Comic-Con: Colin Farrell speaks frankly on ‘Fright Night 3D’

July 22, 2011 | 5:31 p.m.
frightnight Comic Con: Colin Farrell speaks frankly on Fright Night 3D
Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin in a scene from “Fright Night.” (DreamWorks)

Lest any “Twilight” fans were still lurking about in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center on Friday afternoon, Shawn Phillips of Yahoo Movies had some words of caution.

“This is not the sparkly vampire movie panel,”  he began,  introducing the panel discussion for the upcoming DreamWorks film “Fright Night 3D.” No, this, he said,  was the “bad-ass, bloodthirsty vampire panel.” A cheer went up from the audience, indicating maybe the “Twilight” fans had, indeed, scattered after the Thursday event for their movie.

Colin Farrell, who plays vampire Jerry, was greeted with lots of love, especially when director Craig Gillespie asked him to go off stage when he called him out too early. Farrell retreated off the stage, walking backward. “He’s good. He’s better in reverse,” quipped Gillespie.

Fellow cast member Anton Yelchin (Chekov in 2009’s “Star Trek”) was met with huge applause and some cheers of “I love you!”  and Chris Sarandon, the vampire from the 1985 original, was on hand to moderate the discussion.

Gillespie, who shot the film in 3-D, said he was interested in directing as soon as he read the script by Marti Noxon. “It was so clearly written for me,” he said. “I could visualize it instantly.”

Farrell was self-deprecating and, for a Comic-Con event, rather honest.

For instance, after a clip aired of vampire Jerry asking to borrow a six-pack of beer, Farrell quipped, “Some reps you just can’t shake. Of course Marti’s vampire has to drink.” (Farrell has in the last year given interviews discussing his struggles with alcohol and his decision to give up drinking.) He went on during the question-and-answer session to say that his time on Michael Mann’s  2006 movie “Miami Vice” was “a six-month blackout.”

He also commented:  “I thought I was playing a superhero in [Oliver Stone's] ‘Alexander’ and that didn’t work out. No more swords-and-sandals epics for me.”

He said that in the last five years, he’s become more selective in his work and had much more fun.

“Success came really quickly for me. It was insane,” said Farrell, 35. “Recently I reconnected to that Colin who went to his first acting class in Dublin at 17.”

Part of that, he said, involved signing on to play Jerry, a role he was at first reluctant to take because he loved the original and Sarandon’s performance so much.

Writer Noxon was thrilled he did, as she wanted to bring more “viciousness and sexuality” to the vampire genre.  “I didn’t want a vampire who played piano,” quipped Noxon, who used to write for the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

The film opens Aug. 19.

– Nicole Sperling

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