If you are looking for a spooky movie to watch for Halloween, Netflix's comedy-horror Vampires Vs. The Bronx will be an instant hit.
Your Money Geek recently interviewed its vampiric star, Adam David Thompson, about becoming the vampire Alexis. You can also find Thompson in FX/Hulu’s A Teacher, which premieres November 10th.
Maggie Lovitt (ML): How have you been this year?
Adam David Thompson (ADT): Hanging in there. Parenting during a pandemic has certainly had its challenges. I will say, though, that it could be much worse. We are lucky to be healthy, have a roof over our head, and be in a state that has seriously taken the virus. It is crazy to think that we will now discuss everything in pre-COVID and post-COVID terms.
ML: Have you worked on anything during quarantine? Either honing new skills or working on projects remotely?
ADT: I have been able to record voiceovers from home. When we moved here, I built out my recording booth, and boy has it come in handy. Other than that, I have been honing my woodworking skills. I’ve been designing and building furniture.
This is the longest I have gone without traveling for work. I am typically on location a good chunk of the year, so this much time at home has been new for me.
ML: What sets Vampires vs. The Bronx, apart from other vampire genre films?
ADT: The spirit of the film. We get to follow these kids through The Bronx defending their home from a group of real-estate hungry vampires. You root for these kids. You would root for them with or without the vampire invasion.
ML: Aside from knowing to stock up on hand sanitizer ahead of the crowd, who is Alexis?
ADT: The hand sanitizer gag was so ahead of its time. Who would have known? Alexis was turned into a vampire when fashion was fashion. He takes his attire very seriously and, unlike the other vampires, does not even attempt to blend in.
At the beginning of pre-production, I told Oz (the director) that the only way I can wrap my head around this character is if he is in a completely different movie than everyone else. Everyone was in Vampires in the Bronx; Alexis was in Interview with the Vampire.
ML: Talk me through the process of becoming a vampire. How were the prosthetics? Was there a learning curve involved with talking with fangs?
ADT: The make-up process took about an hour and a half. The prosthetics were the easiest part. I loved watching the master (Louie Zakarian) and his team execute the intricate make-up. We had three different sized fangs depending on how much dialogue we had in the scene. The bigger fangs were for the attack scenes.
The most difficult part for me was the contact lenses. They were predominately yellow, so everything had a yellow haze around it. This really messed with my brain. I brought a racquetball to set every night and would bounce it when I wasn’t shooting. Somehow focusing on the ball made the haze more bearable.
ML: Did you have a process for getting into character? Maybe a playlist you listened to while in the make-up chair?
ADT: Not for this one. Alexis came to me when I put on the costume and wig. Once I stepped out of the hair and make-up trailer, I was ready to go.
ML: I loved reading through your interactions with viewers on Twitter while they were watching the movie. Were there any surprising responses?
ADT: At one point, I put up a poll on Twitter, asking who the audience was more afraid of, the vampires or the boys’ moms. 100% of people said the moms! That is some serious parenting skills.
ML: You also have A Teacher in post-production. What can you tell us about the series and your character Nate Wilson?
ADT: The series explores the complexities and consequences stemming from a predatory relationship between a high school teacher and her student. The story seems like a very important one to tell. We have heard these types of stories in the news but never really discover the wide-spread consequences of such a relationship. I play Nate Wilson.
He is Claire Wilson’s (Kate Mara) brother. He is local law enforcement and is put in a very precarious position by his sister's actions. He is a good guy who is stuck between being there for his sister and adhering to the law that he has sworn to protect.
ML: As an actor myself, I always like to ask questions about “set life” to give readers a brief glimpse into different experiences on set. What is something you always have to have in your trailer?
ADT: My notebook. I keep notes and a diary of different discoveries I have made about my character. I keep it nearby so I can refer to certain aspects that are a pathway into their mind. It helps a lot because you never shoot your scenes in order, so to jump around helps to have a landing pad nearby.
ML: I have always joked that I got into acting because I love set catering. What’s the best meal you’ve had on the set?
ADT: Best meal? I don’t really know. I usually pack my own lunch. Even when I am on location, I always request a kitchen at my residence. I like to eat alone in my trailer and take a breather to refocus. Unless it’s taco day. Then I am the first one in the catering line.
I have also created something I like to call “pocket cookies.” At the end of the catering line, there is always some sort of cookie. While I was shooting Godless for Netflix, I would load my coat pockets up with cookies after lunch.
Then when we were miles away from basecamp on horseback, I would reach into my coat pocket and pull out a cookie. Everyone’s first reaction is to mock it, but sure as shootin’ the next day, they’d have themselves some pocket cookies too.
ML: What do you always have to grab at crafty on set?
ADT: I am the guy who will stand at crafty for 15 minutes, just staring at the spread. In my mind, I have an inner battle as to what I want to eat and what I really should be eating. Then I ask myself if I am just eating because I’m bored or because I am hungry. Then I say screw it and make myself a coffee.
ML: Here on the East Coast, there’s always a heated debate on set about whether the best water is La Croix, Bubbly, or non-sparkling water. So which would you pick?
ADT: I always request La Croix. No Question. Lemon. I pound them on set. I have been known to hoard them in my trailer.