Now that Fright Night is reaping it in at the cinema I had the chance to sink my own teeth (I’m ashamed for using that pun) into some time with a couple of the cast members.
After a screening of the film, I enjoyed a spot of lunch in a plush Soho hotel room with the company of other journalists babbling on about the film and whether or not Superman may have a nut allergy. I then sat back down in my seat for an afternoon with Anton Yelchin (who plays Charlie Brewster) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (who plays Ed), the two friends who find out a vampire lives next door.
They kicked things off by mentioning their time at the most British of institutions, the Big Brother house. “How was your time in the Big Brother house?” Christopher lets out a long sigh that forms itself into a hesitating “erm…” There’s a pause as Christopher and Anton share a glance then everyone in the room laughs. “It was fun, everyone was really nice.” Christopher laughs, “But I didn’t really know who anyone was.”
Anyway, enough of that, Big Brother is too horrific, even for this site.
In preparing for their roles as vampire slayers in this remake, Christopher started by admitting: “I didn’t know it [Fright Night] existed until I got the script for this one. I went in and got the part so I bought the original and thought it was great!”
When asked about playing Evil Ed, Christopher “Thought he [Stephen Geoffreys] did an amazing job in the original, but it was very wacky and zany, kind of 80’s and over the top. I wanted to see that so I knew what not to do, in a way.” His voice raising a couple of octaves. “I didn’t wanna act like I was imitating him in a way.” It’s good they’re putting their own unique spin on the film, bringing it to the contemporary audience.
Shortly enough, the two were eagerly asked: “Are you guys big vampire buffs? Do you have a favourite horror film?” “I’m a big horror buff,” replies Christopher, “I enjoy vampire movies, I saw Blade with my dad when I was younger, but my favourite horror movie is The Strangers. I just like violence and blood!”
Anton on the other hand admits: “I’m not a huge vampire guy but I like the original Nosferatu and the Herzog remake. I either like sort of cerebral vampire movies or gory fucked up violent ones like From Dusk Till Dawn! But Gary Oldman is so good in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, he’s amazing.”
Later on, someone from the back of the room asked if there were any other horror films that had made an impression on the two when they were younger. Christopher jumps in: “The first horror movie that I saw in theatres was Starship Troopers. I was like 8 and that was the first movie I saw boobs in to so that was like a double win for me. It was my first experience of aliens and blood and guts. I loved it.”
Anton followed: “One of the first things I saw in the theatre was Con Air I think…” Everyone in the room chuckles as they, like me remembered their first experience of the wonder that is Con Air. “I remember being like 7 or 8 but I never really watched much horror when I was younger although I guess Cape Fear, the remake, had those horrific elements to it and that was one of my favourite movies as a kid.”
Unfortunately, David Tennant was ill and unable to attend however, Anton and Christopher had good words to say about their fellow cast member. Christopher began with confessing: “I didn’t know who he was when I did this movie [Fright Night] but I heard that he was very talented and knew that people were really into Doctor Who, but I was excited that I didn’t know who he was because when I got to work with him I got to see upfront what kind of actor he was. He
super hilarious, he’s the best part of this movie really. He’s definitely my favourite part.” Anton continues: “Yeah, he’s so good, he was so much fun to watch on screen and then whist we were shooting. He was just a blast. You could have made a whole movie out of his character.”
The guys still enjoyed their more demanding aspects of the shoot, Christopher started: “Our fight scene at the end, we practised for like a week and we did some fighting and I did some wire work for that. It wasn’t too difficult. We nailed that within a few days.”
Anton went on: “Yeah, I think we can pretty much do anything as long as we won’t die… Then it kinda becomes an insurance issue.” Christopher interrupts: “Yeah, well you shot cross bows and got lit on fire and wrestled around!” Anton laughs, “Yeah, we were shooting that last sequence in the pit and it was really late, we did it all night even though it was still on stages. I had to turn around in one shot and I was supposed to fire like here…” Anton mimics shooting a cross bow at Chris, “… and I literally turned and just fired, like maybe two feet away from David. I mean, even though it was a blank it was scary and it’s still dangerous.”
Anton was keen to talk about his stunt roles and went on to talk about what it was like to be set on fire: “It’s great! It was awesome! The thing is you’re really cold because they wrap you in layers of this freezing jelly. You put on these longjohns and they pour it down the front of your pants then down the back and then all down your front and back of your shirt. You can’t breathe it’s so cold! By the time you’re set on fire it feels great because you’re so fucking cold! It just feels like being next to a heater but you’re fire!”
Christopher went on to speak about Craig Gillespie, the director and the use of 3D: “He [Craig] helped us get the best performances, comedic and/or horror out of everybody and he did a fantastic job of it! And yeah, the 3D cameras, their bigger and heavier but they didn’t really affect us in performances.” Anton continued “There were moments that were more geared towards the 3D but it’s not used in a gimmicky way. It’s to try and bring you into the film more than anything.”
The conference finally came to an end after about 40 minutes and the two of them had great stories and banter to share about their time making the film. I then left the hotel after I stuffed another free bottle of Vitamin Water in my bag from the lunch.
Make sure you check Fright Night out in 3D, in cinemas now.