It’s not everyday you get to meet vampires, especially two beauts like Rhys and Dan from Bad Cat’s new DVD release Vampires: Brighter in Darkness (Out Monday).
We talk about about starring in their own cult movie, Ian Somerhalder and taking naked showers with your straight mate.
How does it feel to star in your very own gay Vampire movie?
Dan: Well, in considering that I have never studied, let alone worked within the film or television industry before (except within a sporting context), it has been a considerably shocking and surprising experience for me. Especially in light of the fact that the original purpose of Brighter in Darkness was simply to be a pilot and internet series in preparation for the film ‘Vampires: Lucas Rising’ which we have already finished filming. It was never originally intended or aimed at Sky or Iris Prize nominations, so seeing it ‘blow up’ beyond the expected proportions was incredible and quite nerve wracking.Have you always loved vampire stories? / Halloween?
Rhys I have always had an affinity for Vampire stories, I think there is a strange allure that vampires and the stories that are told about them that affect a lot of people. Familiar motifs of tragedy, tragic love, and eternal life are all dark romantic ideas that people often get caught up in when Vampires are involved. That’s why I love the stories as a fan and as an actor the complex relationships that vampires have with each other and often with humans is fascinating.
Dan: No, not particularly. It was not so much the theme that attracted me personally, rather just the experience and adventure of the project. After having spent some time with the Director Jason Davitt and other members of the cast and crew I was convinced that it would be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Two films later, I’m already looking forward to the third and final instalment to the series!
Did you know each other before filming? Any sneaky loving between the two of you?
Rhys Well I had a girlfriend coming into the first production, but me and Dan have great chemistry on screen because we a great friends off screen and I think it’s easy for us to translate it to screen as we can always laugh off any potentially awkward scenes. And the scenes were we are larking around and are closed in. It’s is just like us off screen during the filming process. I’m sure anyone who watches the extra features will see.
Dan: No, I actually met Rhys on his audition, by which time I had already been offered the role of Toby. There were some talented applicants for the role, which kind of intimidated me in one way, yet inspired me and gave me a the knowledge that the other lead would be of a supporting performance. Rhys matched that same criteria and in addition, due to his hilarious and incredibly laid back character, gave me the sense of ease about the unfamiliar events that were to come. As far as sneaky loving goes… That would be an impossibility between me and Rhys [laughs]. Men may kiss on film, women may kiss on film, but after all, its only acting. What can I say, Rhys is a handsome chap, but I don’t play that game off screen.
Rhys I’m a huge Brad Pitt fan but my favourite vampire has to be Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. I think he is a fantastically underrated actor, I recently had a twilight marathon and realised just how good he is at what he does. He also blew me away in Remember Me which I thought again didn’t get the love it deserved.
Dan: Easily Ian Somerhalder… Hands down. Twilight vampires aren’t ‘sexy’ in as much as they may be attractive. Pitt and Cruise went for gothic roles which just can’t be sexy in character, whereas Somerhalder is modern, sexy, and he knows it.
Rhys I’ve never had strong Vampiric desires towards any celebrity, but an acting hero of mine is Tom Hardy I’d love to have some of his time to talk about acting theories and process.
Dan: If I could ‘neck’ any celeb, it would have to be Alicia Keys.
Why do you think Vampire dramas are always a little on the camp side?
Rhys I think they were because the old vampire films were very dramatic and theatrical, almost as if as an audience we were watching it live on stage. So I think sometimes that translated as camp. I think as films have developed Vampires have become far more multi layered and darker. So I think instead of a set formulae, lots of wonderful vampire related stories are springing up, and as a result have neutralised any possibility for the story to sway toward the camp. But of course it still leaves the door open for wonderful supporting character actors to steal the show with a little campness.
Dan: Vampires are by myth (or so I’m told) are of a purely instinctual nature, therefore pleasure and fulfilment is their only goal. In keeping with that myth productions probably try to detract themselves from the typical ‘male’ or indeed ‘female behaviours’ that determine our instinctual actions as men and woman. Therefore we are left with a character unbound by the usual parameters, meaning that like many animals, male or female matters not when it comes to both food and pleasure. I believe we perceive this as an individual/audience in our own private fantasy in a “suspension of disbelief” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, philosopher).
How did it feel to take a shower / make some vampiric loving in front of a camera crew?
Rhys Thankfully as I said, me and Dan are great friends and so it was easy for us to laugh the awkwardness of the scene off thankfully. Also Jason made it very comfortable it was a closed set, minimal crew so it was fine.
Dan: I had to take a lone shower, a shared shower and give some ‘vampiric loving’ to Rhys on set [laughs]. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end (no pun intended!). For me, the shower scenes were much harder to do than the steamy hypnotic loving between me and Rhys. I think I have repressed it to be honest, so I don’t recall ‘how it was’, but I think we both new the score and just got on with it, whereas the shower was obviously far more exposing and personal.
What’s next for you both? Anymore supernatural dramas in the works?
Rhys We have just wrapped the sequel to Brighter in Darkness called Lucas Rising. So we are all very excited about everyone seeing that. Personally I am following the supernatural route with a very small part in Game Of Thrones which I’m very much looking forward to.
Dan: Well, as mentioned, we have completed ‘Vampires: Lucas Rising’ which will be released on DVD in 2013 and we have the third instalment to film which is planned for winter 2013. Aside from that, I think that is my film ‘career’ is at an end, however Mr Howells is already picking up roles elsewhere and pursuing his interests in being an actor. I would be lying if I said I had even considered it.
How does it feel to be the face of a cult phenomenon? Will you be using your powers for good or for darkness?
Rhys Its a very exciting time in my acting life lots of things are starting to happen and I couldn’t be happier for the cast and crew that its beginning to get some recognition. Also I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than Jason as he’s given so much to the project and me personally. And as a master of the dark arts I will always use it for evil, theres no fun in being the goodie or being good.
Dan: Unquestionably – Darkness! If Mr Howell’s states anything other than that and using his new ‘powers’ for the purposes of professional advancement, he is lying… haha. Its quite surreal for me to be the face of it with Rhys. Unfortunately I missed the premiere of Brighter in Darkness and so the size of it all, despite DVD orders and internet hype and mail etc. has yet to hit me. However, after the release of the next film, I know that will change, whether I am at that premiere or not!
Celebrity question: from Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings)
10) What is your most disgusting habit?
Rhys None, vampires are perfectly frozen in time for all eternity
Dan: In as much as we are ‘creatures of habit’, I can’t say I have any disgusting ones… Sorry [laughs]..
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.