D. Kerry Prior’s The Revenant, a movie this writer first fell in love with during ScreamFest 2009 and celebrated during Dread Central’s 2010 Indie Horror Month, recently kicked off its limited theatrical release and is still playing in selected theaters this weekend as well.
Since we missed chatting with the film’s star, David Anders (“Heroes,” “The Vampire Diaries”), back in 2010, we jumped at the chance to do so now. Anders discussed his thoughts on what makes Prior’s film so appealing, the difficulties of working with “semen vision” and collaborating with his real-life bud, the always hysterical Chris Wylde, for this project.
DC also snagged for our readers an exclusive clip from The Revenant that you can dig on right here. Check it out, and make sure to see The Revenant if it’s playing on the big screen near you!
Dread Central: Can you start off by discussing what first attracted you to The Revenant; was a lot of the appeal the fact that Kerry (Prior, writer/director of the film) approached this story in such an unorthodox way?
David Anders: There really is nothing very typical about this story at all, is there? (laughs) But I think that’s what I loved most about The Revenant; it’s a horror comedy that sort of morphs into this weird little movie where Chris and I become gunslingers hustling around Los Angeles in all hours of the night. The instant appeal was that originality, and then when I met with Kerry and realized he was going to let Chris and I have a lot of creative freedom with these characters, I knew this was going to be something on an entirely different level than maybe I had expected from the very start.
Dread Central: How difficult was the make-up process for you on The Revenant then? I heard the contacts were killer to deal with.
David Anders: All of it was sheer hell for me; I won’t pretend otherwise. But I knew what I was in for when I signed on so I won’t complain like I had no idea that it would be hard. That’s what I wanted from this – to challenge myself – and working while you’re practically blind because of these milky white contacts in your eyes was all part of what I signed up for. Those things were just terrible though; I called it “semen vision” (laughs). Our 1st AD would have to guide me to set every day; it was a trip.
But the make-up itself took about four hours to get into and about an hour to get out of each day; it was a pretty okay process, but some days it would get to me, sitting there for so long, so if I ever did get agitated about the make-up, I would just bring that on set in my performance. Overall it really wasn’t that bad although I did get kind of pissed at Kerry when we did a few reshoots and he told me I didn’t have to wear the contacts then; they’d handle my eyes in post now. Too bad he didn’t know about that sooner (laughs). No, I’m joking- it was all fine and just part of the experience.
Dread Central: I know you and Chris are pals in real life so how much of that parlayed into your onscreen chemistry together when you guys were making this movie?
David Anders: It was everything; I mean, how can it not? Besides, Chris is just so infectious whenever you’re around him; it’s not hard to have good chemistry with someone like him. We had such a great time working together on this, and I think that certainly spilled over into the relationship between our characters, Bart and Joey. Kerry was great about letting us riff off of each other and ad-libbing; we’d always do our version of the script, and then, just to make him happy, we’d do Kerry’s. But of course Kerry always ended up using ours (laughs).
Dread Central: Can you talk about Bart? He’s stuck in somewhat of a moral dilemma because he’s a nice guy, a decorated war hero that’s returned from the grave, and he’s dealing with the fact that now that he’s undead, he has to feed on humans in order to stay, well, undead.
David Anders: Bart’s moral dilemma was so intriguing to me as an actor because I wanted to make sure I played it just right; he’s a nice guy, and Joey really wants him around so as long as he’s just killing and feeding on bad guys, I certainly think that makes it okay to kill people off so that I can stick around. Don’t you? (laughs) But all kidding aside, it is how Bart deals with both morality and mortality that made him such a great character to play, and I certainly think it says something about society today as well.
Everyone has a dark side though- everyone. And in the case of Bart in The Revenant, he’s just a good guy that’s forced to do bad things – but only to bad people – so that still makes him a hero in my eyes.
The Revenant arrives on DVD and Digital Download September 18th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, following the limited theatrical and VOD release that’s currently under way.
The breakout film centers on a fallen soldier who somehow finds he has joined the ranks of the living dead. Bart Gregory (David Anders) has just recently been laid to rest – so why is he still up and walking around? The only way he can keep himself from diminishing to dust is to supply himself with a constant supply of fresh blood. He quickly decides to do law enforcement a favor by cleaning up the streets.
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