Underworld Awakening - Interview with the Directors of the Big Box Office Winner

Underworld Awakening - Interview with the Directors of the Big Box Office Winner
Updated: 01-26-2012


Staci Layne Wilson: How closely did (franchise creator and original director) Len Wiseman work with you guys, since he created this whole world?
Måns Mårlind: Pretty close in a way. Script-wise we developed it together. We went up to Vancouver to do all the pre-production, and he came by once or twice. Communication-wise, we have email and stuff like that. So he was involved. But he also understands where to back off and not impede on the directors.
Björn Stein: We had tremendous sense of trust from him, which a stem from him having very similar taste as us in movies, and that goes even further than movies. It’s music as well. So, we probably grew up with the same kind of things. So I think those similarities made him trust us. When we showed him our storyboards, he said “Wow, that’s exactly how I would cover things in the story.” So we had a very close relationship with Lens which also due to him being married to Kate.
Måns Mårlind: Every so often we had to check with him to make sure we were on the right track, since he created this whole thing.
Staci Layne Wilson: Now what about Patrick Tatopolos? Is he still involved as well?
Måns Mårlind: Patrick is still involved in creating creatures mostly in the beginning. He was great to work with. He was basically helping us taking the creatures to the next level, but not more than that.
Staci Layne Wilson: I would love to here from each of you on what you like best about the vampires and the werewolves in UNDERWORLD? And what makes them unique, because we know they are definitely the anti-TWILIGHT.
Björn Stein: It’s not so much we’re the anti-TWILIGHT. But this is darker and more twisted. Less for teenagers in that way. I wouldn’t say it’s more for grown-ups, but it has a darker side to it.
Måns Mårlind: One thing that is similar between the two is both UNDERWORLD and TWILIGHT take themselves pretty seriously. There’s no tongue-in-cheek. So, we could push the envelope when it comes to the drama to make it Shakespearean without ever becoming pretentious, especially since we have all the guns and action and so on. So there is a wide range of tones. The vampires and the werewolves are both fun in different ways. The vampires of course being sexy, taboo and sensual. But the werewolves, whom I started appreciating more making this movie, are repressed and yet aggressive. Before I was more of vampire-type of guy. But now I really like the Lycans.
Björn Stein: Yeah one thing that was funny going into this was after seeing the first two films, you are leaning more towards the vampires, and then you see the third film which is more in favor of the Lycans. So coming into this new film, you must decide “where are your sympathies right now?” And that’s a fun thing for a franchise like this.
Staci Layne Wilson: Absolutely. So is Selene looking for Michael the main hook of this film?
Måns Mårlind: Yes. That’s what the movie goes into, because they have separated due to genocide happening.
Björn Stein: Yes, we start the movie in chaos.
Staci Layne Wilson: I want to ask you about filming in 3D. Because so many films are filmed in 3D, did you feel you it was obligatory or were you excited about the format?
Björn Stein: The thing about this film is that it wasn’t shot in 3D. Everything is post-converted. But shot it with a new RED EPIC Camera. I think we will be the first film coming out that has used it. The camera captures in very high resolution, which helps with the 3D conversion. What is interesting is when we first came onto this project, we actually didn’t know it was going to be a 3D film. So, we had to rethink our approach, since we had never shot 3D before. In a way, it was like going back to the 50’s, because you had to light things differently. You can’t move the cameras the same way since they are bigger than the usual. At first, we thought that this would hinder us. But we have been making movies for 15 years, and now we have a project that is really challenging, and that motivated us into thinking about how we can make this film look cool. (12:33)
Staci Layne Wilson: Well, having Kate Beckinsale in skin tight black leather kind of makes it cool. Right?
Björn Stein: Well, yeah. That’s what got us motivated to do the film. (Laughter)
Staci Layne Wilson: Charles Dance really hasn't been mentioned enough...
Björn Stein: Yes, a very classic British actor.
Måns Mårlind: I remember the first time we were meeting with him and we were sitting open-mouthed amazed, because his English can mesmerize you. He’s just fantastic to work with. He comes from the old school of acting. There is no diva shit going on. He just sits in his chair, waits for everything, and then he goes up and performs. When he gets directions, he says, “Thank you.” He’s the real deal. He could be talking pebbles and you would be awestruck. (Laughter) Then we have India Eisley, who is a young newcomer and she has been in a television show here. We haven’t seen that show (ABC Family Channel’s THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER). She has a really cool and different vibe to her as a person. We were looking for a young actress who wasn’t just another perky pretty face. We wanted someone who was unique and dark, like an old soul in a young body. In the first casting session India was the third actress on the tape, and she had three callbacks. She was the second out of five girls on our call backlist, and we said, “Well, here she is. This is the girl!” Gary (Lucchesi), our producer, wanted to try out more girls but he couldn’t really find a reason why we should see more actresses. India was the girl. We thought we would be looking through hundreds of girls, and we found ourselves going, “Well, number 2 is pretty good.” (Laughter) She was what we were totally looking for. So, it was silly to continue looking for something when you already found it.
Staci Layne Wilson: Is there a particular moment in the film where you felt that “Yeah, we really got this right”? Is there a moment where you guys got a sense of satisfaction in serving the UNDERWORLD world?
Måns Mårlind: I think there are several. But that’s like asking what is your favorite movie. But I think we were really happy the sight of Kate when the really big Lycan comes out. We have never done anything before like that, and I don’t think any of the other UNDERWOLRD movies had done that when it comes to scope and action. I also liked the scenes between Kate and India. We were very happy with their performances. It was great to see Kate bring a new vulnerable, sensitive side to the Selene character. She’s still this badass lethal vampire, but  you get to see a more nuanced image of her in this film.

Read the horror.com movie review here

Watch our interviews on-camera with the cast here


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