September 24, 2012
The Prince of Darkness Count Dracula finally grants his first-ever interview in conjunction with the opening of the 3D animated monster comedy “Hotel Transylvania” where he plays the lead role. Hotel Transylvania is Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters — Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more — to celebrate his daughter Mavis’ 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to these infamous friends is no problem — but his world could come crashing down when a human backpacker, Jonathan, stumbles on the hotel for the first time and befriends Mavis.
Question: Now, c’mon - are you really the Count Dracula?
Dracula: Of course I’m the Count Dracula - what a human thing to ask! Look at my cape, my fangs. Have you ever met anyone else named Dracula?? Of course not. It’s me. You know, we all live with stereotypes. They all think I go “Bleh-bleh-bleh” all the time – which is really annoying and not true.
Q: I see. So I should be scared right now that you’re going to try and suck my blood or something?
Dracula: No way – how do I know where your blood has been? I watch my cholesterol, and I just saw you eating a hot dog from that man on the street, so no way!
Q: So, as a vampire, you don’t need to drink human blood?
Dracula: It’s not healthy, truly. You don’t know where it’s been and it can be so fatty. So I use blood substitutes, as do most of the other vampires I know. They’ve gotten very good at it – with “Near Blood,” “Blood Beaters.” It tastes the same, if not better, to be quite honest.
Q: Now, I’ve heard you say that monsters no longer kill humans, is that true?
Dracula: We never did, it’s just so primitive. I’m surprised you even brought that up.
Q: What made you decide to open Hotel Transylvania which is a hotel for monsters?
Dracula: There’s no safe place for monsters to go, to be free from humankind, where they can be themselves with their families. For centuries, everywhere we’ve turned, humans have come at us with torches, pitchforks, yelling, trying to scoop out our brains and put candy in our heads instead. I had had enough, and so had everyone I knew. Something had to be done.
Q: What kinds of things does Hotel Transylvania have to offer that monsters can’t find anywhere else? Dracula: Well, first of all, it’s simple: NO HUMANS.
Q: What else?
Dracula: We have the kinds of amenities that monsters just love: culinary delicacies like spleens-in-a-blanket – even deviled lizard fingers, though I prefer the spleens. We have talking shrunken head “Do Not Disturb” door hangers, zombies are there to handle your every need and witches keep the place clean. We have “live” music – if you want to call it that – and dancing and swimming. Plus, we have the highest ceilings of any monstrous hotel – for even the biggest of Big Feet.
Q: What are some of the toughest challenges of running a hotel such as this?
Dracula: There are many. Keeping the place full of cobwebs is a daily chore. Our guests expect dust – nothing can smell fresh. And with the large variety of guests – everything from werewolves, invisible men, mummies, gremlins – you name it – you have to have an incredible variety of delicious things to eat. Our French chef, Quasimodo, is simply amazing – always pushing the boundaries.
Q: Your daughter Mavis is turning 118 this year, which is a major milestone. How do you feel about it?
Dracula: Well, first of all, Mavis is just wonderful – the apple of her mother’s eye. I suppose the biggest challenge has been simply keeping her away from humans. There are plenty of nice monsters out there, but she never seems interested. I even tried to connect her with a wonderful zombie who really liked her for her brains, but she complained it was because he wanted to eat them! And she’s always wanted to venture out, but I’ve been quite firm about it. I’ve always just wanted to protect her, and with a girl as smart and decisive as Mavis, that can be difficult.
Q: Jonathan, of course, is a bit of a surprise for you – and for her. Is he difficult to disguise, so that neither Mavis nor your guests would be disturbed by the presence of a human?
Dracula: Oh, leaping larvae, he was! It’s not easy to fool a monster – any monster, much less a Frankenstein. You can’t just walk around all stiff, saying, “Friend. . . GOOD” all day or yanking chains out of the wall. There’s a certain way they do it – uniquely Frank. And when they get it wrong, they just go to pieces. Thankfully, Johnny is a quick learner.
Q: What kinds of things did you learn about humans from Jonathan?
Dracula: I’ve always thought, as most monsters do, that humans are terrible, out to burn us, beat on our toes and attack us. I’ve learned that there are good humans out there – some that respect us, maybe even love us. There may be some I might even welcome into my own family someday – but let’s not push it. I’m in no rush.
(Opening across the Philippines on Friday, Sept. 28 in Digital 3D and regular theaters, “Hotel Transylvania” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.)
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