You started your career in Romania, what are the strengths of the Romanian film industry?
I started at 27 years old with a role in “Dreaming in January”, which is a love story between Franz Liszt and a Moldavian Princess which took place in 1848. Until 1989 I did a bunch of other roles in historical and psychological movies.
The Romanian movie industry is rather the work of a handful of people who are trying to tell stories about the social life here. The biggest difficulties of course are the lack of solid finance and the absence of a strong connection to a distribution market.
Your American credits include The Peacemaker and Mission Impossible – what attracts you to specific roles?.
In “The Peacemaker”I did my first important role in big budget movies. What was very attractive to me was the story which had a feeling somehow prophetic in it, the charm and enthusiasm of Mimi Leder and of course working with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.
In Mission Impossible I had the chance to be in a blockbuster of this caliber and to work with Brian de Palma. Same goes for Hart’s War which was a pleasure to be in with Bruce Willis and Collin Farrell. The German colonel “VISSER” I did in Hart’s War is the antagonist which clashes with McNamara played by Bruce Willis. A great time in Prague, learning a lot about the professional alchemy and the strength of the American film industry.
You starred in Interview with the Vampire, have you any special memories from the set you’d like to share?.
“Interview with the Vampire” was my first role in a foreign production. Four very intense weeks in Pinewood studios. I loved the way Neil Jordan worked with actors, and of course seeing Tom Cruise, Banderas and Brad Pitt at work. I remember the make up took around two hours, it was pretty complicated.
What do you think the audience expects to see in the vampire genre and how do you deliver it?.
In “Interview with the Vampire” I tried to do a good vampire. I don’t know if it was noticed. 🙂 Even though I live in Dracula’s country I don’t know much about vampires, and this was the only vampire role I ever did.
You have also starred in Pirates of the Caribbean as Captaine Chevalle, how did you prepare for this role?.
Basically It was a big sequence in the movie, the one in which all the pirates have a big fight. Gore Verbinsky called me one night and asked me if I wanted to have some fun in this huge production. Of course I said yes. I spent almost four weeks in Disney studios. So once more I realized the power of American film Industry. Preparing the role meant, in a very short time, being a part in a developing process and being attuned with all actors. Also the make up and styling was a huge thing.
What’s coming up for you next?.
Hopefully this pandemic will be over soon enough, so I can continue dedicating my time to theatre. This is a difficult time everywhere for theatres and filmmakers and for everyone in general. In the meantime we are warming up for whatever is gonna be next.
Thank you so much Marcel for being my 50th interview on The Mighty Dragon, its an honour for me! May I wish you all the best for the future.