We visit the real-world haunts of Dracula Untold and chat w/ star Luke Evans
When it comes to the character of Dracula, cinema has had more than its fair share of great actors take on the role. Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, and Gary Oldman are just a few of the superb actors to play the iconic role and now Luke Evans is the latest to take up the mantle. The man took on Vin Diesel and The Rock in FAST AND FURIOUS 6 and brought down the mighty Cumberbatch dragon in Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. I'd say that's prep enough to sink his teeth into the titular character, which brings us to DRACULA UNTOLD.
In preparation for the release of DRACULA UNTOLD on Blu-Ray/DVD, Universal Pictures was kind enough to invite me out to Romania to check out some of the actual locations involved in Vlad's history. We're talking monasteries, the ruins of which his fortress once stood, and even Bran Castle, which is said to be the source of inspiration for Bram Stoker's castle in his book, Dracula. It was time to uncover the truth behind the fangs, if you will, and we shot plenty of footage for you to join in the experience and see for yourself!
Vlad III, otherwise known as Vlad Dracula, proved an efficient source of inspiration for Bram Stoker and his infamous book, but beyond the name and a rumored bloodlust, what of the actual history of Vlad III? Was the impaling of enemy troops due to Vlad's sick and twisted nature, or a war tactic to strike fear into the hearts of the Turkish army that easily outnumbered him? Historians will paint a very different picture of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, and while it doesn't include the consuming of blood or three-ways with Monica Bellucci, it's just as fascinating as Bram Stoker's character.
Capping off the week-long venture was a sit-down with the man stepping into the shoes of the insatiable impaler, Luke Evans. My only exposure to the actor had been the supporting roles he's played, and while he may not be the first actor to jump to your mind when you think of those films, there's no denying that he's given those characters a weight and charisma that stand toe-to-toe with the other heavy-hitting characters. In speaking with Mr. Evans, I was happy to see that not only was this man willing to put in the hours regarding the physicality of Dracula, but he also seemed enthused about the prospect of returning to the character in a future role.
Whether it be Bram Stoker's blood-sucking concoction or the actual Vlad III that lived and breathed, both characters seem to be two different sides of the same coin. In fact, the two elevate and complement each other, creating a visage that appeals to both fans of fiction and non-fiction alike. When it comes to my trip to Romania and going beyond Dracula, the answers I sought were oftentimes an amalgamation of both fiction and legend. Frankly, I think that's what makes Dracula great. It's the reason why we'll see him return to cinema as long as movies are still being made.
DRACULA UNTOLD is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.
Special thanks goes out to Universal Pictures for the invite and to the Beyond Dracula team for assembling such an amazing tour (check them out here for all your Dracula needs in Romania). Also a big thanks goes out to the folks at Bran Castle and Curtea Domneasca in Targoviste for their time, knowledge and hospitality.
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