Sky Living's latest drama 'Dracula' hit our television screens this Halloween and one of the things that stood out in the opening episode was the performance of its lead actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, as the infamous Dracula. It's clear that the actor is a natural fit for the role in what seems like the perfect casting, however Meyers himself debates whether or not he was 'born' for the role.
In an interview with the Independant, Meyers dished the dirt on his latest role. A particularly gruelling and challenging one that sees him playing not one, but three different characters in the burning hot Budapest sun where the show was filmed.
He says "It was very gruelling, but that's the job," before going on to say, "I didn't break character for seven months. So I would work in the day and then I'd go home and read a little, meditate and go to sleep and then wake up the next day and do the same thing all over again." he then added, "t was quite isolating, because of the nature of the character. But then good things are never easy, and I like this, it's a good thing."
At the Sky Living 'Dracula' launch event Meyers discussed his worry that he would get compared to the Dracula actors before him saying "It is a role which has been played by many people. It was a challenge how I could make that role mine. I became friends with Christopher Lee 12 years ago, He was very iconic. I wanted to make my own Dracula."
He touches on this some more in the interview saying "I did think: 'Am I'm really going to be able to do this?' Because I'm only going to get compared to every actor before me…" He describes his version of Dracula as different because "he'd like to die … we all fear death because it's the unknown. But if you had to live for that length of time, you really would wish for death; for peace. I think that the length of human life is what makes it so exciting, that fact that it's going to end." Meyers then goes on to say his characters appeal was that "He's the hero, but the hero must die otherwise he's not the hero. Heroes don't get to go home and have the prom queen. Heroes die on the beach."
Whilst it's clear that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has thought about his role a lot, there's a lot of talk going around that he was born to play the role of Dracula, which is a double edged sword of a compliment, it means that he's great at it, but when that character is Dracula is also means that he kind of gives people the creeps. However that's important for an undead immortal monster.
Dracula's producer, Christopher Hall, joked: "Jonny has something of the night about him." This is a comment that Meyers himself has addressed, ""Yes, I'm cast as a vampire because I look like one. No, I can convey conflict because I'm a guy who lives in conflict a lot of the time. It's not something I have to search for. That sense of looking for some sort of peace, some sort of balance, is evident regardless of what I do."
So what do you think, is the actor with the troubled past who made a name for himself against all odds by playing Henry VIII despite not being anything like the English monarch born to play Dracula, or is he just a great actor who can play anything?
Daniel Wood is a graduate from Bristol, who has an unhealthy obsession with crime fiction, a secret passion for superheroes and an avid love for all things fantasy. Consequently he also has a very understanding girlfriend! Follow Daniel Wood on Twitter.
More episode reviews from Daniel Wood