Luke Evans recently broke into film (with 2010’s Clash of the Titans), having started out in the London theatre scene, where he performed in many shows on the West End and fringe festivals.
His filmography includes The Three Musketeers (2011), Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and The Hobbit films. In Dracula Untold, Evans plays Vlad the Impaler, the fearsome warrior who earned his nickname by impaling his enemies, leaving them to anguish. The film connects the myth and history of Vlad the Impaler to the myth and canon of Dracula, showing his last days as a man and his first as a vampire.
Read what he had to say about his latest role below!
The character you play in the film is an iconic one, to say the least. It’s kind of ingrained in the cultural memory. Did you find it challenging to create your own take on such an iconic character?
Yeah, challenging, but I think it would have been more challenging if I was having to do a reboot of the story that we know so well. I mean, that would have been even more challenging, because it’s been done so many times. But what sort of detaches us from that story is that this is the origin story. So it’s about the man behind the vampire. It’s about a man that walked this earth in the 1460s, so immediately I was able to put a stamp on a part of this story that no one’s ever told before.
What were some inspirations or influences you drew from in creating your character?
Lots of stuff. I mean, he has a lot going on. There’s a lot of storylines in Vlad’s life. You know, he’s got his dark past where he was Vlad the Impaler; he was reared by the Turks as a young boy as a royal hostage; he was taught lots of different torture techniques and punishments as a young boy from the Turks; he was in prison for twelve years; he came back and reclaimed his throne; he was a ruthless warrior and had a very dark past. But he also presided over peaceful periods in his land, and he was also a loving father and a loving husband and a leader to his people. So there was a load of that that I was able to use and to give the many layers to his character that I wanted. And then when he was turning into the character of the vampire, I felt like it was a man suffering from a very strong addiction to something, you know? And that’s what I was sort of channeling there, was this man who having to force himself into a cold turkey scenario where he was fighting this fever and this urge to drink blood.
Did you have any sort of routine that you’d go through each day to help you get into character?
Well, no, not really. I mean, when you’re on set every day for 76 days, you find it very easy to switch back on when you have to. I mean, if I’d taken weeks off and then had to come back then I probably would have some sort of ritual, but no I didn’t really need it. I was in his skin more than I was in my own.
Throughout the film, there’s heavy use of CGI. Are there any specific acting challenges that that provides, having to work when there might be nothing there?
Yeah. And I’ve sort of learned those tricks by being on films like The Hobbit and Immortals and things like that where there was a lot of CGI, moments when you have to really dig deep and use your own imagination, so, yeah. It sort of helps.
What about the project attracted you to it?
It was about the fact that it was a story that hadn’t been told. It was the untold story of the origins of this very famous literary figure, and telling the human story of it, which immediately makes it relatable, and I think people will have empathy with this character, whether they agree with what he does in the film or how he goes about it, that’s another thing. But I think because he has this human emotion it’s immediately relatable.
“Dracula Untold” hits theaters this Friday, October 10.