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John C. Reilly on The Varmpire's Assistant

Published October 22, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks
Real fans have known John C. Reilly’s work for decades, but recently he’s gotten famous in comedies. When people see him as the charismatic, badass vampire Crepsley in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, they will get the benefit of all his less mainstream references.

John C. Reilly Goes Vampire

“My favorite vampire movie was Shadow of a Vampire,” Reilly said. “I thought that was really great. And, we were lucky enough to have Willem Dafoe in the movie. I became aware of the books through the script, and then eventually read all of them. I was always the one on the set going, ‘You know, but the books say . . .’ I came to really enjoy them.”

Crepsley leads a freak show that includes a bearded lady, lizard boy and a pet spider. This was right up Reilly’s alley. “I had always wanted to do a fantasy movie. This kind of movie is the kind of movie I like to see. I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter movies and The Lord of the Rings films. I like a good fantasy adventure story, so I was thrilled when it came along.”

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

He may be the head vampire, but Crepsley still answers to Mr. Tiny. Reilly enjoyed playing off another character actor, Michael Cerveris. “When Michael and I would act in scenes together, I felt like we were trying to out-arch each other [with our eyebrows]. ‘Oh, Mr. Tiny.’ ‘Well, Mr. Crepsley.’ Both trying to out-sinister each other, but I think he had me beat. He’s got that sinister quality in the bones. He’s just a fantastic stage actor. That’s what I know him from. So, I was really happy that he played the part. He really made the movie very rich. He’s the puppet master, through the whole thing.”

Reilly also appreciated the chance to give a little back to New Orleans, where he shot the film. “It was a real special time to get to work in New Orleans. Some parts of the city were totally coming back, and other parts were shockingly still neglected and seemingly forgotten, so that was hard to see. Once you get outside of the French Quarter, it was tough to see how hard people were still struggling in New Orleans. That theater that we shot in hadn’t really been touched since the storm, so it was filthy and you felt like it was dangerous just to be in there. But, ironically, that was exactly why we picked it. It was so atmospheric and had so much decay going on. It was a challenge to work in that place, but overall, New Orleans was a pretty delightful place to be.”

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant opens to theaters on October 23rd.

For the trailer, poster and more movie info, go to the Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of DreamWorks

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