Earlier this week the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX put on a special screening of DreamWorks' Fright Night 3D, which in typical Drafthouse fashion meant putting together a special menu for the night (pictured at right), bringing in a few of the film's cast members to participate in some events and having an all around good time. Naturally one of these events found stars Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco chugging sangria from blood bags.
As you can imagine, by the time it got around to talking to the gents about their fun, R-rated vampire film, the trio were a little loosened up (as evidenced by Franco beginning the interview) and perfectly happy to bust each other's chops throughout.
Dave Franco: Are you a big fan of the original Fright Night?
Movies.com: Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the original.
Franco: Why not?
Movies.com: It's very stagey, it's a bit dry and I just can't stand its Evil Ed.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: That's some of its charm, though. It's corny.
Anton Yelchin: Let the man have an opinion, bro.
Mintz-Plasse: You're not conducting this interview!
Franco: I'm trying to!
Movies.com: I don't hate it, and that actually does lead into my first question. What were each of your reactions the first time your agent brought up a remake of Fright Night?
Mintz-Plasse: Well, when it came to my agent's desk, he was just like, "Moneymoneymoneymoneymoney!"
When it came to my desk, I saw that it was a remake, saw that it was a vampire flick and thought there have been a shitload of those. But then I read it and I loved the character that they offered me and the people who were attached. I hadn't seen the original, so it wasn't like we were remaking Fear and Loathing, which is one of my favorite movies. So I thought I could be down for this and got attached to it.
Franco: If you've seen the movie you'll know that if you blink you might miss my part. I came on toward the end when all these incredible actors were already attached. On top of that, I mainly responded to the script. It's a really simple, poignant story with awesome characters that isn't trying to be anything more than it already is. It's just a fun movie and I think Craig, the director, did a great job of getting the heart of the script across.
Yelchin: I really liked it. Craig was attached when I read it and I was a big fan of his from Lars and the Real Girl.
Mintz-Plasse: [mockingly] Oh. Were you?
Yelchin: Yeah, I like Lars and the Real Girl.
Mintz-Plasse: Prove it.
Franco: Prooooove it.
Mintz-Plasse: Quote the whole movie.
Movies.com: Just start carrying around a love doll, make him look like a dick.
Yelchin: [Glaring at Mintz-Plasse] As I was saying. I got a script and I thought it was a solid character arc and I appreciated the fact that the vampire was a monster as opposed to some suburban, melodramatic--
Mintz-Plasse: Are you...are you referring to Twilight?
Yelchin: No, no dude.
Mintz-Plasse: Wait. Are you team Jacob or team Edward?
Yelchin: Dude, I'm Taylor Lautner all the way.
Mintz-Plasse: Abduction! Abduction!
Yelchin: [Pausing] And then all these great actors got attached, so I was stoked.
Mintz-Plasse: Were we some of those great actors?
Yelchin: No, no. It kind of sucked that they're such dicks, ya know? I regret it.
No, it was great. The experience only got better as all these guys signed on. It was great being a part of this with them. Once we're on set...it's the people that always makes a great experience.
Mintz-Plasse: Agreed, agreed. These are...these are two of my...my closest friends now.
Mintz-Plasse: This movie will be done after the year, but these friendships, these friendships will last forever, guys.
Movies.com: Well you guys are joking about Twilight, but it has kind of resulted in this over saturation of vampires and causes groans whenever another project like this is announced. Is that something you guys kept in mind a lot while filming?
Yelchin: Well, it's a lot different than Twilight.
Movies.com: Oh of course, I know, but Is Twilight this pop culture juggernaut that needs to be taken down?
Mintz-Plasse: The audience groans, but they don't get to read the script. So we read it, and we know.
Yelchin: [Doing a smarmy voice] They are fools, aren't they?
Mintz-Plasse: I mean, we knew it was going to be violent and bloody and funny and scary, with a predator instead of these sparkly vampires. Bring it back to the OG and having just one, violent man.
Franco: What movie would you compare it to, in tone?
Yelchin: Look at you conducting this interview again.
Franco: I just want to talk to him about this! I was thinking it's maybe like a Sam Raimi-
Mintz-Plasse: Don't you say Spider-man.
Franco: Shut up. What's the one with Justin Long?
Movies.com: Drag Me To Hell.
Mintz-Plasse: I can understand that, but....phew...that's one of my favorite horror movies. It's not as violent as this, though.
Yelchin: We had so much practical blood work on set and then in post they...they upped it.
Movies.com: Was that something you were expecting? A lot of CGI in post?
Yelchin: They actually didn't do a bunch more than we were expecting.
Movies.com: Really? I think that's one of the side effects of 3D, then. On certain layers of it it can be hard to tell what's digital and what's practical.
Yelchin: Howard Berger--
Mintz-Plasse: Howard and KNB are the best!
Movies.com: I actually interviewed him a few weeks ago.
Mintz-Plasse: Nice! Was it for this?
Movies.com: No, it was for the makeup effects in I Am Number Four.
Franco: Oh, really? [Laughs]
Movies.com: Yeah. That was actually written by Marti Noxon as well.
Yelchin: Oh that's right.
Mintz-Plasse: How was my best friend Alex Pettyfer in that?
Yelchin: He's a big Alex Pettyfer fan.
Movies.com: He was striking.
Mintz-Plasse: Striking, yes. Very handsome. We work out together. We take acting classes together. We auditioned for Beastly together and I was like, "You know what, man? You can take this one."
Movies.com: That was very gracious of you.
Yelchin: F*ck, man, I feel bad for you. First Abduction then Beastly.
Mintz-Plasse: Yeah, I missed out.
Movies.com: Oh, did you miss out on Abduction?
Mintz-Plasse: Yeah. We were talking about that earlier. I just had to film Fright Night, so...
Movies.com: Getting back to the gore, and since this is the rare horror movie from DreamWorks, what was the approach there? Obviously that's not up to you guys, it's in the script, but were you constantly trying to maximize everything and say, "We're going to make a f*cking a horror movie."
Mintz-Plasse: No kidding, man, I say f*ck soooo much in this movie!
Movies.com: It has no nudity in it, though, which is interesting because it's the second R horror in as many weeks without any.
Mintz-Plasse: I showed my boobs, but they weren't impressed.
Yelchin: Yeah, well, they're not very impressive.
Movies.com: Hopefully they'll be on the Blu-ray.
Mintz-Plasse: The script was R when we got it, and that's why I tend to swear a lot in my scenes. And the script supervisor was like, "Ya' know, tone it down maybe, " and I was like, [doing an impression of an old newspaper editor with a cigar in his mouth] "No, no, ya' see. It's all fine."
Mintz-Plasse: And when I was a vampire, I just kept telling them to add more blood. I kept telling Howard to put more on, because if it's R--
Franco: Might as well go for it.
Movies.com: Given that is R-rated horror, Craig Gillespie was an interesting choice given his low-key, indie background.
Mintz-Plasse: I love when directors do that.
Movies.com: Well you guys have mostly all been involved with large scale action movies...
[At this point Mintz-Plasse just starts starring at Franco]
Franco: Don't you f*cking look at me like I haven't been involved in anything!
Mintz-Plasse: Was this your first movie?
Franco: Don't you snap your neck to me!
Mintz-Plasse: So...what was the question?
Movies.com: I was just wondering if in your collective experience, if indie directors making the jump to big action scenes get away with doing cool things just because they don't know what the limitations are and they can get away with it?
Franco: I actually like the Craig moments – and this may be reading into it too much – but I like the Craig moments when there are these awkward pauses. One that sticks out in my head is when Toni is first meeting Colin's character and there are these pauses where in a normal mainstream movie like this they would normally cut out those little extraneous beats, but he lets them play out. I don't know, the look of the movie, as well, I think it looks kind of indie.
Mintz-Plasse: Yeah. I love that Lars and the Real Girl was an all performance-based movie, and that's why my role was kind of challenging to me because I haven't played a kind of depressing character like that. And Craig got such amazing performances out of Gosling and everyone else in that, that I'd knew he could help me do the same.
Yelchin: He's very much an actor's director.
Mintz-Plasse: You could tell he wanted us to bring our own feeling to the character and he let us improv a lot, which most directors don't let you do.
Movies.com: Did you guys have any favorite improv moments?
Yelchin: Can I just say mine first? When you guys are fighting and you [Franco] go, "You tracked your nerd juice all over my lawn," and you [Mintz-Plasse] go, "You've got a little nerd juice right there." [Points to his chin] It always, always cracks me up.
Mintz-Plasse: Thank you, dude, thank you.
Franco: I fed Chris that line.
Mintz-Plasse: F**********ck you! Don't take my moment, man! I finally get a compliment and then shot down!
Tennant improv'ed a bunch.
Yelchin: Another one! Can I say it?
Mintz-Plasse: Go for it, dude.
Yelchin: When he goes, "Should I get you a Shirley Temple?" That gets me every time.
Mintz-Plasse: I like when he does the bit with the rash.
Yelchin: He did that shit soooo much! It went on for minutes! Him just going, [starts grabbing his crotch] "Oooooooohhh, Aaaaaaaahhh!!" And I'm just like, "Craig, I don't have any more possible reactions to this."
Movies.com: What about you guys? Any favorite improv moments?
Mintz-Plasse: Tennant for me was always great. We actually had a line I improv'ed in the audition that made the movie. I thought that was really cool because that was so early in the process.
Movies.com: Which line was that?
Mintz-Plasse: "You tied my Stretch Armstrong around your balls and jerked off for an hour." Something like that.
Franco: I was indifferent to that line.