Out of the darkness

Out of the darkness

For those who believe there is a lot of glamour in film-making, here's an interesting tidbit to bring you down to earth.

All the Turkish spoken in Dracula Untold was learnt from a kebab shop owner in Ireland, whose shop was near the film set.

"It's true," Luke Evans said, laughing.

"I'm sure after the movie's out, there will be some Twitter account saying how bad my Turkish was.

"I've forgotten it all, except one part of dialogue that sounds like 'itchy jazz'. That's all I remember, unfortunately... itchy jazz!"

Sitting opposite Evans in a London hotel room, it was easy to fall under his spell. The 35-year-old Welsh actor oozes an easy charm despite his imposing physique and dark, intense features.

He's a good fit for the titular bloodsucker in Dracula Untold, which opens here tomorrow.

But there's a twist to Evans' portrayal.

"The Dracula everyone knows entices women, then kills them," Evans said.

"But in our film, there's much more to him. He's not just the vampire who drinks the blood of the virgin... he's a warrior fighting for his people. He's got good motives, but chooses dark forces to help him."

Dracula Untold follows the journey of historic figure Prince Vlad III of Wallachia (present-day Romania), better known as Vlad the Impaler.

When the Turkish sultan, Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper), demands 1,000 child soldiers for his army, including Vlad's own son, Vlad attempts to fight the Turks by seeking the dark powers of the Master Vampire (Charles Dance).

Vlad makes a pact to borrow the Master's powers for three days.

If he can resist the thirst for blood, he will resume his human form. If not, he is doomed to remain a vampire forever. No prizes for guessing how that goes.

"Vampires are part of Eastern European culture," said director Gary Shore.

"What we did was blend the vampire myth with the true story of Vlad the Impaler, which is a fresh take on the traditional Dracula films.

"Vlad really was a hostage of the Ottoman Empire and fought them when he came to power."

As a vampire, Vlad kicks plenty of Turkish butt with his newfound powers. He has the strength of a hundred men, the speed of a falling star and, of course, the ability to transform into a swarm of bats.

Reinvented

"We didn't want to have him as one bat... that would have been a bit cheesy," said the Irish film-maker of his feature film debut.

"We reinvented the idea by having Vlad turn into an entire cloud of bats. He can also control other bats, using them to smash the Turkish armies."

Evans may seem like one of cinema's sexiest vampires, but the actor, who honed his craft at London's West End, brushed off the sex symbol references.

"It might look very sexual when the fangs come out, but I think that's more for the audience than our characters."

He added: "It's an iconic role, but I wanted to bring out Vlad's human side.

"My challenge was to have the audience see the torment between the man and the vampire."

It has been a fun journey for Evans, who declared that he was born to play Dracula.

He even joked to E! News: "The amount of people who ask, have I had these fangs put in my mouth...

"Of course I haven't had these fangs put in my mouth! I've always had fangs. I have the bottom and the top."

Fun aside, there are plenty of hair-raising moments in Dracula Untold, from the sinister, towering Castle Dracula to the rows of corpses impaled on stakes.

But Dracula Untold isn't as gory as one would expect from a vampire flick, although Shore pointed out that "violence is in the eye of the beholder".

"The one thing I've never been a fan of in horror is seeing the horror," Shore shared.

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