Nicolas Cage has shared some details about his upcoming portrayal of Dracula, stating that he wants his rendering “to pop in a unique way”.
It was announced back in November that the Face/Off star will be taking on the role of the famous blood sucker in Universal Pictures’ Renfield, a monster movie centred on the vampire’s noted henchman.
Cage will star opposite Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), who was previously cast as the film’s titular character, as well as Ben Schwartz (Parks And Recreation) and Awkwafina (Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings). The film is directed by Chris McKay, who helmed Amazon Prime’s The Tomorrow War and The Lego Batman Movie.
In a new interview with Variety, Cage talked about some of the previous Dracula performances he drew inspiration from. “I looked at Bela Lugosi’s performance, and then I looked at Frank Langella’s performance,” he said of the 1931 and 1979 Dracula films.
He also nodded to Gary Oldman’s performance in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which was directed by Cage’s uncle Francis Ford Coppola. “I looked at Gary’s performance in uncle’s movie, which I think it’s just so sumptuous. Every frame is a work of art,” he said.
It wasn’t just Dracula films that Cage turned to for inspiration. He also looked at Marina Mazepa‘s performance as Gabriel in James Wan’s Malignant and Samara from the original Japanese Ringu.
“I want it to pop in a unique way from how we’ve seen it played,” Cage explained. “So I’m thinking to really focus on the movement of the character. You know, I saw Malignant and I thought what she did with those moves – and even Ringu with Sadako [Yamamura] … I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice.”
He also discussed the humour the new take on Dracula will adopt. “What makes it super fun is that it’s a comedy,” he said. “And when you get that tone right – comedy and horror – like American Werewolf In London, it’s a blast. It’s got to be a bulls-eye. But that’s what I’m looking for, something new to bring to the character, and also that perfect tone of comedy and horror.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Cage said he doesn’t like to be referred to as an “actor” and instead would rather be known as a “thespian”, despite admitting it risks him “sounding like a pretentious a-hole”.