Throughout his 30+-year career, character actor Steven Bauer has been associated with films like Scarface, Thief of Hearts, Running Scared, Gleaming the Cube (a personal favorite), Raising Cain, Primal Fear and Traffic to name a few as well as the hit 80’s TV series “Wiseguy.”
For his latest project Bauer decided to switch things up a bit and don a crazy fur cap and eye patch to fight werewolves in Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s latest classic monster project, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD everywhere.
To mark the occasion, Dread Central had the opportunity to briefly chat with Bauer about how his life-long fandom for the Universal Monsters led to his involvement with Werewolf as well as more on his experiences shooting in Transylvania and how one small eye patch caused so many problems on set.
Check out our exclusive interview with Bauer below!
Dread Central: Considering your filmography, was the fact that Werewolf was a complete 180 for you part of the appeal? Did you come on board the project through the usual channels?
Steven Bauer: Oh yeah, that was the best part for me- going out of my comfort zone. I saw doing Werewolf as a real opportunity to play dress-up and to do the kind of movie that I’ve always wanted to but have found very few opportunities to do over the years. If you look at my body of work, there are not a lot of parts that I’ve played where I’ve been transported into a fantastical realm; most of my work has had more of a ‘realistic’ flavor.
So this was really fun to do because we all have to create these characters and not be too specific with anything- because it’s an organic world, we didn’t have to play by a certain set of rules.
But I knew the producers on this and had told them some time ago that I was a huge fan of the Universal Monster movies so if they ever had something like that in the future to keep me in mind. When they approached me, I was really honored because Universal has a great legacy of horror, and I knew this was going to be an exciting new chapter in that.
Dread Central: It seems like you had a blast playing Hyde; did you get to add in any of your own touches to the character at all?
Steven Bauer: He WAS a fun character to play (laughs)! Hyde had some of what you see to him in the script, but (director) Louis (Morneau) gave me a ton of freedom to flesh him out because at the point I came on board, he wasn’t fully developed. He was just another hunter, kind of like window dressing, so once they got me into wardrobe and I could visualize him, that’s when I began to give Hyde some fun flavors.
So what I did was add the eye patch to the wardrobe; I wanted him to have a great backstory, and what better backstory than a werewolf taking your eye? So then we put in one of my monologues this huge tall tale about how I had an encounter with the beast and he took out my eye. It was great fun; Hyde was a really fun and larger-than-life character to get to play.
Dread Central: Did the eye patch give you any difficulties at all?
Steven Bauer: Yeah, I think about 20 minutes into shooting with the eye patch, I realized that maybe I didn’t think it through too much (laughs). It never dawned on me just how hard it would be to do some of the scenes and stunts with only one working eye. Suddenly I had to worry about running into trees with my horse or not looking in the right sight line because I was compensating for one eye. I was always tripping on set; it made me a bit clumsy, and my favorite moments of the day were when I could just lift that patch and let my eye breath. I don’t know if your eye can be claustrophobic, but that’s what it felt like.
But even though it was a little unbearable at times, it made for such a great aspect of the character so I knew I had to live with it. Or at least survive it (laughs).
Dread Central: Did you enjoy shooting in Transylvania? I really thought the location lent a lot of authenticity to production.
Steven Bauer: It was amazing; whenever you get to travel to an exotic country like Romania, it’s just an amazing experience. Transylvania is a beautiful town with such a rich history to it that you can’t help but get caught up in all of it. What was really interesting to me was when we got there, one of the buildings has a sign on the front that says, ‘This is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler,’ and that just blew me away. That kind of history is rare in the world, so to create this monster movie in the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler was a pretty remarkable experience.
A monstrous creature terrorizes a 19th Century European village by moonlight, and a young man struggles to protect his loved ones from an unspeakable scourge in Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Universal Studios’ all-new addition to its time-honored legacy of classic monsters. During his studies with the local doctor (Stephen Rea), Daniel (Guy Wilson) witnesses the horrific consequences of werewolf attacks. Watching as the beast’s fearsome reputation draws bounty hunters, thrill seekers, and charlatans to the tiny town, Daniel dreams of destroying the ruthless predator.
When a mysterious stranger (Ed Quinn) and his team of skilled werewolf hunters (Stephen Bauer, Adam Croasdell) arrive to pursue the monster, he offers to join them, despite his mother’s (Nia Peeples) protests. But it soon becomes clear that this creature is stronger, smarter, and more dangerous than anything they have faced before. As casualties mount and villagers see their neighbors transformed into ravening monsters, the townsfolk take up arms against each other to find the true identity of the werewolf. Amid the hysteria, Daniel begins to suspect he’s closer to his target than he ever dreamed.
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