Rumor has it David Tennant's take on Peter Vincent has drummed up so much buzz, there's already whispers about a Fright Night 2 starring Tennant. So we asked the man himself: What would an all-Tennant Fright Night look like?
Plus find out the deleted scenes about the magician's magical crotch that were left out of this vampire thriller.
Why do you think it was important for your Peter Vincent character to have such a dark past? In the original he was just some poor schlub, however your interpretation of Peter Vincent is fairly dark.
You're right. He is fairly troubled and fairly disillusioned. I guess, you'd have to ask Marti Noxon, who wrote the script, why she went there, but I think it adds a texture to the film. It gives a reason why Peter Vincent should have studied vampire-ology to the extent that he has. You know plot wise it makes sense. There's something nice that there's a suggestion of history between Jerry and Peter, that's touched on quite lightly. But it does suggest that Jerry has been around for hundreds of years. It adds a resonance a darkness and a sort of desperation to what Peter's about. And from an acting point, that's just delicious. Because the more layers, the better.
Very little time is spent, in this reboot, convincing the side characters that the vampire is real, unlike the original where Charlie was considered crazy for quite some time. Was that something that had to be cut (or sped up) for a today's audiences? This film is much faster and darker…
Yes. One of my favorite moments in the movie is the thing that finally convinces Charlie. That wonderful moment when a character explodes in a blaze of orange 3D particles that swim out at you. There's still a fear of Charlie not believing it. Again you'd have to speak to a writer. But I think after a certain point you kind of want to get on with it. You want to get to the meat of the chase, as it were. I guess you want to get Imogen [Poots] and Toni's [Collette] character involved. You want to get to Peter Vincent, you want to see what happened to Evil Ed. Whether that has to do with the twenty-first century versus 1985, I don't know. But I think the structure is very similar. I suppose it's just telling the story in a different way.
What is it about stage magicians that leaves them open to ridicule?
I supposed it's because everything they do is ultimately a lie, isn't it? The best magicians don't allow you to puncture the facade, that's their job. Even though we know it's all hooey, the best ones stop you from thinking that. But of course — and the same could be said with acting, it's quite a silly job ultimately. Your job is all about pretending something that isn't real, is real, even though everyone watching knows it's not real. It's a different kind of acting. And fashions change. Magicians these days, post David Blaine, are much more street, and much cooler. It's all much more casual. Whereas I think Peter Vincent is from a school where fashion has sailed. Where it's a slightly pompous engulfing splendor. That's part of what's lovely about the character, he's a man who's just slipping out of time and doesn't really know how to get up to speed. Maybe if we get a sequel, he will have reinvented himself as some kind of street magician and sit in a box above Tower Bridge for 45 days or something.
Everyone is buzzing about a possible Fright Night 2 starring your character. Would you be open to doing another Fright Night? And you just touched on a little bit of that idea [with the Blaine reinvention] but what else is there left to tell about Peter?
I think there's a lot! What's going on? What happened to his family when they were wiped out? What went on there, how did he put himself back together? And now that Jerry has finally been bested, how has that left him? Is transformed and redeemed? Or did that sort of push the demons further down? I don't know. It will all depend on how this weekend goes. Who knows if we'll ever find the answers to these questions?
Would you be open to doing another Fright Night?
Oh, sure. I had a ball, I had a great time. I'll be looking to see how that opening weekend goes with great interest.
What it's like playing a character who needs to be coaxed into going into action as opposed to your previous roles?
Even the sort of more heroic characters I've played, I've always been more left of center. I don't think I'm quite the sort of Superman type anyway. Even something like Doctor Who — he's not your conventional kind of superhero. I quite like that, it's just a bit more interesting really. Especially with Peter. Someone who's a reluctant hero, it just gives you something interesting to play. The fact that he has to be drunk to strap on the stake gun, from an acting point of view, is great because it's complicated and a bit dark and frankly a little bit fucked up. And that's a lot more fun to play than the straightforward jock.
A lot of your comedy with Colin Farrell felt very natural, was there a lot of improv going on? What are some of the Peter Vincent moments that will hopefully be on the DVD?
Ha! Yes there was a bit of, some of which was still in the film. There's a couple of lines that happened in the moment, which I'm quite pleased to see made the final cut. Craig [Gillespie] was very good at letting scenes expand a bit and trying things out. He was very good at saying "put this in this time and see how they react." There was a bit about the leather pants causing a rash [on Peter], there was an extended sequence there which — I don't know if that may even make a DVD release. That might have to be on some kind of late night bloopers channel. Yeah there were a few, but to be honest I can't really remember now all the bits that might have ended on the cutting room floor. I'd quite like to see those DVD extras myself.
I would really love to see some more of your magician shtick, if there was more of that, that we didn't get to see.
We filmed quite a few tricks and him doing some illusions, which haven't made the final cut. So I'd be interested in seeing a few of those… I did an escaping hanging upside down thing in a straight jacket. There was flinging knives at my assistant, I remember. Lots of stuff with fire. There was a moment with lots of quick cuts that I saw a couple of them in there somewhere. Most of the features survived, actually!