Farrell a malevolent vampire

2012-03-05 00:00

IRISH actor Colin Farrell gave up a dream of being a football player — like his father, Eamon, and uncle, Tommy, who both played for Shamrock Rovers in the 1960s — to become an actor.

It’s a decision which has seen him playing roles as varied as Alexander the Great, notorious outlaw Jesse James, American soldiers and CIA agents, and now a vampire.

Asked how he came to be involved in Fright Night — a remake of the 1985 comedy-horror cult classic that has just been released on DVD and BluRay — he said: “I had done a lot of dramatic films and dramatic roles back to back for three or four years.

“I literally said to my agent, ‘I’d love to do something that’s really, really different and that has some comedy to it, something that’s fun’.

“Then this came along. I was dubious about it, because I had seen the original when I was 11 or 12 and I loved it. I particularly loved how Chris Sarandon played Jerry and I had a little boy crush on him, so I didn’t want to like the script when I read it. I said, ‘They’re remaking Fright Night. That could be a really bad idea,’ but then I just really just loved the script and saw how this could be a lot of fun.”

Another key factor for Farrell was who else would be involved in making the film. “When I heard that Craig Gillespie was involved and we sat down and spoke, I realised it would be a blast to play a character that is unbridled by any human sense of fear, remorse, regret or compassion,” he said.

“The screenwriter, Marti Noxon, designed the character in a very particular way. She wanted Jerry to be the kind of vampire that is more malevolent, violent and cruel than the vampires who have been presented onscreen in recent years.”

Fright Night, which is directed by Gillespie, tells the story of a high school senior, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin — Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) — who believes he’s finally made it. He’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in school, and is so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse — Kick Ass, Superbad).

But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger, Jerry (Farrell), moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right, yet no one, including Charley’s mom (Toni Collette — The Sixth Sense, United States of Tara), seems to notice.

Eventually, after witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to the conclusion that Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighbourhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, he has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself.

Asked if he consciously tried to bring a sense of humour into the role, Farrell said: “No, I never felt any pressure to bring humour into the film. I think that was left up to David Tennant [Dr. Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire] and Christoper Mintz-Plasse. Their two characters had a lot of the humorous dialogue and those boys know their way around humour. I was the horror and they were the humour.”


• The DVD offers film-fans plenty of bonus features, including Squid Man: Extended and Uncut, a host of bloopers, and the uncensored No One Believes Me music video, directed by Craig Gillespie and performed by hip hop recording artist Kid Cudi.

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