Earlier this week we sent our roving reporter Graham Day to the Irish premiere screening of Universal’s new monster movie Dracula Untold.
The event, which was co-hosted by Universal Pictures Ireland and Jameson Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film. was held in aid of St. Francis Hospice, and was attended by director Gary Shore and cast members Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon.
Shot on location in Northern Ireland in 2013, the much anticipated film portrays the origin story of its title character, Count Dracula, and is loosely based on the famous Irish novel by author Bram Stoker.
The film marks Dublin born director Shore’s feature debut and was primarily shot in Northern Ireland. Luke Evans stars as the titular vampire, with support from Sarah Gadon, William Houston, Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks, Ferdinand Kingsley, Charlie Cox, and Thor Kristjansson.
Dracula Untold is out in Ireland on October 3rd.
Graham chatted to both of the stars and the director and here’s what they had to say!
How are you Luke?
Fine, thank you.
So how have you found playing Dracula, you’ve already played such iconic characters, how does it feel now to play the ultimate villain?
(He chuckles) The ultimate villain, well as you’ll see from this movie you’ll realise he’s more than jut a villain. He’s a bit of a hero and much more than that.
How do you feel about that because as you said you see a much more human side to him and it’s really a story about what would you do for family. How do you feel about that kind of story?
I think it’s a great story, you can relate to it, it’s a story about a man really, he turns into a vampire but he’s still a very relateable character.
With the special effects and cinematography there is a particular scene where you go through a massive battle with a thousand men, what was the choreography like going through such an impressive scene like that?
Intense, really intense. It took me months of training and it was exhausting.
Well Luke thanks very much and I look forward to seeing you come back again for The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies.
So is this your first time in Ireland?
No it’s not we shot the movie up in Belfast and I was able to come down to Dublin so it was really fun.
How do you find being a part of this Monster Universe playing Mirena and then later, Mia?
It was pretty incredible, I don’t think I realised what I was getting into at the time with there being such an epic scale for this production. I know when I screen tested with Luke Evans and saw the scale of the production I knew that we’d be able to do something special with this.
You definitely see that on-screen.
We both know that this is a very intense movie especially between yourself and Luke so I was wondering did you feel any kind of pressure to tell that story as well as such a powerful romance?
I know pretty much that the emotions were running pretty high . I know there were a few nights where there were some really intense scenes and I couldn’t sleep the night before or after just because I was revving myself up with adrenaline so that was really intense(she laughs). I think after this I want to do something happy.
So how did you find filming out in Belfast, how was the Irish weather for you?
Irish weather is fricking intense, it changes seasons every day, it’s like all four seasons in one day so that was really interesting. I actually came home with three pairs of wellies (she laughs).
Fantastic, there’s no real words to describe the journey to get the film off the ground( He pauses as he talks over my shoulder to yet another proud relative of his, you can see that Gary is a humble and family first kind of guy and it endears you to him) Thanks for bringing all the neighbours(he laughs). The fact that we were able to shoot it in Ireland and bring it back to Dublin and to be given the platform to do so from the festival was really generous. You know I’ve gone to the festival many times as a movie of cinema……(he stumbles over his words and we both laugh, he’s clearly still in awe at what he has achieved).
As a fan? It’s alright you can relax.
Yes as a fan of cinema(we both laugh).
And to get Dracula, another kind of Irishmen from Bram Stoker. How does that feel?
(He pauses) I don’t know we tried to make it happen a hundred years to the day but missed it by a few years. It feels fantastic, very honored, very proud.
We can see all the people around you, you’re clearly a man with family values and you’ve injected those values into the film. It’s all about a man’s decision about what he will do for family, those he loves. Was that a conscious decision or something that happened organicly throughout the film?
It’s a bit of both, when we got the script there was something with Ingeras Vlad’s son who was in the orignal script just a baby. I wanted to increase his age so that you could view this relatioship through a pair of eyes that were not just Vlads. It just felt like, if I’m going to be doing a film for two and a half years and it actually turned into three and half that I want it to be something can keep me going for that length of time and at the end of that process to have a film that I believe is more than just a big, entertaining blockbuster but something with a lot more depth to it.