With nearly 100 credits to his name, you might think Richard Jenkins would be well-versed in just about every genre out there, but horror and bloodshed have largely passed him by over the years. The well-seasoned actor, who stars in Hammer and Overture Films’ Let Me In, chatted exclusively with Bloody Disgusting’s Jeff Otto at this past weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, get the skinny inside.
“Never,” Jenkins tells Bloody-Disgusting when asked if he’s done anything like LET ME IN’s Father character before. “It doesn’t bother me. There’s a little blood. The blood is the life, isn’t that from the original DRACULA? But yeah, it’s bloody, everywhere. I had it on my hands. I think I spill some in LET ME IN, but I wasn’t covered with it.”
As The Father, Jenkins says his performance is largely a physical one. “I don’t talk much, I don’t say much. Most of my stuff was tracking and stalking. He was really interesting. It’s like, how do you choose to live your life that way? Where does that choice come in? And what kind of a life did you have that made you decide? He kind of foreshadows the young boy. I liked it because there’s not a lot of dialogue. He just does things, so you kind of have to tell your story that way, which I thought was cool.”
“Abby (Chloe Moretz) moves in next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and you think [I’m] her father. Where some things are vague in the other film, I think Matt [Reeves] has chosen to say, `This is what this is.’ The way I do my job is different than in the original. There’s a scene in the woods in the forest that’s kind of the same, but how I find my victims is different.”
Jenkins says he does his most extensive work of LET ME IN with Moretz. The other cast members don’t tend to last too long around him. “I basically kill them, that’s what I do,” Jenkins tells BD with a laugh.
“There is some terrifying stuff in it,” adds Jenkins. “There’s a lot of suspense in it that you just really don’t know what’s going to happen when. It’s very still. It’s almost a coming of age story. For me, it’s about being trapped. Everybody in this movie is trapped. Abby is, in her world, dependent on someone else and she’s alone without this person. Owen is trapped. I’m trapped, but by choice. These are very three dimensional characters.”
Despite portraying such a maniacal and vicious character, Jenkins says the trick is having fun regardless. “I always think you find the joy in it, no matter what you’re playing,” says Jenkins. “There’s joy in doing it well. If you’re going to be a killer, be the best. That’s why you love Jack Nicholson. Or Heath Ledger in Batman. The joy in what he did. That’s irresistible.”
LET ME IN opens in theaters nationwide October 1st, 2010.