According to writer/director Stephen Sommers, the role of the monster killer demanded an actor who could perform stunts and would look like a fearless demonslayer while playing well to both male and female moviegoers. Tough and romantic and as Sommers puts it, "six-foot-two and 210 pounds of solid steel," Jackman had the necessary combination of skills, looks and talent. "We were adamant about getting Hugh Jackman from the start. Hes the only guy we ever wanted."
INTERVIEW WITH HUGH JACKMAN ('Van Helsing'):
Who is Van Helsing?
Hes a kind of monster hunter. He works for the secret order of holy knights and hes set out to find Dracula in this movie, and he comes across a whole lot of [evil guys]. To me, its a bit like a Western in a way. Its a bit of an adventure movie. Hes the outsider who comes into town and [he's a] mysterious character.
Are you ready for another franchise?
Im ready. Fingers crossed, but lets not count our chickens. But yeah, I loved doing this movie and if it meant working with Steve again, Id do it in a heartbeat.
Did you have to challenge yourself physically for this role?
Sure. This was the toughest film Ive done physically. But you know our stunt coordinator would be the perfect leader of a cult. He could make me do anything.
What does it take to slay vampires?
You have to have a lot of garlic on board and a few silver stakes and youve got to be tall and have a good hat.
What kind of weapons do you use?
I have more contraptions than Batman ever had.
With all the stunt work and physical training, were you exhausted?
Well it was a year ago so Im recovered, but it was pretty intense (laughing). The jumping from horse to horse thing was crazy.
Can you talk about reuniting with Shuler Hensley?
It was great for me because Shuler is a great friend of mine. We had a lot of fun singing show tunes on the set.
Did you really do that and will we see any of it on the DVD?
(Laughing) I dont know. Maybe.
Have you ever considered doing Van Helsing The Musical?
We joked about it because Shuler, who plays Frankensteins Monster, is an opera singer. We did Oklahoma together so we used to joke about it. Wed sing a couple of show tunes on the set but I dont think Steve [Sommers] is really [into that].
Are you ready for the Tony Awards?
Im looking forward to that. Im very excited about the Tonys. Im hosting them this year so Im very excited about it.
How do you sustain a relationship with your work schedule?
Shes the best thing that ever happened to me. Its easy. Basically when I met her I was single, very single, happy guy and I met her and it was just better. Its not hard work, its a joy.
INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR STEPHEN SOMMERS:
Why did you decide to bring these iconic characters together in one movie?
I had no intention of doing it and I was sitting there staring at all the posters on my wall and I thought, You know what? I ought to watch them again. I havent seen them in many years. And so I watched all three of them - and Bride of Frankenstein - in one day. I thought, Man, I love these characters. Ive got to do something with them. Then I kind of figured it out.
How do you do a movie like this, combining classic horror monsters into one movie, and not make it campy?
You get Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale and a bunch of really great actors.
Is that what it is? Its the actors who keep it from going too far.
Its all about the actors. And the script a little bit, and a little directing and a little producing
Is it true you told your actors there weren't any monsters in this movie?
I kept saying, There are no monsters in this movie, just people with really bad problems. Thats the way I did it, and it works.
"Van Helsing" Premiere Interviews - David Wenham / Richard Roxburgh & Shuler Hensley / Elena Anaya, Josie Maran and Silvia Colloca
"Van Helsing" Premiere Photos
"Van Helsing" Trailer, Credits and Movie News