Star of Heroes, The Vampire Diaries and upcoming horror comedy The Revenant, David Anders took time to talk to us about his new film and all things genre, including his feelings about Twilight!
Starburst: Considering your past acting roles, The Revenant is almost a first for you considering the majority of your genre roles have been sci-fi related. What made you look at, and accept, the role of Bart?
David Anders: I looked at it and although it was fun, I wasn’t initially going to go in on it. I had another audition on the same side of town and thought I’d give it a try. It ended up being one of the more fun auditions because Kerry (Prior – director) let me go wherever I wanted to go with it. Chris (Wylde) won’t want me to tell you this but Kerry offered me the choice of the parts of Bart or Joey in the movie – and of course, I’m going to choose the lead. Although the first day in make-up with the contacts I was like, “Damn it!” But thank god I chose Bart because I couldn’t have played Joey the way he did. Chris is one of the funniest people in the world, one of the funniest people I’ll ever meet and a dear friend to this day. It ended up being a really enjoyable film.
It looks like you and Chris Wylde had a really good on-set chemistry. How much fun was it to shoot?
It was a lot of fun. I couldn’t see a lot, that was my one qualm going in. I have sensitive eyes and they wanted me to wear the contacts, but Kerry said they could fix it in post. I ended up wearing them, which was hell, but they kept freaking me out as an actor in make-up. We had a guy called Gus who guided me to set. I had to put my hands on his shoulders to find my way, they were that thick. Chris kept telling me I was fine and to stop being such a pussy, but when he had to wear the contacts, he said “Dude, you were absolutely right.” It was like Brent Spiner’s eyes in Star Trek: The Next Generation but you couldn’t see.
The chemistry was easy, working with Chris because he was constantly doing new things every take, surprising you. I can’t say enough about Chris because his performance was one of the driving forces behind the film.
There appears to be a real mash-up of genres in the film. How well did that come across in the script and then the transfer to screen?
It was completely different once we were on set doing it because there were pages added. I think Kerry had a really clear vision but once he had me and Chris doing it, the vision kind of changes as it should because it’s a collaboration. We described it as a buddy-vampire-gunslinger-comedy during the shoot. That’s when it works best, when it’s focused on us.
Would it be fair to call it a rom-zom-com, like Shaun of the Dead?
I like that, but it’s a buddy romance – a bromance!
There is that love story between Louise’s (Griffiths) and my character which is nice. She loves me even in spite of my smell.
Will we ever know what was written in the letter that Bart finds in his pocket from Janet?
There really was something that Kerry wrote on that letter that got me going but I can’t remember because it was so long ago we did this. Whatever was on that letter helped me in that scene. Of course you also use your memories to make you cry. Having only one arm makes you cry!
What do you think happens to Bart next after the credit start to roll?
I guess he’s just going to kill isn’t he? I guess it opens it up for a sequel, maybe he finds his way back into humanity, not as this bloodthirsty soldier. I don’t really know what happens next, I guess that’s the cool thing, kind of open ended with him running off into the distance.
Would you welcome a sequel?
If you’d have asked me that after shooting it, I would have said absolutely not. But now with what I’ve seen, what Kerry did with it and our performances in it, yes I would… if Kerry would have me.
What was it like filming the scene with the vibrator?
The thing is, I didn’t even do that! When you see me talking to the head, and he’s gurgling back at me, that was all shot separately. Those aren’t my hands on the vibrator. Maybe I mimed, but this was four years ago. I remember Kerry going back and forth between doing the gag and not doing the gag, but people really seem to like it. It’s original isn’t it? I’m glad it’s in there.
Do you think it’s strange that Bart finds himself coming full circle by the end of the film, albeit a completely changed character?
It’s kind of a beautiful, creepy, bad bookend really. He’s a mindless killer by the end.
With a Revenant being a kind of cross between a vampire and a zombie, which do you prefer?
I think vampire is the choice there isn’t it? Being in The Vampire Diaries, those are sexy vampires.
If I could play Ian Somerhalder’s character, sure! Working on The Revenant and The Vampire Diaries may have skewed my idea of what a vampire is. My vampires are The Lost Boys and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
So you’re not a Twilight fan then?
No! My girlfriend and her mother dragged me into the most recent Twilight film, and I had to walk out a quarter of the way through. I went and watched Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill instead. That’s how bad Twilight is! I walked out and into Jack & Jill – I really punished myself, although that was far less punishment than what Twilight was inflicting.
Why do you think Revenant has taken so long to come out?
I think Kerry’s a perfectionist and wanted to get it as best as he could. I’ve done so much since then it’s kind of crazy talking about it now. I’m happy to talk to anyone about it because I think it’s a really cool, original film that needs to be seen. I think there were false promises from distribution companies.
One of the roles you are most recognised for was as Adam Monroe - where do you think Heroes went wrong?
Killing me off! Honestly, I thought it was a great character and I was doing a great job of it. I don’t often toot my own horn, I really liked the Kensei stuff better than the Adam Monroe stuff.
I think they jumped the shark by introducing all these characters. The twenty million people who were watching in the first place for the original cast kind of strayed. There were so many scabs that were never going to heal, it just became a kind of a mess. I stopped watching after I was on.
Do you prefer acting in films or TV?
It’s a different beast. I do love television because of the constant work. I don’t love doing the same thing every week, like on the The Vampire Diaries I starting doing that. On Alias and Heroes I wasn’t doing that, it was a surprise every week.
24 was interesting because you’re trying to create an arc for that character with an hour for each episode.
I like the camaraderie on both film and television, eventually I want to concentrate on movies but I’ll always love television too.
See what we thought of The Revenant in our review HERE.
The Revenant is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 2nd April.