Here at The Playlist, we’ve been singing the praises of British actress Imogen Poots for a while now. She impressed in Jordan Scott’s boarding school drama “Cracked” and David Levien’s “Solitary Man,” and has been building her presence over the years, with smaller roles in “V for Vendetta,” “28 Weeks Later” and “Me and Orson Welles.” At the close of 2010, The Playlist listed Poots as one of our 15 actresses on the rise, and indeed with roles coming up in the biopic "Greetings From Tim Buckley," the drama "A Late Quartet" (alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and more) and the romance/heist flick "Comes A Bright Day" with "Submarine" star Craig Roberts, she's definitely living up to her early promise.
However, her biggest exposure yet will come as the apple of Charley Brewster’s (Anton Yelchin) eye, and the potential plaything for his nasty vampire neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), in Craig Gillespie's 3D remake of "Fright Night." Poots will drop her English accent to play all-American girl Amy Peterson who gets tangled up between Charley and Jerry in a rare part that mixes horror and comedy. The Playlist recently spoke with Imogen Poots about her role in the film, working with Yelchin and Farrell, and how this film differs from that other major vampire franchise.
The Playlist: How familiar were you with the original film when you first heard about the remake?
Imogen Poots: I was sort of familiar. I watched it when I knew they were going to be doing this version. It was mainly the John Hughes ‘80s films that I was familiar with, but it was cool to watch it.
It might seem a little dated seeing it for the first time these days.
Yeah, it’s always interesting to see what film was doing in a specific time period. I think the camp and farcical aspects of the original were what we wanted to maintain in our version. That gives it so much character.
Was there a hesitation on your part to jump into a genre project like this, much less a vampire tale with the current glut of vampires in entertainment?
I think I was intrigued by the fact that they were creating a vampire that takes it back to the original form of the predator, the highly sexualized monster. That was something that intrigued me about the film. It wasn’t just vampires in a romantic setting. Craig Gillespie was a huge draw. I loved “Lars and the Real Girl” and coming from that kind of background, he was going to bring something really human to this commercial beast of a film.
You have quite different relationships with your two male co-stars, Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell.
Working with Anton was awesome. We had so much fun. It was kind of like playing partners in crime in the film. You want to have that dynamic. From day one, we just got along great and it was a joy to go to work every day. Anton and Chris [Mintz-Plasse] are just the best. And Colin’s wonderful, so gentle as a human being and very talented. He was putting us at ease on set. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, which also has to do with Craig, who dictated the energy.
How would you compare Colin’s vampire Jerry to Chris Sarandon’s?
I think what’s cool is both of them gave the vampire an original form, but I think Colin has re-imagined it and created something different. His eyes, even, in the film I think are fascinating. Not even a glimpse of remorse or fear within his creation. And I think that Colin has brought the most slick sexuality to Jerry. It’s supposed to be a figure who you can’t help but be seduced by and I think Colin is perfect for that.
Any time we discuss a new vampire movie these days, you can’t seem to avoid the inevitable mention of "Twilight." For those who maybe aren’t familiar with the original, how do you explain to them that this is a different kind of vampire flick?
I mean, I have nothing against "Twilight." That has extraordinary actors and super bright people and what they’ve been able to give the teenage audience is this romantic vampire and I think that’s what’s so awesome about the vampires is that they are so varied and adaptable. It’s a shame that maybe they are now perceived as something that’s uncool. Basically we’re taking it back to the original concept of the predator, and whether you choose to explore that with religious imagery or whether you choose to portray him as a monster, I think that’s important. And also we have a great soundtrack and it’s a real fusion of comedy and horror, so it’s not a straightforward drama in any way.
From seeing the trailers, even just the briefest glimpse of Farrell’s Jerry Dandridge seem far more sinister than Chris Sarandon’s take. This Jerry is no romantic it would seem.
Yes, that’s for sure, [this Jerry’s] not a romantic at heart at all.
“Fright Night” opens in theaters nationwide on August 19th, 2011.