Nicolas Cage & Nicholas Hoult Interview: Renfield


Renfield follows Dracula’s long-suffering henchman who has loyally served the vampire for years. After meeting Rebecca Quincy, a traffic cop in modern-day New Orleans, he finds a new lease on life. Inspired to break free from his boss, he tries to make a life for himself and do the right thing instead of bloodying his hands on Dracula’s behalf. However, this decision brings potentially deadly consequences when Renfield is forced to go toe to toe with Dracula in the hopes of earning his freedom.

Renfield is directed by Chris McKay from a script penned by Ryan Ridley, which is based on Robert Kirkman’s story. Renfield features a star-studded cast led by the legendary Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Renfield approaches the classic tale of Dracula and Renfield from a completely new perspective, with the henchman’s desire to break free from his abusive, narcissistic boss at the heart of his motivation.

Related: Everything We Learned Visiting The Set Of Renfield

Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult spoke with Screen Rant about playing new versions of Dracula and Renfield, respectively, in Renfield. Cage revealed how his own father, August Coppola, was a huge inspiration for this version of Dracula. Hoult shared what about Renfield he was most excited to explore at this point in the character’s story.

Nicolas Cage & Nicholas Hoult on Renfield

Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult at a support group in Renfield

Screen Rant: Guys, this is my favorite film of the year so far! It is absolutely amazing! Nicolas Cage, how do you approach playing this version of Dracula and did you use any inspiration from Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee?

Nicolas Cage: It was a matter of cherry picking what’s been done well in the past, seeing what I liked, and then extruding out from there. The lion’s share of the channeling was my own father August Coppola. I thought he was a perfect model for Dracula. I mean that in the best possible way, it’s not a put down, he just spoke in a very elegant, eloquent manner. Whenever he walked into the room he was always the smartest man in the room. Dracula being around for hundreds of years would be that person.

Nicholas Hoult, this is a whole new spin on Renfield. Can you talk to me about what you were most excited to bring to this version of Renfield?

Nicholas Hoult: There’s so many things I loved about the other performances of Renfield throughout the years. Dwight Frye and Tom Waits, but they’re playing Renfield at a very different time in the Dracula story, or, I might say, the Renfield story for this one. It’s this thing of 100 years later, how he’s been worn down and lost the kind of crazed love and fervent belief in Dracula and become kind of this dog’s body who’s trying to escape it. Looking more into that realm of how it is to be trapped for a long time.

Mr. Cage, this is a dream role for you. I’ve read before that you’ve wanted to play Dracula for a while. Can you talk to me about when you first read this script? What spoke to you the most about this version of Dracula?

Nicolas Cage: What spoke to me the most was this new interpretation of Renfield. Because normally when we see the Renfield character it’s almost grotesque, but with Nick’s performance, it’s so full of wit and charm. And I thought that was a unique tag. With Dracula, I just thought there was room there to try something hitting the flavor of comedy and horror, which I don’t think has been done very often. That’s what I was focusing on.

With this version of Renfield, what did you want to bring to the role that wasn’t necessarily on the page?

Nicholas Hoult: Ryan Ridley did an amazing job with the script. It was very funny and charming. The most interesting thing was the regret of Renfield. As someone who’s been charmed by Dracula and gone to work for him, but lost all of himself along that. So the regret was big. And for the comedy, this idea that he was always saying something that would lead people to understand that he was 100 years old, had been around for a long time, and then retracting those statements. So those were the two things that I found interesting.

The last time that you guys worked together was when you played father and son in The Weatherman. Can you talk to me about how the dynamic is different this time around?

Nicolas Cage: This is a much more toxic relationship. This is much more abusive relationship. I think the relationship in The Weatherman, the lion’s share of it was motivated by love it’s father and son. This is more abusive boss and minion.

About Renfield

Count Dracula menacingly smiles in Renfield

Renfield has been Dracula’s loyal henchman, but he longs for a life separate from the narcissistic vampire. He finds a new lease on life in modern day New Orleans when he meets traffic cop Rebecca Quincy and decides to stand up to his creator. However, his rebellion does not go unpunished, and Renfield will be forced to face off against Dracula in the hopes of breaking free from the endless cycle of death and bloodshed.

Check back soon for our other Renfield interviews:

  • Awkwafina
  • Ben Schwartz
  • Chris McKay & Robert Kirkman

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  • Denis Ava

    Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling, finance, etc.

Denis Ava
Denis Ava
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling, finance, etc.

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