We’ve been hearing about the project for some time, but we’re now only a few weeks away from horror fans getting the opportunity to sink their teeth into director Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night remake, which is set to be hit theaters in glorious 3D (and 2D for those of you who prefer your movies in two dimensions) on August 19th.
Late last year Dread Central was invited to take part in a set visit for the upcoming Fright Night 3D in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we had the opportunity to chat with Gillespie, writer Marti Noxon, producer Michael DeLuca and legendary make-up effects artist Howard Berger as well as cast members Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and Imogen Poots.
Over the next several days we’ll be bringing you our coverage from that set visit as well as our exclusive video interviews with director Gillespie and the cast.
But what a better way to kick off our Fright Night set visit coverage than to hear from the new Jerry Dandridge himself- Colin Farrell. Farrell, who is having a hell of a year that includes performances in the upcoming Fright Night as well as the summer comedy hit Horrible Bosses, isn’t looking to rest on his laurels anytime soon. He’s also starring in several other high-profile projects including the upcoming Total Recall remake as well as the extremely dark comedy Seven Psychopaths.
Right before Farrell was called to set to start filming a portion of the nightclub scene (which is a fan favorite for those of you out there who love Tom Holland’s original masterpiece as much as this writer does), he stopped to chat with the group to give us his thoughts on reincarnating Jerry for a new generation of horror fans, how his vampire isn’t looking to be the next Edward Cullen and why he almost didn’t want to take the role of Jerry Dandridge to begin with.
Farrell, who was extremely candid with our group, discussed why his being a fan of the original 1985 Fright Night prevented him from even considering reading the script at first, let alone taking over the role of Jerry Dandridge, the dangerous vampire who moves next door to curious teenager Charlie Brewster (Yelchin) who discovers his dark and dangerous secret.
“When I read the script, I was already a fan of the original Fright Night,” said Farrell. “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.”
“And I’m having fun playing Jerry. The whole fun is imagining taking what initially any fan loved about the original 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 will be 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 are some people who are attached to the original and let’s see if they like it best,” added Farrell.
Being a fan of the original, Farrell said he wasn’t looking to improve on what Chris Sarandon established with his incarnation of Jerry Dandridge 26 years ago- in fact, what he appreciated most about the new version of the Fright Night story was that both Noxon and Gillespie were adamant about Jerry being more about killing and quenching his bloodlust in this updated spin and less about being a romanticized figure like he was in the original film.
Farrell said, “Jerry’s character design in this is definitely a 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 film, 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 and he’s not Dracula. He’s just fucking Jaws. He eats, he eats and then he moves on. And I don’t know how old Jerry is- who knows. Like maybe in the film he’s four hundred years old so I think Jerry’s probably also a little bit bored, a little bit lonely but just doesn’t have those romantic illusions like the other characters have had in the past.”
“With Craig, he had a really distinct idea for the story and the tone heading onto the film,” added Farrell. “Just looking and realizing that, there’s one thing that I knew about Craig was that 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. And I think he’s the right guy to get the job done.”
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