(Editor’s note: this interview was conducted prior to the current SAG-AFTRA strike.)
The Last Voyage of the Demeter sails into theaters this weekend. Universal's new Dracula movie takes a page (err.. a chapter) from Bram Stoker's 1897 tale. As Dracula makes his way to England aboard the Demeter, the crew does not fare so well. Relegated to a single chapter in the original novel, the new feature makes this voyage the heart of the story. What exactly happened aboard the ship, and what of the missing crew? Now we get to watch the carnage unfold, with a brutal and animalistic iteration of Dracula, brought to life by Javier Botet. The Count himself stopped by for a chat about confined horror, picking off prey, and suave vs animalistic versions of the world's most famous Count.
FANGORIA: What are some of your favorite confined horror movies?
Javier Botet: In general, I love claustrophobic movies in a singular space. I'm amazed by Roman Polanski. The claustrophobia of a space is amazing if the script and the story are good. You need to be good to make a little space work for a one-and-a-half-hour movie. So I appreciate that, and I love that so much. It was so great to read that the movie focused on the travel aboard the Demeter and Dracula. But just in general, I love monsters and close spaces. I've always loved Alien, of course. I always loved The Conjuring, and the classic The Shining.
FANGORIA: As a monster, it's nice when you have your prey in one small space. You can pick them off easier.
JB: Yes, of course. It's more complicated when it's a big space.
FANGORIA: You just track them down on the boat.
JB: Right now, I'm writing a movie that I would love to direct, and it's with a monster and a girl, but everything happens in a flat, so there's not much space to get out. I've always loved the idea of making something in a small space.
FANGORIA: We catch a glimpse of you as Dracula in the trailer, and there are two ways to approach vampires. You can be suave and charming and well-dressed to lure your prey in. Or you can be more of a monster that looks more like a bat with pointy ears and a bald head. The latter is so damn scary, and we don't see it very often. What's your particular favorite kind of vampire?
JB: Well, over the the last few years, people have asked me what monster I want to play, and I've always said Dracula. But of course, I had an idea of the classic Dracula. Very elegant. When I read the script for this movie, I thought this was a very aggressive animal creature. I said, "Oh, it is very different from what we usually see of Dracula." So it was so fun to approach this role. I did not do much of the classic elegant vampire, so I really would love to make another Dracula incorporating those elements.
I think I love both types. This is about the contrast. When he's so elegant and so sexy, it gives you a lot of space to make a contrast that is so beautiful too. A Beast is a horror action movie. It's non-stop.
FANGORIA: Well, the good news is this is just one chapter. So he's an animal in this chapter, and maybe you could be sexy Dracula in the next chapter.
JB: Yeah, I hope.
FANGORIA: When he gets to England, you can be sexy Dracula
JB: Yes, the creature design is beautiful, the makeups are amazing. After the movie's release, I cannot wait to have the option to share all the pictures and videos of the makeup we did. It's amazing work.
FANGORIA: I'm so excited for this. You look amazing in this. I think you're going to be absolutely terrifying. So thank you.
JB: Göran Lundström did amazing work on the makeup. Göran is a master.
FANGORIA: You guys make a good team. You brought it to life.
You can watch Dracula in action, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is now in theaters. Also check out our interview with the Demeter's first mate, David Dastmalchian. Read more from David Dastmalchian and Javier Botet in our current issue, FANGORIA Volume 2 Issue #20.