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SYFY WIRE Renfield

Nicolas Cage takes a bite out of claims he went full Dracula method actor shooting 'Renfield'

The legendary actor definitely committed to the role, but he didn't need to be Dracula 24/7.

By Matthew Jackson
Nicolas Cage in Renfield (2023)

There are lots of reasons to be excited about Renfield, but chief among them is undoubtedly the promise of Nicolas Cage as Count Dracula himself. The Oscar-winning actor, long a fan favorite for his tendency toward quirky choices and his ability to commit completely to a role, is stepping into the shoes of the world's most famous vampire for the first time, and we can't wait to see how far he takes the character. 

RELATED: Watch Renfield star Nicholas Hoult eat crickets on The Tonight Show

But that doesn't mean Cage did some kind of bizarre method acting thing that made him into a 24/7 creature of the night on the Renfield set, even if the film's director seemed to hint otherwise. At the Renfield premiere in New York this week, Cage told The Hollywood Reporter that director Chris McKay's assertion that he stayed in character throughout the shoot was definitely false.

“I just don’t have that recollection, I don’t know why Chris said that,” Cage said. “I had a lot of laughs in between takes with both Chris McKay and Nick Hoult, so maybe that was his experience, maybe because I still had the fangs in my mouth that made me speak a certain way, but that wasn’t my experience."

In McKay's defense, he didn't exactly say that Cage was always in character while making the film, which moves the vampire to the present-day and follows his relationship with his familiar, played by Nicholas Hoult. He just hinted at it, telling Insider that Cage would retain a certain "attitude" of the given scene between takes.

"Whatever scene we did he would still be 100% living in that attitude after we stopped shooting," McKay said. "So if he's a little frosty in the scene he's going to have a little bit of that between takes. But still up for whatever we were doing."

For his part, Hoult -- who plays the title role -- told Entertainment Tonight that he had a blast working with Cage, and that no matter how far Dracula went, he could still see the actor at work beneath the makeup. 

"He was Nic Cage," Hoult said. "But like, the funny thing was, when he switched on to Dracula, all the influences that he was bringing to that character and where he was bringing inspiration from, it was just like, it was really fun. And then occasionally you just see this little Nic Cage-ism within, which is what we love seeing him do in films."

Renfield is in theaters Apr. 14.