A chat with the cast and director of Dampyr ∂ FantasyMagazine.it

TO Lucca Comics & Games we attended the first screening of the film by Dampyr together with the guests of Sergio Bonelli Publisher, to the cast and director, who gave a short presentation and final greetings at the end of the show. The film is the first piece that will make up the transmedia universe of Bonelli, who intends to bring his own stories outside the comic support, passing through cinema, TV series and video games.

The meeting of the cast with the journalists was rather short, but we were able to discuss various topics with them, for which they responded with great availability and irony. Director Riccardo Chemello, at his debut behind the camera, he was the only exponent of the Bel Paese, since the actors were all British. In fact, the film was shot in English and dubbed only later. They were also with him Stuart Martinalready appeared in it IMAndyou saywho played the “Soldier” Kurjak; David Morrisseyformer Governor of The Walking Deadin Dampyr plays the main vampire enemy Gorka; And Luke Robertsalso former Governor, but of the Bahamas of Black Sails and Thomas Wayne in The Batmanwas Draka, the father of the Dampyr, a vampire whose role in the whole affair is still dark enough for audiences who haven’t read the comics, as the film ends with an ending that leaves many possibilities open.

How to prepare for the task: inspirations from the history of cinema or personal study?

According to the director, beyond the inevitable digital visual effects, the choice to use many special material effects, such as make-up and the careful study of the lights and sets, matured from the tone of the original comic, a decision made in agreement with the publisher. same. That of Dampyr is a different vampire world than usual, set in the Balkans and tells of a war against vampires under the layer of a real war. Chemello was inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s cinema with his own Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), not only in the staging, but also in some musical passages.

Dampyr

David Morrissey grew up watching horror films, especially those of Hammer starring Christopher Lee as Dracula and the Nosferatu original. He had never played such a character, but he knows well the genre in which his character belongs.


Dampyr
Dampyr

The ground on which to grow the preparation for Luke Roberts was very fertile, starting with the name of his character: Draka, which already contains Dracula in the name, therefore also for him the Dracula of Coppola is important. They were already shooting in Romania near the legendary Bran Castle, so he went to visit it and also researched the Order of St. George and the Order of the Dragon. There was no lack of the study of comics, which Bonelli gave him, to which he is passionate, especially the figure of the protagonist Harlan Draka, a little rock star and cool. The costume department also sent them preview sketches, so overall they had ideas and support across the board.

Stuart Martin also found great help in the comics Bonelli sent them to prepare. His Kurjak changes from the first issue to the most recent, so a lot of support in making it more concrete came from the costume designers, because when he finally put on the jacket and they made up properly he managed to really be that character.

Freedom of interpretation

Chemello stated that Bonelli really put his soul into taking care of the project and there was also enough freedom on the part of the director in adapting the material by bringing it into the language of cinema, in an exchange of mutual trust, that is to respect the property while making some news. The style of the first issue of Boselli and Colombo designed by Majo already had a style that would influence the adaptation. Starting from the comic, filtering it through the storyboard, it could be adapted to the cinema. Furthermore, all the department heads, coordinated by Riccardo, were able to put their experience and passion at the service of history, creating a cohesive product.


Dampyr
Dampyr

For Morrissey, the work of an actor must absolutely not be guided slavishly. He should have the freedom to feel the character and make it his own, at which point the film really becomes a collaboration and not an imposition. Fortunately, it happened in Dampyr and he really enjoyed playing an evil and manipulative vampire.

The dialogue on the set between different languages ​​and cultures

According to the actors, the material they had at their disposal was incredible and suited to give a lot of depth. But many shades that can give greater depth to the characters are often improvised on the set, often in an unexpected and fun way. They learned to know and make their characters their own, so the result seemed more realistic.


The director and the cast of Dampyr at the world premiere at Lucca Comics & Games.
The director and the cast of Dampyr at the world premiere at Lucca Comics & Games.

Roberts added that people from the Romanian crew were also involved to give more realism to the story. In fact, Draka’s interpreter recalled a time when she was riding and had to cheer the horse. The local staff suggested the words that would be said in that locality, so using it he added depth to the moment and also gave a more archaic tone to the scene. A nuance that unfortunately will not be noticed in the dubbed film, so you will have to wait for the home video edition to fully appreciate it.

What was it like working on the real sets?

All the locations gave the actors the impression of being really inside the place of the story, like remote villages and far from civilization, or the proximity to Bran Castle where the true inspirer of Dracula lived. Working in a mine was overwhelming and really dangerous because it was claustrophobic, there was no air, you had to go out often and even a spark could start a fire. They felt as if they had passed the baton of the Dracula tradition to them and had to carry it on.


Dampyr
Dampyr

The time for questions unfortunately ran out very quickly, but this did not prevent the actors from talking to each other in complete ease and relaxation, giving us anecdotes that surely know how to enrich the experience of watching the film.

Our review of Dampyr:

Dampyr

Dampyr

Article by Emanuele Manco
Saturday, 29 October 2022

The review of the first Bonelli Cinematic Universe film.

Laws

Bonelli Entertainment

In this edition of the event, in addition to Dampyralso Black Dragon had its own expansion, presenting the first episodes of the cartoon and the video game.

A chat with the cast and director of Dampyr ∂ FantasyMagazine.it