Willem Dafoe Discusses Vampire Barebacking In Daybreakers

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Willem Dafoe's "wild-card" character Elvis has all the film's best lines. Find out which raunchy lines Dafoe had a hard time saying, and how he handled such an over-the-top charactier. Plus behind-the-scenes clips, and the most inappropriate vampire interview ever.

While one could consider Willem Dafoe's character in Daybreakers, Lionel 'Elvis' Cormac, to be a bit of a whack job, seeing as he never really speaks in coherent sentences — only rat-shit insane one-liners — we love his performance. Granted, any more than what he gives us would have been too much, but we love watching Dafoe get so comically unhinged. At the Daybreakers press day he spoke some more about his character's way with words.

You have some of the best lines in this movie. How much of that was improv in the script and how much was in the script?


Nothing was improv but some [of it] was us working together to find the dialogue. I mean, it's silly, but there are a couple lines that when I hear them I think to myself, "that's my line."

Which lines in particular?

I remember the one about barebacking a $5 whore. [The line is actually, "Is it safe?" "About as safe as barebacking a $5 whore." or something along those lines.] Cause I thought, "Can we say that? That's kind of racy." This word bareback it's, quite... quite specific. In fact I'm not even sure, I know it more from... Oh boy, um... No it's kind of gay cruise parlor. I don't know if it is hetero thing, bareback. Well it's a phrase that deserves to be out there.


This would be your second vampire movie in the period of a few months [after Vampire's Assistant]. Do you have a fascination with the supernatural?


I mean, no. The supernatural is fine by me. [I have] enough interest in it. Why I did Vampire's Assistant... [was because] I knew Paul Weitz. I had a really good time working with him on Amercian Dreamz, and he asked me to do this thing with him. And it was fun, and I thought it would be fun to do some scenes with John C. Reilly. If it went well, there was going to be sequels, but I don't think it went so well. So there probably won't be sequels. But that was kind of the idea behind that. We were shooting in New Orleans. The reasons are very specific, it was by coincidence that they both happened to be vampires.

What was it about Daybreakers that made you want to do it?

The character was sweet. I felt like doing something kind of fun and entertaining. I think it's pretty unusual where you have a film like this and there are things for actors to do. And there are scenes, fun scenes. Good integration of action with dramatic scenes. It has a good sense of humor about itself but no so goofy that it's a send up. It walks a lot of lines, but it does it in a pretty skillful way.


And that's pretty true, next up here are a few new clips that have popped up online...


And finally check out this ridiculous "vampire on the street" feature BET did, where they asked everyone whose blood they would harvest, if they were undead. Personally, I'd eat people that use the term "tweeple."


Daybreakers is out today, which interestingly enough, is the "real" Elivis' birthday.