Interview with David Morrisey and Riccardo Chemello: Dampyr, between fidelity and obscurity, what's the point?

Interview with David Morrisey and Riccardo Chemello: Dampyr, between fidelity and obscurity, what's the point?

Interview with David Morrisey and Riccardo Chemello

During the press preview of Dampyr, which will be released on October 28th, we had the opportunity to interview some members of its international cast and its director, Riccardo Chemello. The general interest in this film goes far beyond the simple transposition of the comic of the same name by Sergio Bonelli Editore, reconnecting to a broader project through which the publisher himself is trying to expand his audience, also addressing the foreign market. Dampyr's film is based on the comic of the same name published in Italy in 2000, created by Mauro Boselli and Maurizio Colombo, and as we revealed in our preview, it shows a rich narrative potential, which not only transports love towards the world to the big screen. 'original work, but I am expanding its reach with the general public, following the example of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DCU. The opening to the foreign market is therefore central to this project, an intention that led to compose an international cast, prompting it to film in English, eventually leading to the success of an international distributor of the caliber of Sony.

After the preview of Dampyr, we were able to deepen some of its dynamics by talking directly with those who worked on it, in this case with D avid Morrisey (especially known for his unforgettable Governor in The Walking Dead), who in the film plays Gorka , the main villain, and with director Riccardo Chemello (here on his debut with a feature film, previously known for his videomeking work in the sports field). We chatted with them mainly about the film itself, some aspects of the behind the scenes and the character in question.

Purchase the first volume of Dampyr on Amazon.

Interview with David Morrisey and Riccardo Chemello: “Dampyr, between fidelity and darkness, what's the point?”

Often in transpositions, directors tend to limit their creative momentum in favor of greater fidelity. So I wanted to ask you how much of yours is in the film and whether in your opinion fidelity can match the director's vision, or must necessarily clash with it.

When you have to create a film adaptation you have a world to create, so all that world, in the end, is placed on you, you are the one who has to give the ideas to the set designer, to the costume designer ... Clearly you have a basis starting because the story is absolutely faithful to the nature of the project, Bonelli absolutely wanted this and she succeeded. For me there was a world to create and in this thing I felt, even if I had a starting point, I felt alive. Try to go and look for locations in Romania, stay months there looking for the liveliest locations so as not to put the actors in front of the blue screen ... A whole path in which in the end you are impersonating your will in the way of filming, which is clearly not one thing you can understand from a comic. I think I gave my all in Dampyr, but knowing that I was loyal to the property, because the screen play was based on the number 1 and 2.

It would be simplistic to just call your character a traditional villain. During the evolution of the story, the characterization of him reveals that he is a figure moved by his own agenda, perhaps driven by reasons much earlier than the facts we see: in your opinion what are the reasons behind the actions of your character ( Gorka)?

I think he likes chaos. He likes to manipulate men to turn each other against each other, being in control of this destruction. In the struggle for survival within the chaos he draws joy and pleasure from the situation and from seeing the clash of life aimed at individual survival. He manipulates her and he needs precisely this, he feels the need to be part of this destructive chaos that man is able to exert on others through war and conflict.

Gorka is one of the most mysterious characters of Dampyr, we see him acting following some rules that will be explained step by step in the story, while always maintaining a certain dark aura perfectly consistent with his methods and personal goals.

Considering that the plot events develop mainly in a context of war (we are in '92, in the Balkans and the Yugoslav wars are raging), and that this immediately transforms from a simple contest to a real central character, we asked them about how it impacts the narrative and the events portrayed, both in general and on the character of Gorka. Dampyr plays a lot with the shadows that compose it, presents imperfect and broken characters inside in a context of suffering that generates monsters also of human nature. The wickedness and moral elasticity typical of the battlefield here define the story itself and its basic events, framing every step of the protagonists. Furthermore, since the shooting of the film took place mainly in Romania, thus avoiding working in studios, the weight of the setting around the cast and characters takes on an even more valuable role in accompanying the journey to the center of the plot.

Dampyr Having set the film in a war context, how much has this choice influenced the story and the characters from your point of view?

For Gorka, the impact of war on events is something wonderful, precisely for the reasons given above. Being that she loves chaos and wants blood and destruction, the situation perfectly represents her desire for him. War is the perfect playing field for him ”, Morrisey replied, recalling once again the hunger for darkness that outlines his character on stage.

Riccardo Chemello concluded:

Per me is also this, in the sense that in a world as bad as war people are looking for hope. And our hero's journey is a journey of hope because he must embrace his destiny, find his place in the world as well as save his dear friend. So I think the war all emphasizes these conflicts within these characters.

About the film

The story of Dampyr centers on the character of Harlan (Wade Briggs), a boy with a mysterious past, addicted to alcohol and tormented by a series of nightmares that even he can't understand. He works as a Dampyr, or at least pretends to be one of them and together with his manager Yuri (Sebastian Croft) they go from village to village avoiding war zones, and cheating all the gullible of the place, pretending to fight dark forces that they do not exist absolutely. This staging continues until a group of soldiers led by Kurjak (Stuart Martin) do not really run into some beings of the night who, in the village of Yorvolak, begin to decimate them one by one, feeding on their blood. The most logical reaction is to call in an expert in the field, so Harlan is forcibly brought to the scene and forced to confront a reality that until then he had openly mocked. which will involve not only the spectator but also the protagonist of Dampyr himself, who will finally try to give the right answers to the ghosts that continue to haunt him from his past.

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