Dracula star: Uncertainty around film production is confusing and depressing

Dracula star Claes Bang has said it is “confusing and depressing” not knowing when production on film and television will be able to resume amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Danish actor was in Belfast preparing to shoot The Northman – which also stars Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Willem Dafoe – before production was shut down and lockdown was introduced.

He is now starring opposite Succession’s Brian Cox and Misfits actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett in Little Room, a whodunnit filmed entirely over Zoom, hoping to raise money for the Film and TV Charity.

Brian Cox on Desert Island Discs
Brian Cox (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

It follows a group of agoraphobics who are left concerned after their psychiatrist disappears and they form a remote alliance to track her down.

Bang told the PA news agency: “You have to do everything yourself, the light, the camera, make up and wardrobe and everything, so in that sense it was quite weird.

“But I think everyone was like ‘now we are on our own, can we actually make something positive out of it?’ and I think that was the vibe.

“You do a Zoom conference and then you’ve got the cinematographer saying ‘Can you just adjust the light to the left of you?’ and the someone from make up will say ‘Can you just do a bit more this or that’ and ‘Have you got another shirt?’

Bang said he filmed the series pilot in his wife’s photography studio in Copenhagen, adding: “It looks a bit like an antique shop, I had my phone with me and I showed the set decorators my home and where I could film my stuff and went to the studio and they decided that was an interesting room because it’s so weird.”

Bang said he has already lost out on one project because of the crisis, but hopes production can resume on The Northman soon.

He said: “They are still hoping to go in August I think, I’m not really sure how that looks right now but that is what they are aiming for, we will see how that goes.

“In order to commit to that I have lost one job but I haven’t lost both so it’s not the worst. I think over the last four or five or six years I have done so much more television and film and I haven’t done so much theatre as I used to but I think if you mainly do theatre, then my god, when will they actually get up and running again? And on which terms and conditions?

“Can you actually run a theatre on the money you can make if you only are allowed to let in a third of the audience that you normally would?

When you talk about it like this it’s just so depressing, because it’s just so uncertain what is going to happen and nobody knows if they are bought or sold.”

He added: “I’m not very good at dealing with something like this. Mainly the uncertainty. If someone could just say to me ‘We are all on a break right now, come September 1 everything will be back to normal and up and running,’ I would be like ‘ok no problem’  but it’s the thing where you’ve got no idea when or if it’s actually going to go back to normal and also what will it be like to shoot a film or do a play in these conditions.”

He continued: “When you start thinking about these things it gets very confusing and very depressing because it’s like ‘where is it going to go?'”

The Little Room pilot is available to view at www.pinpointpresents.com.

Viewers are asked to donate what they can afford and funds raised will be split between the Film and TV Charity in the UK and the Motion Picture & Television Fund in the US.

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