'Renfield' Director Says Nicolas Cage Never Broke Character as Dracula During Making of Film

"So if he's a little frosty in the scene he's going to have a little bit of that between takes," Renfield director Chris McKay said of Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage attends the Los Angeles special screening of "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" at DGA Theater Complex on April 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Nicolas Cage. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Nicolas Cage took playing Dracula very seriously.

Renfield director Chris McKay says his star remained in character as the iconic horror villain on the set of the new vampire horror-comedy even in between takes on set.

"Whatever scene we did he would still be 100% living in that attitude after we stopped shooting," McKay, whose credits include The Tomorrow War (2021) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017), told Insider of Cage's approach to Dracula for the upcoming movie.

"So if he's a little frosty in the scene he's going to have a little bit of that between takes," he added. "But still up for whatever we were doing."

McKay told the outlet that Cage, 59, would even stay in character during "a real conversation" about scenes for the movie while "covered head to toe in Dracula makeup and costume."

Nicolas Cage is Dracula in Official Renfield Trailer
Universal Pictures

"Sometimes he couldn't even bend his body very much because he's got a whole body appliance on," McKay added. "So he's Dracula whether he wants to be Dracula or not."

Back in Dec. 2021, Cage himself told Variety's Awards Circuit podcast that he wanted to bring "something new" to Dracula's portrayal onscreen.

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"I want it to pop in a unique way from how we've seen it played. So I'm thinking to really focus on the movement of the character," he said at the time. "You know, I saw Malignant and I thought what she did with those moves — and even Ringu with Sadako [Yamamura]. I want to look at what we can explore with this movement and voice."

"What makes it super fun is that it's a comedy. And when you get that tone right — comedy and horror — like American Werewolf in London, it's a blast," Cage added of Renfield. "It's got to be a bullseye. But that's what I'm looking for, something new to bring to the character and also that perfect tone of comedy and horror."

Renfield follows Nicholas Hoult as the film's title character, described as a "tortured aide to history's most narcissistic boss," as he tries to end a codependent relationship with Dracula and escape the vampire's clutches.

The film also stars Ben Schwartz and Adrian Martinez alongside Cage, Hoult and Awkwafina.

Renfield releases in theaters April 14.

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