I, Frankenstein takes Underworld actor Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel re-imagining of Mary Shelly’s gothic novel and transforms it into a blockbuster mythos that is not-so- coincidentally being brought to theaters by the same producers behind the Underworld franchise. There are new monsters at war this time (angelic gargoyles and hellish demons) and instead of a love story at the center, there stands just one figure, Adam (Aaron Eckhart) – better known to the world as Victor Frankenstein’s monster.
After hundreds of years on Earth, Adam has become something more than the brute monster he started as, but is still something short of human. That set quite a tricky task for Aaron Eckhart to tackle, stepping into a role that has been held by the likes of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Robert De Niro – and even current fan-favorite, Benedict Cumberbatch. That’s not even counting the physical aspect of the role, as this Frankenstein brawls like we’ve never seen before.
Below you’ll find transcript of the video above:
Screen Rantt: This is the second time people will see you play such an iconic genre character; can you tell me when you are taking on a role like that is it kind of constricting to have the kind of conventions of the characters and their mythology? Or do you find that it is kind of a good foundation to start from when building your own interpretation?
Aaron Eckhart: What if I told you I don’t think about it? I read the script and I think, “what do I get to do as an actor? What’s my challenge as an actor?” A man looking for his purpose in life, rejected, ostracized from society and trying to find love – that’s what I go to most.
This is such a different re-imagining of the monster of Frankenstein, I didn’t worry about it too much. When I go on Twitter and people tell me what they think about, that it’s a different story! But I think we made this Adam, our hero, a lean, mean, fighting machine. We’ve given him energy. Before, the incarnations of Frankenstein have been this block-headed, cumbersome, bolts-in-the-neck kind of guy. We’ve just taken that all out.
Two-Face… When you’re acting with Heath [Ledger] and everybody, you don’t have time to think about all that kind of stuff. But I’m happy that I am in the family.
Screen Rant: You did certainly portray the Frankenstein monster deeper and with more layers than I think we’ve ever seen before; but I also know that Stewart loves to build entire mythos and worlds, and he’s very good at that. If you had to keep playing in the sandbox – because in the business now universe building is the thing – would it be a challenge for you as an actor to then revisit a character? Or are you good with that?
Aaron Eckhart: Yeah, I mean if this resonated with people around the world and they wanted another one, it’d be interesting to see where you’d go with it and to get to know my character a bit more, and it could be more nuanced and complex…. I don’t know where it would go, and Stuart is the guy for that. I would be interested in it. It would be hard to get back into shape like that, but that would be worth it, I think.
Screen Rant: One thing that I loved about your portrayal of this character is that in certain ways you really put this subtle touch on it where you couldn’t tell – because he’s such a unique character – how his mind works. Can you talk about that approach? Because it was like he was very lively, but not quite human in the way he moved, in the way he acted.
Aaron Eckhart: Well I think I went to the animal world for that; I studied the gorilla, I studied how he acts and how he moves and his movements. I thought that was a good place to start, an animal that had an abundance of strength, strikes quickly, but yet in his interior he’s basically a sensitive creature. All his physicality I got from the gorilla.
Screenrant: Can I just say: I’m terrified of the idea of gorillas who know Kali stick fighting.
Aaron Eckhart: [Laughs] Yes, well there’s that! Stick fighting in general is so dangerous, but when you know it – for all the MMA people out there, people who like action – that’s a fascinating discipline and very destructive.
We have more great stuff from our talk with the cast and director of I, Frankenstein. For more of that, be sure to stay tuned to our I, Frankenstein coverage all week.
I, Frankenstein will be in theaters on Jaunary 24, 2014.
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