Question: Can you talk your Amy in this and how it’s different from the original Amy?
Imogen Poots: I suppose it’s a modern take. The premise is pretty much the same regarding the vampire and the main plot. In terms of their relationship, it’s universal. Charlie and Amy are still going through the same adventure. But I’ve made it different in the sense that I’ve made it my own. I think that’s what is important when you’re embarking on a remake, to find something new and original. To sum up the characterization, I think my Amy is quite strong. I’m not saying that the other one is weaker in any way, but she’s definitely got strength. Which means that she’s able to be on par with Charlie in dealing with Jerry and the vampire situation.
Question: Is there a similar sexual tension between Charlie and Amy?
Poots: There’s a sexual tension. Probably mainly from Amy’s point of view. I think there’s a running gag where she’s constantly trying to get him to deliver “the goods” and he doesn’t. So that’s kind of funny. I guess maybe they’re unusual because they’re always dealing with running away from vampires and very suspicious situations. So there’s not much time to mess around.
Question: Do you get a kick out of doing genre movies?
Poots: I suppose I find the characters intriguing for girls. I think a lot of the time a lot of the roles are stupid for girls. I knew that Craig Gillespie was very genius from Lars and the Real Girl. And I really respect Toni Collette to an extremely high level. Anton and Colin also, and David Tennant, too. So I really wanted to be part of this so much. I know that I’ve done some genre films before, but often those are the parts where the journey is the most compact and the storyline is a real arch for the character to go on and that’s always important.
Question: We’ve heard that the film kind of pokes fun at the current notion of romantic vampires. Is your character at all a commentary on today’s typical Twilight-loving girl?
Poots: Potentially. In no disregard to Twilight, those books are very special. But I think that in terms of how one as a girl would put a man on pedestal, a vampire is a very appropriate form. It’s something that is completely sexual and completely forbidden. A vampire is a real kind of wonderful allegory for that I suppose. That’s why the success of the vampire films has been so immense recently. I think girls can relate to that in many ways.
Question: Without giving too much away, those that have seen the original know that Amy undergoes a little bit of change in the third act. Do you get a little bit of make up experience in?
Poots: Oh yeah. It’s a big make up experience. I’ll just say “chin” That all I’ll say. I’ve never experienced so much experience on my chin before.
Question: You turn into Jay Leno?
Poots: [laughs] No, but that’s another fun thing. There’s that little transition and that’s a really wonderful thing as an actor to then play a part within a part.
Question: Just how evil does Evil Ed get?
Poots: Ed gets pretty evil. But I think his outrage with Charlie comes from their friendship that has been broken. So it’s not a pure evil. It’s hurt and it’s something human. Which I think is quite wonderful, that these vampires have something flawed in them that can be related to something flawed in human beings.
Question: Can you talk about David Tennant’s performance?
Poots: David Tennant is hilarious. He’s so funny. I have seen him as Dr. Who, and I don’t know what it’s like in America, but it’s a big thing in England. He’s completely dismissed that character to play Peter Vincent., who is hysterical, and based on a lot of people that you may recognize in the public eye, and he’s incorporated that into his characterization. We’ve done a little bit together and he’s very funny, and it’s nice to have fellow Brit around.
On Getting the Job The first thing about Fright Night that really attracted me was that I love the original movie, and always have. I thought it was super-cool when I saw it when I was younger, and I still think it’s super-cool. So when I heard this movie was coming up I called Dreamworks and said, “I have to be on this movie, end of discussion.” And they said “OK.” That was easy! KNB – myself and Greg Nicotero – were hired. I’d done all the research on Craig Gillespie and realized that he had no prior history of killing or murder or blood, but he’s a really excellent filmmaker who could definitely bring a different feel to the movie. There was no cast signed, so we were kind of designing blindly.
Not a Big Make-Up Movie?! The first thing, once Craig was brought on and it was interesting when talking to execs at Dreamworks; they were thinking that this was not a big makeup movie. More like, you know, “maybe we’ll do lenses and fangs and pale them down.” And I said, “I don’t think that’s a Fright Night movie, but OK, we’ll entertain that thought for a minute.”
Then when Craig came on, and Mike De Luca, one of our exec producers who’s probably a bigger Fright Night fanboy than myself, he said, “No, there’s tons of makeup and monsters in this movie.” Thank goodness! So we started doing preliminary design work for Jerry Dandridge, and we originally had ten stages of makeup. We pared that down a little bit, got it to about six stages of makeup on Colin Farrell. We started designing on generic faces, and we’d have weekly presentations for Craig.
Designing Vampire Jerry Once we got hold of Colin’s life cast we knew what direction we wanted to go in, and so the big things were: we wanted to start subtle, and build and build and build on that until we got into a full-scale creature, which is that fifth stage with the big crazy ears and veins and all that stuff.
Jerry flares up, it’s an anger and adrenaline that forces him into these different stages. And it comes on real quick it’s very *flashes in, flashes out.* It’s fun, and the stages bounce all over the place. We were very meticulous about what the stages were in which scenes. And then once we’d get to set it would be “maybe this should be stage one. No, let’s do stage point-5.” And then Colin might say, “I think I want to wear fingernails in this scene. maybe the stage four teeth and the stage one eyes.” And I’m thinking, well, now there are a thousand stages, but OK. So we’d bring everything to set with us so we were prepared for Craig and Colin’s spontaneity
Designing Evil Ed Christopher Mintz-Plasse is our Evil Ed, and the perfect choice to play that part. He’s got two stages, well really three including the neck gash thing. And we keep trying to pump up the blood on this movie, too. It’s the first film where Craig has ever had blood on set. The first blood gag we did, we were saying, “I think there needs to be more,” and he was saying, “it’s too much, it’s too much!” And now he’s kind of getting into the ‘blood’ of it all and we’re able to do bigger. We did a gag a couple weeks ago where we brought out the big fire extinguisher full of blood and charged it up to about 100psi, put five gallons of blood in there, and we used it all up. There was blood everywhere, blood up Colin’s nose, in everything. “This is what we’re talking about!”
CG Versus Practical & Designing Amy We’re trying to do very little digital on this movie. I think there are only 100 digital shots. That’s unheard of. That number will probably grow, as well all know, but right now we’re trying to do everything as practical as possible, or do a mix. For instance, on Amy, it will be a mix. She’ll have that big mouth, it’s a full appliance piece — everything on the show is silicone appliances — and her whole interior mouth will be digital. It won’t be like the original film where there were teeth glued to the outside of her face. Although that was still super-cool and she could do a lot of things with it.
This time, Craig really wants that mouth to open up wide, and she can really open that appliance up wide, and we want rows and rows of teeth, all in her mouth, going down her throat, all that stuff. So that will all be done digitally, and will be one of the few things where there is digital augmentation. And also, going back to Colin in the fifth stage, the whole mouth is digital as well. We left the teeth sculpted in there, as a point of reference for the digital guys, but the entire interior of Colin’s mouth and face will all be painted green on the inside, and that will all be digitally augmented, a whole throat and mouth.
Will Jerry Turn Into a Bat? There are monsters and creatures in it, but Craig is really keeping this reality-based. That’s part of the unnerving aspect of it, I think, is that everything is very real and feels really real. I think if we went into the giant monsters it would move out of that universe, and pull you out…it would be a different movie.
Fright Night opens in 2D and 3D on August 19.
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor