Universal released Werewolf: The Beast Among Us to Blu-ray/DVD this week and I was given the opportunity to interview a number of people who were involved in the film. For today’s feature, I have my chat with Adam Croasdell, who plays Stefan in the film. Continue on to read about his preparation for the role, throwing knives, and filming in the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler:
What attracted you to Werewolf: The Beast Among Us and the role of Stefan?
Adam Croasdell: I know Catherine Cyran, who mentioned that Universal was working on this Werewolf reboot, and wanted to see if I was interested in getting involved. The character of Stefan was so much fun because he’s a badass. It’s hard to resist characters like that, because you get a lot of stereotypical heroes and villains, and I felt like there was room for an arc with Stefan. I had also never done a horror film before and it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to be part of the Universal horror stable.
How did you prepare for your role in this film? Did you go back and watch the old Universal horror movies or use anything else as inspiration?
Adam Croasdell: I used to read a fair amount of horror when I was a youngster, but I haven’t in recent years. I’m a big fan of the graphic novel format and I think that’s where I really get into horror and the weird. I have piles of graphic novels all over the place.
It was thrilling to look at the script and get a feel for the characters. They definitely seemed drawn and had their own particular abilities. That became apparent when we got to Romania and everyone got into their costumes. The characters really started coming to life the moment I got into that fantastic costume and had a vest full of blades. What could be better?
Was knife throwing something you practiced when preparing to play Stefan?
Adam Croasdell: I looked at these blades and knew that I’d have to learn how to throw them. As soon as I could, I found some of the Romanian stunt guys and asked “which one of you knows how to throw a knife?”, and they all shouted “I do!” [laughs].
They had a couple of their own knives and we practiced with them. Once I had the actual knives I would throw in the movie, it became apparent that they were really just shaped pieces of metal with no sharpness or balance. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t throw them into anything. We spent a lot of time making it look like I knew what I was doing, but the CGI guys had to take care of the rest.
We also did a lot of horse riding to get used to the horses and the area. I’d ridden before, and although I don’t have a horse of my own, it’s such a great opportunity to get your training back.
Did you have any creative input on the development of your character?
Adam Croasdell: I always find work on the script enjoyable. Your mind goes into all sort of areas of fantasy and I very much wanted create an arc for Stefan that was surprising to the audience. It was interesting because it was always talked of him being an Englishman during the casting process. When I got to Romania there had been a bit of a change and they wanted him to be American so that he had more of a firm connection with the other hunters.
All of the lines seemed to work for as an English fop, but when I tried doing it in an educated American way, it didn’t work. It’s very hard to make you Americans foppish. You’re all so rugged and masculine, it seems [laughs]. The character didn’t work for me the same way as an American, so I took it to the producers and director and told them we’d do a disservice by not making him English. Thankfully, that is the way it went because I couldn’t see it working another way.
Was this your first time in Romania? What did you enjoy about spending time in this country?
Adam Croasdell: It’s actually my second time in Romania and I always enjoy the experience. I find that Romanians are fantastically friendly and hospitable people. They are also enormously good and talented at their jobs. We were in Transylvania at the time, shooting key scenes in the film where Vlad the Impaler was reportedly born and raised. It was amazing to shoot a werewolf film in Transylvania in the town where Vlad was raised in October. What could be cooler than that?