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THE WOLFMAN

Casting The Wolfman
As with other facets of The Wolfman, it was important for the filmmakers to include classic characters from the original horror movie. While Lawrence's father—played by Claude Rains in the 1941 version—only had a very minor role in that film, the team felt that key relationship should be a large part of the 2010 update. In addition to Lawrence Talbot and his father John, they wanted to make sure they included characters such as Gwen Conliffe, the conflicted object of Lawrence's affections, and Maleva, the chieftainess of the gypsies.

Producer Stuber summarizes the group's thoughts on the stellar cast: "Benicio, Anthony, Emily and Hugo together bring tremendous depth to the story and give life to the spectacle and the horror elements.”

The younger Talbot not only comes back to Blackmoor to find out what happened to his beloved brother, he tries to reconnect with a father that abandoned him decades earlier. It is then that he is bitten by a werewolf and must deal with the realization that he will become a monster himself. The original story was expanded to create new layers of interaction between the characters, and that began with fleshing out Sir John Talbot. Cast opposite Del Toro as Lawrence's eccentric father was legendary actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. As the two Talbots have not seen one another or spoken for years, from the moment they reconnect, the relationship between the men is naturally tense. For Del Toro, it was not difficult to slip into that part of the role, as he was initially nervous to work with the performer. He laughs: "At first, I was more in awe working with him than enjoying it. By just watching him, he helped me and gave me notes here and there. It was nice to have another actor give you suggestions. He's a straight shooter; he's done in two takes and was great to work with.”

Hopkins believed he had to tap into a place of dark abandon to be able to play Sir John. He explains the relationship between the two men: "It is one of coldness and abandonment. Lawrence has never been able to know his father, as he was sent away because of some unspeakable horror he witnessed as a child: the horror of his mother's death. Sir John pushed him away and sent him to live in America, but he comes back to England as a world famous actor and discovers his brother is in trouble.”

Discussing his attraction to the role, Hopkins offers: "Psychologically, people enjoy looking at the dark side of life. Transformation, resurrection, salvation… this story has it all.” The performer was interested in how the relationship between father and son developed. He reflects: "Sir John is ice-cold and doesn't express any gentleness with tragedy or grief; that's just the way he deals with his son. He also manipulates and needles him by offhand remarks, which are never overtly cruel, just something suggested.”

Sir John, with his dirty nails, filthy clothes and unkempt hair, walks about a huge house that has become derelict. As well, he makes sure that Lawrence never knows where he stands in their relationship. Johnston enjoyed developing Sir John's madness and nudging the friction between the two as soon as they reunite. The director reflects: "Sir John is completely and utterly mad, but he embraces his own madness as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Anthony has played parts like this in the past, but in The Wolfman, we don't know he's insane until halfway through the film. Up to that point, Anthony gives us these little glimpses into the madness of Sir John, and then the window closes and you wait for it to open again. He makes you watch to see what he's going to do next.”

Hopkins commends of his director: "Joe is successful, he's amenable, he's pleasant and absolutely everybody can talk to him. He made it very easy for eve

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