Nosferatu remake star Bill Skarsgard says playing the title character was like conjuring pure evil

Bill Skarsgard, who previously played Pennywise in the It films, said playing the vampire in Nosferatu was like conjuring pure evil

Nosferatu, CinemaCon

Several months ago, we got our first look at the “crazy vampire hunter” character Willem Dafoe plays in The WitchThe Lighthouse, and The Northman writer/director Robert Eggers‘ remake of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent classic Nosferatu (watch it HERE) – but we still haven’t gotten a good look at the title character, who is brought to life this time around by Bill Skarsgard (It). It would probably be for the best if we don’t see Skarsgard’s Count Orlok until the film reaches theatres on Wednesday, December 25th – but during a new interview with Esquire, the actor did discuss the process of playing the character, which he said was like conjuring pure evil.

During his conversation with Esquire, Skarsgard revealed that, during the Nosferatu production, he had to spend three to six hours every day getting the makeup and prosthetics put on so he could become Count Orlok. He mostly stayed away from his co-stars and worked with an opera singer to bring his voice down to its lowest possible pitch. He said, “It took its toll. It was like conjuring pure evil. It took a while for me to shake off the demon that had been conjured inside of me. … I do not think people are gonna recognize me in it.” When asked if the vampire is sexy, he replied, “He’s gross. But it is very sexualized. It’s playing with a sexual fetish about the power of the monster and what that appeal has to you. Hopefully you’ll get a little bit attracted by it and disgusted by your attraction at the same time.

Eggers was also asked how into character Skarsgard got. He said, “I remember early on, him trying to talk to me about what it meant to be a dead sorcerer—and I’m into some pretty heavy occult shit, but he was on a different level. I was like, ‘This sounds accurate, but I don’t know how to converse about this with any fluidity.’

An unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the original Nosferatu has the following synopsis: In this highly influential silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) summons Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) to his remote Transylvanian castle in the mountains. The eerie Orlok seeks to buy a house near Hutter and his wife, Ellen (Greta Schroeder). After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle, knowing that Ellen is in grave danger. Meanwhile Orlok’s servant, Knock (Alexander Granach), prepares for his master to arrive at his new home.

Eggers’ Nosferatu is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman in 19th century Germany and the ancient Transylvanian vampire who stalks her, bringing untold horror with him.

Skarsgard and Dafoe are joined in the Nosferatu cast by Lily-Rose Depp (The Idol) as Ellen Hutter and Nicholas Hoult (Renfield) as her husband Thomas – a role Skarsgard was going to play at one point. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Bullet Train) is in there as Thomas’s friend Friedrich Harding, with Emma Corrin (The Crown) as Friedrich’s wife Anna, Ralph Ineson (The Witch) as Von Franz’s cohort Dr. Wilhelm Sievers, and Simon McBurney (The Conjuring 2) in an unspecified role.

Are you looking forward to seeing Bill Skarsgard’s character and performance in Nosferatu? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Esquire

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.