It was very uncomfortable. I don’t really like things going into my eyes and there were several different sizes, one of which was just huge. It was like trying to put an entire eyeball in front of your own and it just kept slipping out. The first few times were just unbearable… it would take around 40 minutes just to get the damn things in! I also had to wear completely white lenses which meant that I couldn’t see and had to be guided around the set. You know, they really abused me on this shoot. I’d forgotten, but the more I think about it I’m like… bastards.
Is this a film which people will come back to again and again?
There’s a lot of cool stuff in this movie that appeals to different people. Some people will like it for the look, some of the sets were simply stunning and there’s the Wes Craven-ish feel to certain scenes. Then there’s the sex scenes which I know a lot of perverts will get in to – like me! So yeah, it’s got a great visual feel and people will be picking out their fave scenes on DVD… especially the ones I’m in.