On Nov. 10, atombash.com was on the red carpet for the New York premiere of Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein.” The special screening was held at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas. Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, and director Paul McGuigan were all in attendance. Excited fans lined the red carpet area and were able to snap selfies with Dan and James. The guys also graciously signed autographs and chatted with their fans. One adorable young fan named Victor captured everyone’s hearts. The guys both had buzz cuts coincidentally. Daniel said they both cut their hair for different roles. The film hits theaters nationwide on Nov. 25 and will be the perfect Thanksgiving movie.
“Victor Frankenstein” starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe is a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protege Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation. Max Landis wrote the screenplay. The film was produced by John Davis. Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott and Freddie Fox also star in the movie. Paul McGuigan is best known for his television work. He worked with Benedict Cumberbatch on four episodes of “Sherlock.” He also directed an episode of “Devious Maids,” “Scandal” and “Smash.” Read what the cast had to say about the project below:
Shaina Moskowitz: What draw you to the material?
Paul McGuigan: I hadn’t actually read a script that dealt with Victor Frankenstein, not Frankenstein the monster, people kind of get that confused. And I like the idea of the science of it and the discovery. It felt quite modern to me because I think in a modern day we’re still questioning what’s dark science and what’s science that will help us. It’s a very gray area and so I thought that would speak to a very modern audience. I was very taken by that. Max Landis is such a gifted writer. It has a very clear modernity to it which was important.
SM: The film is visually stunning. Did you or your DP have any overarching visual palette that influenced it?
PM: I wanted to make a film that wasn’t the all buttoned up, gray suits or dark suits Victoriana with these heightened accents. I wanted it to be much more colorful and much looser because they’re young guys who are BS-ing their way through science and trying to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong in the scientific world. So I needed them to be looser and a little less buttoned up. The way we visually went about ourselves was to make it quite colorful and to have lots of colors and energy and the camera never stops moving. Because it’s set in Victorian London doesn’t mean it has to have a Victorian style to it you know.
SM: What are some of the challenges or differences between working with a larger blockbuster film versus television.
PM: The challenges are the same. I did the “Sherlock” shows on television, so it’s quite similar in the sense there are two guys who lead from the front. So Benedict and Martin do “Sherlock” and then obviously James and Dan lead from the front here. So, that was quite similar. And there’s this kind of sociopath in the middle of it, which is Victor Frankenstein or Sherlock. That was quite similar. As far a scale is concerned, our budget was a decent budget, but it wasn’t this crazy hundred million dollar movie. You have to be responsible, but you also have to give the audience some entertainment, so we wanted to make sure we spent our money right and gave them the kind of chase scenes and thrills and spills that hopefully they’ll enjoy. Television is the same. Televisions is going through a renaissance right now. You still have to keep your standards high.
SM: Can you speak about collaborating with Daniel?
PM: Daniel’s amazing. He was probably involved in the film before James was. Daniel was a great champion of the script. He really loved Max’s words. He was a great inspiration for me to go straight to him and say ‘look I want you to play this part.’ And then he was like ‘well we have to find a Victor Frankenstein’ cause he’s the kind of engine. Daniel’s the soul of the film. James is more the heartbeat. He’s such a wonderful actor. I’ve never met an individual who is so kind to the crew and the cast because he’s been brought up in the crew. He knows everybody’s names he makes sure everybody comfortable. It’s just quite amazing to see and there’s a great lesson. Who would have thought you could learn so much from a young man. It’s kind of amazing to watch.
SM: What’s coming up next for you?
PM: I’ve got another film coming, I’m hoping to do in the New Year. I’ve been doing some other projects for television, which are top secret, but quite big projects. I’ve been here in New York for a few months shooting a TV show coming out soon. It’s all good.
SM: Speak about working with Paul and Dan.
James McAvoy: I had admired Paul’s work for a long time, way back to “Gangster No. 1.” He’s done some great work in T.V. as well his films that he’s done. I knew that he could handle this kind of relationship between these two guys. He’s also a nice guy. Daniel has been doing great work. Can’t quite pin him down in terms of what type of actor he’s becoming because he keeps taking interesting roles and surprising people. I thought this was another opportunity for him to do that and I was well up for being along for the ride in a lot of ways. On top of that the character I was getting to play is an absolute madman and that’s always quite fun to play.
SM: What was it like for you to try and create a new take on a character who is so iconic? What was your process?
JM: I’ve never seen a “Frankenstein” film before. I’ve read the book. My idea was to try and pin down why he was so crazy and why he’s so mental. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen why that is … This being a post-Freudian psychological era that we all sort of think we understand everyone, to figure out why he was the way he was. Not make the whole movie about that, but definitely provide an answer for that. Once you’ve got that you can go as crazy, mad and entertaining as you’d like.
SM: Can you talk about wearing the hump?
Daniel Radcliffe: I was a great. Actually I only had to wear the actual prosthetic hump once because you only properly see it once. The other one was just like a sort of a rig we put under the costume. It was very easy. It was mostly in the sort of posture and physicality that I was giving to it to make it look really horrible, uncomfortable and painful
SM: Can you speak about collaborating with Paul and what you admire about him as a filmmaker?
DR: The thing Paul brought to this is a real sense of reality … I don’t want to slag anyone off, but sometimes American directors or American eyes coming to British stuff, even our bad guys in it they’re still charming because they’re British. And you don’t want that, you want something that feels nasty and violent and Paul brought that level of grittiness to it that grounded the world. So it’s not just like ‘oh it’s 1850’s, it’s bombastic and fun and we’re English.’ It’s much more like a real city where the threat of danger from the antagonist from the film feels real.
SM: Igor’s a lot less of a sidekick in this one. Can you speak to the relationship between the two characters and how it makes this film different?
DR: The difference in this film is the main relationship is between Victor and Igor rather than Victor and the monster. I think Igor is living in obviously abject, awful conditions in the beginning of the movie. Victor saves him from that and it’s from that moment on because he’s been brought into a world of opportunity and frankly kindness and even though it’s minimal, it’s a lot more that he had before and as of that moment Igor is insanely loyal to Victor. The rest of the movie is him not really believing that what Victor is doing is right and him trying to find the courage to actually say something to him and in doing so save his friend because he can see that his friend is going insane, but there is nothing he can really do about it until the end of the movie when it’s all too late.
SM: You guys worked with real lions on this?
DR: Yes we did. There were two lions in the cage, in the circus scenes in the beginning. When I was walking around like this it was fine, but when I was in my crouched hunchback position, they both started tracking me … I would talk to the guys and they would say ‘yeah they think you’re a hurt animal or something. So they’re really honing in on you.’ I almost got taken up by a Zebra as well that same night, because Zebras are skittish. They grow up in Africa and there are a lot of things there that will kill them, so they will just bolt suddenly. This one just came charging on set at one of the other actors Danny Mays whose very tall. He swooped me and this makeup artist up into his arms and just dived to get us out of the way. It was quite exciting.
SM: Have to talked to Eddie Redmayne at all about the the Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”?
DR: No I haven’t.
SM: Do you have any advice for him?
DR: He doesn’t need any advice; he’s won an Oscar. He’s doing just fine. If I was going to say anything to him, it’s redundant I don’t need to, but it would just be enjoy it. It’s a mad cool thing. And he knows because he’s done other movies. I don’t know if it’s the same people who did Potter, but if it is, it’s such a great group of people, it’s so much fun. Just enjoy it because it’s really great.