With so many projects on his pending docket, Director Uwe Boll took time away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions with Skewed and Reviewed’s Gareth Von Kallenbach about his pending vampire film “Bloodrayne” as well as some of his other works:
Question: How did the decision to set the film as a prequel to the games come about and what has this allowed you to do that adapting the game directly would not?
Boll: I felt that setting BloodRayne in 1750, TransylviTransylvania created a stronger, creeper atmosphere then placing Vampires in the Second World War. I see BloodRayne as a franchise & chose to focus on the stories origins.
Question: With such strong themes as violence and lust, how did you attempt to balance the compassion of Rayne with the raw brutality her part required?
Boll: Loken is the perfect Rayne…..she’s hard, strong, tall & sexy…..a warrior & a women. Rayne doesn’t win over everyone’s heart in the film. She has her own sense of purpose & destiny & frequently resorts to extreme violence. Rayne is a sexy, blood sucking opportunist with elements of heart & vulnerability. She is a survivor.
Question: How did you and the leads prepare for such a physically demanding shoot as the amount of stunts as well as physical scenes in this film look to be very complex? Who did the choreography for the film?
Boll: We had three choreographers & several good stuntmen: Rock Taylor, Sean Connery’s stunt double; Noel Vega, Ho Sung Pak, T J Storm from Conan. Kristanna & all the actors trained very hard. Kristanna is a good horseback rider; somewhat of a natural. Training with double swords, however, proved to be more challenging.
Question: How was working with Ben Kingsley and aside from his reputation and skill, what did he bring to the part of Kagan that made him the ideal person for the part?
Boll: Ben Kingsley is extremely calm & disciplined. His character possesses a dark strained violence that creeps to the surface. He brought a wonderful intensity to the film.
Question: What sort of challenges did you face during filming and how difficult was it selecting your locations?
Boll: We shot 80% of the film in the mountains at night, in small towns that rely on horse wagons for transportation. This made it very difficult for cast & crew. There were days that I relied on apples & chocolate as a main source.
Question: There have been numerous Vampire films over the years and yet the genre is still as popular as ever. To what to you attribute the longevity of the appeal, and how did you attempt to give “Bloodrayne” an identity that is familiar to, yet unique in the genre?
Boll: BloodRayne is an extremely violent, disturbing mainstream Vampire movie. Our heroine is no ‘Electra’ or ‘Catwoman’. It may be difficult for some audience members to accept her as such an unlikely heroine. Hopefully some people will embrace her less than traditional qualities.
Question: Some have complained that there is a shortage of strong female action leads in Hollywood. With Michelle and Kristanna you seemed to have found not one but two strong woman who not only can act, but can create complex and sympathetic characters. How did you come to cast them in the film and what was it about them that made them stand out?
Boll: Rayne needed a strong, sexy, tough female opponent. Michelle Rodriguez possesses all of these qualities. Her toughness is comparable to any man but she is also super sexy & feminine.
Question: Video games are often known for their sequels but as yet, few films based on games have spawned sequels. To what do you attribute this and would you be interested in doing sequels to any of your films?
Boll: House of the Dead 2 I gave away. Alone in the Dark 2 I will also not do; even if the DVD movie made money. BloodRayne 2 in the Wild West is what I really want to do.
Question: How are Dungeon Siege and Far Cry coming along and is there any truth to the rumor that you are interested in The Rock for “Far Cry” He was often the best part of “Doom” even though the film had some issues.
Boll: Dungeon Siege or its correct name “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” will be release at the end of 2006 in two parts. Yes, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or Jason Statham are my favorites for ‘Far Cry’. I plan on doing ‘Far Cry’ in the early part of 2007. I am planning other projects for 2006.
Question: It was said to me once that a director never really finishes a film he or she simply runs out of time. If you could change or add anything to the final cut of “Bloodrayne” what would it be?
Boll: Nothing! We made several major changes to the film during editing until I was finally happy. I think we maximized our potential. After ‘Alone in the Dark’ I really wanted to give BloodRayne the appropriate time it required.