With a howl and a snarl, The Wolfman loses a space (from 1941's The Wolf Man) and gains a lot of bombast. Plus, look, it's in color now! You can read Cinematical's review of the movie, or you can hear about it from the actors and filmmakers themselves. We spoke to Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving and Emily Blunt, and you can find out what they had to say about working on the film after the jump.
One thing that surprised me was Del Toro's love of Castle films and Aurora plastic models, which pegs him into the same horror movie lover that I was when I grew up. Hopkins was as feisty as a bear and ready to chop your legs off, Weaving was deliberate and methodical in his answers, just like Agent Smith, and Emily Blunt is pretty darned adorable, even though you expect Miranda Priestly to pop in at any moment and scream at her. Check it out after the jump.
Benicio Del Toro: Lawrence Talbot / The Wolfman
- On being a fan of horror films: "I'm a big fan of all these horror movies. I knew the titles of all the films and I also knew the names of the actors in those films, and I think I knew that before Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Doctor Dolittle, you know? These are the movies that I grew up watching. I'm talking 4, 5, 6, 7 years old."
- What got him interested in them: "It was through my cousins, there was a magazine called Famous Monsters and that magazine was in my house as far back as I remember. There were also these Super 8 films that started sometime in the '60s. And then the other thing I remember as a child were these model kits you'd get, like the model of Frankenstein or King Kong, and you glued it together and you painted it, you know? I think it was a great pacifier for kids. Some of them were really gory, and they were really cool toys. I would have dreams about this model toy because my cousins had it and I didn't."
- On the door opening more for Latinos in Hollywood: "You know, when I came to Hollywood there were three names, really, of Latin actors- three or four names. Well, maybe five: Raul Julia, Edward James Olmos, Andy Garcia, Antonio Banderas, Jimmy Smits. Now, there's a lot. If I've helped with that, then it means the world."
- On losing director Mark Romanek two weeks into production, and having him replaced by Joe Johnston: "Before, the character of Lawrence Talbot was a little bit darker. It was a bit violent. He was more of a reluctant hero, if anything. Then Joe Johnson came in, we had a meeting with him. We had to decide on a director fairly quick and he was ballsy enough to jump in and take the handle on this picture that was already moving. We're very grateful for him doing that. So when he came in, that angle that we had earlier started to change a little bit. I think it was Joe Johnston's idea to basically keep it a little bit more on the noble side, or being more of a noble character.
- On makeup vs. CGI: "Well, when you have Rick Baker dying to do it, you don't have to do much convincing. I think that CGI can kind of enhance a picture. I think it enhances this one. Having the transformation in CGI, it helps."
Anthony Hopkins: Sir John Talbot
- On favorite horror films: "My favorites were the Abbott & Costello Meet The Wolf Man was the best, and, you know, Meet Frankenstein. I loved those because they were funny."
- On The Wolfman being set in the UK: "Well, it's an American movie with an American subject. Didn't it cast out in America? So it is an American movie, really. It's not a British subject. What's interesting about it is that it is an American gothic movie filmed in Britain. To me, it was a big gothic movie. It's like a Western set in an English setting."
- On his relationship with his own father: "He was a pretty red-hot guy, but he was also cold. He was also slightly disappointed in me because was not a good kid as a schoolboy, you know. But I learned from it. I liked that coldness because it was harsh, and he taught me to be tough. So I know how to be tough. I know how to be strong. I know how to be ruthless. It's part of my nature. I wouldn't be an actor if I wasn't. You have to be pretty tough to be an actor. "
- On his longevity as a doctor: "I'm a lucky guy to be around, you know, still 72 years of age, still there, fighting. Power of personality. Give out energy and it'll come back to you in abundance. But if you go on, "Mwew mwew," it'll all fold, you may as well die. I know an actor who was quarrelling ...for years and years, he was absolutely eaten up because another actor wouldn't do his off lines in the famous movie called On the Waterfront. Fifty years ago. I said, "You're still going on about it." It's over. It's done. It's over."
- On acting: "Acting is very easy. If you asked John Wayne, 'How'd you play it?' He'd say, 'Well, you just go to Monument Valley and get on a horse' and you become John Wayne. Acting is very, very simple ... when you've been doing it a long time, anyway. So no acting required."
- On playing Odin in Marvel's upcoming Thor: " I'm enjoying working with Ken Branagh very much. Terrific young director. Well, he's not that young. But he's younger than me; everyone's younger than me. But he's terrific and I'm really enjoying that."
Hugo Weaving: Inspector Abberline
- On his input into the character: "The most important thing about using Abberline in this film is that immediately in the viewer's mind, you start thinking about London streets, and that whole horror that was Jack the Ripper. So it adds a great bit of flavor. But the one thing I did take from the real Inspector Abberline was the muttonchop whiskers which was based on a sketch that I had seen of him. So that was my input into the visual character."
- On setting the film in London: "I think retelling the story was a great idea, and setting it in Victorian London was a really great idea. I think it's a master stroke. It's a much more evocative period than the original film. And probably the original film, now, from my perspective, is a funny old, fusty old movie that ... I mean, I can't really take it seriously. So I think it was ripe to be revisited in a classic way and set in that period."
- On playing villains: "I tend not to see characters in terms of being good or evil. I just think, 'Well, what is it they're trying to do?' And in one way, if you look at Sir Lawrence Talbot and Frederick Abberline .... the inner torment of Benicio's character is one that ... I mean in a way, Benicio's fighting himself. He's fighting himself, and so is Abberline. So they're both fighting the same thing, actually. They just don't know it."
- On being in big-budget Hollywood movies: "the first "Matrix" film was a departure for me in terms of the choice of films that I had been making. I still, by and large, make low-budget Australian films. And so these bigger budget, mostly American-backed films, for me, are kind of a lot of fun to do. It enables me to work on a completely different scale."
- On the power of costumes to transform: "I think any role that you play you need to, not so much transform, but I like to think of it as being an understanding the psychology of another character. I suppose I'm not really talking about this film as such, but acting in general. And so a transformation maybe takes place over a period of time, diminishing your own characteristics and sort of augmenting characteristics that you see in someone else. So, it might be to do with facial hair or costume, or whatever. But, yeah, I enjoyed trying to understand what makes people tick and transformation is often a part of that."
- On The Hobbit: I think The Hobbit is being filmed this year, but I don't know. I haven't talked to anyone about The Hobbit. I'd love to.
Emily Blunt: Gwen Conliffe
- On working with Benicio: "He's quite raw and instinctual, so you don't really know what he will do in the scene. And the scene can really take shape, and it can dance and shape shift in some way. I love working like that, because there's a real openness. And you need a costar who's going to play with you in that way. But he's a great guy. We had a laugh on the movie. He's a lot of fun. He's a big teddy bear. People don't know that."
- On working with Anthony Hopkins: "He's very, very cool. I would sit around talking to him between takes and he'd tell us wonderful stories. He's a great mimic, and he's really ... I think "riveting" is the right word. And actually when you're acting with him, he's got such a simplicity to what he does. He's quite an economical actor, in a way. But the layer upon layer, upon layer, upon layer, upon layer that's simmering beneath the surface, it's masterful to watch. It's distracting. I'd watch him in the scene and be like, "Oh, shit, I've forgotten my line," you know."
- On working in horror: "You know, had never really done the horror genre, certainly not the monster movie genre. And I love doing something I've never done before, so that was cool. I was like a really nervous child, so I never wanted to go and watch horror movies. I remember the first one that stands out to me that I watched was The Exorcist, and I didn't sleep for weeks. You're dealing with the supernatural element, the unknown forces. Maybe that's why people are so fascinated by the Ouija Board, and whether ghosts exist, where do we go when we die. Because we just don't know."
- On the Wolfman vs. Lawrence Talbot: "Well I don't think that she recognizes the primal beast. I think that she's quite a scientific girl. So, when village gossip ruled the world, as it did in Victorian times, she was probably the one studying Darwin. And that's when all of Darwin's theories were coming out. So I think she was more. She always saw the man."
- On working in both indie movies and big-budget films: "I'm a huge fan of doing indie movies. I think they're some of the best scripts out there. But there's also some great scripts in the more high-profile films. And Gulliver's Travels was attractive to me because it was really freaking smart, and witty. So anything that's high-profile and is of a bigger budget that's good, I'd be willing to look at. But it's been a real ride this last couple of years. And I think I'm ready for a break. It's a surreal life on a film set whether it's a high-profile movie or not."