For eight years Brian Krause was known to genre fans as Leo Wyatt from the WB series “Charmed.” While his portrayal of a good-natured whitelighter endeared him to millions worldwide, his latest performance in Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer is going to come as quite a shock. Krause has definitely shed his “good guy” personality in order to portray the demented “County Line Cannibal” who terrorizes a small town for decades.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to talk with Krause about what attracted him to Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer (review here), the difficulties he personally faced playing such a disturbed character, and what fans can expect next from the always busy actor.
Krause was definitely aware of the fact that “Charmed” fans might be somewhat shocked by his performance in Cyrus, especially since the titular character is a far cry from the nice guy most of them are used to seeing the actor portray. He discussed how Cyrus being unlike anyone he’s ever played was a huge draw for him to the project.
“Being someone I haven’t been before was the biggest appeal to doing this movie because I usually don’t get offered these kinds of darker roles,” said Krause. “I met Mark (Vadik, director) a year prior to working on Cyrus and he told me a little bit about it and I thought it sounded interesting. Then once I got the script, I really liked what he wanted to do with Cyrus’ story so that’s when I came on board.”
“Because Cyrus is such a cruel and dark character, I really had to do a lot of research myself on different serial killers just to get a sense of who a guy like Cyrus really was. Mark also gave me some music to use to get me into Cyrus mode, and I used that a lot when we were on set when I had to get into my serial killer mindset,” added Krause.
Despite enjoying the challenge of portraying a guy like Cyrus, Krause discussed how the disturbing role took a bit of a toll on him mentally throughout the shoot. “Even though I liked challenging myself with this role, it was also really hard to be a guy like that too because I’m not like him at all. Some days it felt like I carried the weight of Cyrus around with me even when I’d head home from set. There are a lot of scenes that were hard to get through because they were so disturbing and I think working in that realm can twist your own reality a bit at times.”
”Once we wrapped on Cyrus, I had to work pretty hard to get out of the dark places that character took me during the course of the shoot. Honestly, I loved challenging myself on this one, but I don’t think I could make a living at always playing serial killers. That’s some heavy stuff to carry around with you all the time,” added Krause.
With the release of Cyrus coming on June 28th, we asked Krause what’s been keeping him busy lately. Turns out he’s taken the leap to writer/director and is currently working on some of his own material. He teased a bit about both projects and talked about what prompted him to take his career to a new level.
“Lately I’ve been keeping myself busy while working on a few of my own projects. The first is a short (funny enough) about a serial killer. It’s like Jaws meets Seven, and we’re working on getting that finished up right now. The other script I’m working on finishing up is for a feature that’s in the same vein of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle so that’s the next thing I’d like to direct.”
“I think wanting to produce and direct was a natural progression for me- after spending so much time on the set of Charmed and so many movies throughout the years, I really got a sense for all the aspects of filmmaking. So before I took this step, I did some second unit work just to get my feet wet, and then I realized I was ready to take the next step. I guess I just wanted to have the ability to be able to tell my own stories too,” added Krause.
Even though the actor-turned-director is taking his career in a new direction, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be game for a Cyrus sequel if the opportunity presented itself. “I would definitely love to come back for more Cyrus and I would especially love to get to do more with Lance too in the sequel. I don’t think his story’s done being told yet because this film truly feels like an introduction to the life of this very disturbed killer. I think there’s definitely more to him than we’ve seen so far, and I’d be very interested to see where Mark would take his story in the future.”
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