Eternal Hunger - A fansite for the immortals of Van Helsing

Interview with Richard Roxburgh ('Dracula')

read all of it here by Rebecca Murray

The fact Hugh Jackman looks up to Richard Roxburgh worked in Roxburgh's favor when it came time to cast "Van Helsing's" Count Dracula. Director Stephen Sommers wanted Van Helsing to be in awe of Dracula, and Jackman's real life admiration of Roxburgh's work helped capture the exact spirit Sommers was looking for.

Sommers believes Roxburgh's portrayal of Dracula is right on target. "The movie takes place in the 1800s and Richard plays Dracula like a kind of privileged rock star—in a really good way. There’s something sexy, twisted and cool about the way Richard inhabits the role."

How do you take a classic character like this and make it your own?
Really, I think in the same way as you do when you do a role that everybody’s seen on stage before. It’s the same thing. You have to sort of see the way that the character behaves, and what the character says and does, and claim it in the same way that you claim anything, really.

Did you study the old classics before taking on this role?
No, not really. I did have a look at the Bela Lugosi “Dracula” because there was a sense of homage to those old films in this that Steve [Sommers] wanted to achieve, so I looked at it for that reason.

What makes these creatures still so appealing to moviegoers?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think they’ve been scaring and tantalizing people for decades, if not hundreds of years, obviously before cinema. I guess they must appeal to people on a sort of deep level. But that’s a job for a shrink (laughing).

What type of training did you do for your walking on the ceiling stunt?
There was no training really. They just said, “Here, put on this harness and we’ll throw this thing up between your legs.” And then they drag you upside down. The hard bit is trying to talk without spitting up your own nose, which is actually what happens if you hang upside down (laughing).

Did you think they were crazy when they told you what you were going to be doing?
No, I actually enjoyed the challenge of all those things, I have to say. I kind of love all that stuff – those physical challenges. I guess there will come a time when I’ll get sick of it but at this stage, I just like it all.

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