Charlie Bewley, amongst other things, is a vampire. Not really. I don’t think. But he has played one a few times. You might know him as Demetri from the Twilight series or as vampire hunter Galen Vaughn in The Vampire Diaries, but the majority of Bewley’s work isn’t vampire related. I swear. He stars in the recently released action flick Hammer of the Gods and romantic drama Like Crazy, as well as having several other films, including Thunder Road and The Rules of the Game, in the works.
Bewley’s association with The Twilight Saga and The Vampire Diaries has created a devoted and fanatical fan base, but despite his acting success and popularity among legions of fans, Charlie Bewley really is a nice guy and comes across extremely genuine and jovial in conversation. He has a big full laugh that sounds like it comes from the back of the throat but cracks midway into a chuckle, almost like a masculine cackle, that quickly gets you laughing too. Recently, I was lucky enough to speak to Charlie Bewley in London about his work, past and present. Read on for the laughter and the interview that ensued…
The Daily Quirk: I think we should just get this out in the open, are you a vampire?
Charlie Bewley: I am a vampire, yeah. I’ve been a vampire for four years now and I don’t think I can ever not be a vampire now. I think that I will always have that hanging over me. Immortality beckons.
TDQ: What I’m talking about here is, many people may recognize you from your role as Demetri, a member of the vampire Voltaire in The Twilight Saga. How did that role come about?
CB: It was my first ever role, really. It was a feature film. The Twilight juggernaut was four months old and I jumped aboard it and it snowballed even bigger, and bigger, and I was allowed an outsider perspective. That was a big phenomenon at the time and I got to enjoy the world of vampires and werewolves and massive premieres and insane paparazzi attention. At a safe distance, I’d say. I don’t think I really was ever too embroiled in it all. So, it was a wonderful way to start out my career and I certainly needed something big like that to happen. I had been going for a little while at the time and I happily partook.
TDQ: So, there’s that crazy fight scene towards the end of Breaking Dawn: Part 2. What was it like filming that with all the CGI?
CB: It was actually pretty exhausting. I don’t mean that by loads of work to do, I mean that by the complete opposite. We weren’t quite sure who they were using on any given day. And then there were sixty-five vampires or something in there. But we all turned up for work and we all got vampired-up every day. It was just like, ‘Ok—You’re in that shot. You’re in that shot and this is your bit and you stand over your bit and you stand over your bit’ [laughs] And I was like, ’What am I going to say?’ I don’t think it mattered that fight scene. It was just a fun scene to do with the collective. Where the Voltaire were running and then cutting. You know, it really was like, down to the stunt guys as to why that fight scene looks so good in the end. And it is only Twilight. You know, you’re not going to get any die-hard action lovers watching that fight scene and taking it to pieces. In the end, we pulled it all together and it worked. I was pretty pissed-off; my head got pulled off though [laughing] I mean like—come on.
TDQ: [Laughing] I guess, Demetri could never really get a-head, in life after that…
CB: [Laughing] I guess that it was good I never was the head of the Voltaire. It would be a pretty headless right now.
TDQ: More recently, you’ve been hunting vampires as Galen Vaughn on The Vampire Diaries. How did you get involved with that project?
CB: Well, I turned up at casting. And I did good. And they brought me aboard. So, I flew out to Atlanta and I joined in the family. Yeah, that’s basically how it works. That’s the system; you get cast, you go. And suddenly, you’re a vampire hunter now and not a vampire. And your Twitter following goes up by about 20,000…nothing unusual for a day’s work. And yeah, suddenly, you’re hunting vampires instead of—And it is really, really difficult as an actor to twist your psychology around from being a vampire to being a vampire hunter. And murdering my own kind. As we established, I am a vampire.
TDQ: Yes, yes. I understand.
CB: It is very difficult to hunt my own. From paycheck to paycheck to paycheck… [laughing]. And once again, I partook.
TDQ: So, what’s it like working in television versus film?
CB: Well, it’s very different. TV is very systematic. TV is a well-oiled machine where as a film is a racing car that you just pull the top off even though it might be a little rusty. You just start to crank it up and it might take a little to get going, but in the end it is way faster. And way more fun and you never quite know what’s going to happen next. There’s always that sense that it could go wrong at any minute [laughing]. TV is very fail-safe. You have all these people behind the scenes, making sure that the well-oiled machine keeps going. And that’s it really. So, there’s that sense that the show will always go on. And with film, everyone’s an integral part of this machine and its success.
TDQ: Hammer of the Gods is an intense action adventure set in the Norse World that was just released on July 5th in the USA. Can you tell the readers a little about that?
CB: Well, for the budget we shot it on, it is something to be proud of. Yeah, and I will tell the readers tale of a Prince Steinar and he’s not called Prince Steinar because that would be very Aladdin. He’s just called Steinar and he’s hard as nails. Except, he has this voice of reason, which is very atypical for someone back in those days, to be so reasonable. And to be so logical, in terms of the way they perceived the world. And so pragmatic. The Norseman had the reputation for being so ruthless. Ruthless in their desires and the way they carried out their business and Steinar is someone who turns the other cheek to all of that. He gets in a lot of trouble because everyone is of the other thinking with the others around him. Luckily, he has a band of brothers around him, who keep him in line and keep him protected. Otherwise, he would definitely be in all sorts of trouble. And yet, he goes off to find his brother…Have you seen the movie?
TDQ: Not yet…I haven’t. No.
CB: Well, the plots out there. [Modestly] I’m terrible at describing plots. But essentially, my dad [in Hammer of the Gods] King Bagsecg, makes this stupid error in going to battle by summoning the omens. This is totally, un-Steinar and Steinar is like, ‘Oh my god, what are you doing? I told you to wait for me… I’m like ten minutes away.’ And he goes into battle and he gets taken with him. And then his dad is like, ‘Listen, I need someone to take the army forward after all of this. Go find your brother.’ And my brother [in the film] just happens to be [laughing] this crazy Celtic caveman and I have to go after him, and find him for some reason. And everyone is like, ‘Don’t do it…’ and I do. All sorts of weird stuff goes on when I get there. In the mean time, there’s this big epic journey that we undertake, in finding my brother… all sorts of stuff happens, that makes Steinar question the man he is, and he is stubborn as hell. So, he’s slowly getting pissed-off. He gets there and then all manner of hell breaks loose… and I won’t spoil the ending for everyone…
TDQ: No, no. Don’t do that.
CB: [Laughing] That’s basically it.
TDQ: It sounds good.
CB: It’s a Sunday-night movie.
TDQ: So, what do you think attracted you to that role?
CB: Oh, I mean…it’s a lead role. Which means it’s perfect. It’s like a playground. A perfect lead-role. Big heavy action, lots of fighting, it played right into my strengths. [Laughing] Moody. Stubborn as hell. Pisses everyone off. [Still laughing as he begins to speak] I just walked into the roll. I got to train months beforehand, which was always a part of acting I look forward to, in my short time as an actor. Lots of yelling. Lots of slating and pillaging of the villagers close by my town, it’s what attracted me to playing a Viking. Came in very useful, apparently, at the time. I get to kill more people in this movie, so I came prepared. [Laughing] And so, yeah…it was a pretty good script and Farren Blackburn, the director, I met beforehand, we got on very well. And we still talk, a lot these days, and so it was just perfect really. Just perfect for the lead role.
TDQ: Sounds like it. You also have the critically acclaimed Like Crazy under your belt, and a films in the making including, The Rules of the Game and your Kickstarter campaign you’re doing for Thunder Road. Let’s start with Like Crazy. Can you tell me a little about it?
CB: Like Crazy was a Sundance winner and is highly celebrated. I have a big role in that, opposite, you know, Felicity Jones, who is an up-and-comer and the book is out on that right now and that was back to Hollywood, with the little known Jennifer Lawrence, who may have skipped an award or two last year…Uh yeah, Like Crazy, improvisation, great, great work across the board and recognized at Sundance as the best film that year.
Rules of the Game, I just finished that in Argentina. Five guys go out to Argentina, and four of them have this stupid plan to get back at my character for a misdemeanor in the park. All goes terribly wrong and all sorts of stuff breaks loose. It was a lot of fun to shoot it. Very sort of young, energetic, British crop of actors. And I did my best to tame them, fortunately, it’s never going to happen and they got themselves into all sorts of trouble out there… in the film of course [laughing].
TDQ: Naturally [laughing]. Thunder Road is an emotionally intense film, given its subject matter about a war veteran who is coping with the psychological repercussions of war. Can you tell me what inspired you and your partners on the project, Matt Dallas and Steven Grahm, to make the film?
CB: Steven was the genesis of it all. He had this idea of a war movie and obviously with the current extraction of troops from Iraq and next year from Afghanistan [there’s] lots of veterans coming home. So, it’s a hot topic really. It wasn’t that that inspired it. It was just, that we realized, that veterans, the veteran-life, is not exactly something that people really go and find information about. Soldiers come back with this very unique experience and have these experiences out there; in war, in combat and they are almost told to, ‘Don’t talk anymore. Deal with your issues and we’ll help you from there.’ But that’s not helping them at all. We need that integration of veterans and that celebrates their achievement, their experiences, to be more prominent in society. We’re doing this subculture that’s conveniently slipped to the side and that’s from as much as our lack of education on the matter as it is the convenience of just letting it slip away. But these are soldiers; these guys have fought for our country. It’s become very easy to slip into the whole cause of it all: to help the veterans. We’ve been out there, researched hundreds of accounts of what people went through combat zone and how it’s been to be back. And, really, they are a wonderful bunch of people, who when you just talk to them on a very human level, they are so outpouring of inspirational stories and tales of courage. And just a plethora of information, that people in luxurious society that we live in, would never ever have access to. So, Thunder Road really brings up a lot of those issues and events, in an entertaining format. Film.
TDQ: Yeah, I think it was Ernest Hemmingway who said that, “Courage is grace under pressure.”
CB: Well, that sounds great. [Laughing] That sounds pretty apt. Hemmingway said that? ‘Courage is grace under pressure.’ Wow. That’s amazing. That sounds great. I’ll have to look that up.
TDQ: You were in the military too, weren’t you? Do you think that helped inform your character?
CB: I was almost in the military. I was saved by a ridiculous coincidence. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I can’t really go in to why I’m not in the military. But I’m not in the military; I was very close to going into the military, the parachute regiment. That was where my energy was at the time; to work hard, use my physical and mental abilities to do something great. And then, I didn’t get accepted to officer training and I went traveling the year after and discovered there were other colorful colors of life that I was great at. And that’s what happens when you go traveling. I’m quite thankful for that. You know, we just take different paths, chose the fork in the road at any given time based on our instincts. This is just where I ended up. But I can’t wait to play this solider in Thunder Road. I can’t wait to play SAS guys in the future, I mean, just to learn those worlds. That’s the best thing about being an actor, to access the world in a very short space of time and it’s your skill as an actor to pretend that you’ve been doing it all your life.
TDQ: I know what you mean. Members of my family were in the service so I have the utmost respect for anybody that would do that. So, thank you for almost serving the country I reside in.
CB: [Laughing] Well, it’s my absolute pleasure. I hope that I can bring more through the medium of film to the armed service of this country [the United Kingdom] ultimately and the United States than I ever could have done as a solider. And if there is one great thing that came of me not being in the military, is now I feel like, I’m on the precipices of having that kind of voice. That kind of impact, on a world or industry, a culture that I almost got involved with.
TDQ: So, talk to me about the Kickstarter campaign. How can people get involved? When will it begin?
CB: It starts in two weeks [at the time of the interview]. To bring as much attention to the actual launch as possible, that’s the most important thing. It’s launched on the 24th of July [The Kickstarter launch date has since been moved to July 31st]. Kickstarter, the way it works is, I’m sure you know, but to the people who don’t, we get to set what we need to raise in forty days. If we are a penny short or a dollar short, we don’t get the money. So, what we’re doing right now is making sure that we blow that amount away. And so, the reason we’re doing Kickstarter is because we feel this is a movie about the people, for the people. You know, we’re going to the people and we’re asking them to help us make it. It’s what Kickstarter is there for, so people can back what they want to see. As opposed to like, an executive sitting opposite you telling you that this won’t work as a movie. Thunder Road wouldn’t be made as a movie if like it were going to executives and saying, ‘Can we have the money to make this movie?’ Because, essentially, it’s three slightly, pretty-much, unknown actors, in terms of A-listers and whatnot. So, it does make sense to go to Kickstarter. And people can donate; we’ll have the links. The link will flash up on the 24th and hopefully we’ll get it as far reaching as possible. Because there are veterans all over the world, of course. And hopefully we can make our goal.
TDQ: It’s something I believe in. I’ll put those links out too.
CB: Aw, thanks so much. If you follow me on Twitter, probably, the easiest way to do it is to smash around Twitter on the 24th [The Kickstarter launch date has since been moved to July 31st]. Like, I’m just going to blanket Tweet the whole day this link so people can start showing their friends.
TDQ: Yeah, I’ll do it definitely.
CB: That would be great mate. Thank you.
TDQ: Do you have any other upcoming projects or events you would like to share with the readers?
CB: Uhmmmm….What is coming up? Hmmm…well I’m going to Burning Man [laughing].
TDQ: No way! That’s awesome.
CB: Have you ever been to Burning Man?
TDQ: I haven’t been yet. But I really want to go. It’s in Reno, right?
CB: Yeah, it’s in the Black Rock Desert, near Reno, in Nevada. I’m going this year with four friends and I’m very much looking forward to it. Yeah, but movie projects and whatnot, there’s always stuff in the pipeline. I’m not one to let the projects come to me. I’m just not that patient [laughing]. I’m always looking forward for things to do and getting those projects off the ground. Kickstarter is one of the big ones and then I go back to L.A. on Friday and start again just trying to find the next project. I’ve had a wonderful experience in Argentina. Learned a lot, now just take it back and reapply it. Just come back a better actor and hopefully the next job won’t be so hard to find. [Laughing] And of course, when I get it, I’ll let you guys know on Twitter and your question will be answered.
TDQ: Thank you so much Charlie Bewley for talking to me today, and you know what? The next time you come Brighton, I owe you a drink.
CB: Absolutely. I haven’t been to Brighton in like ten years but I certainly had a good time when I was there.
TDQ: Thanks again, and take care of yourself.
CB: You too mate!
You know what? I will buy Charlie Bewley a drink. Not because he’s an actor who was in Like Crazy, or because we share the same dry sardonic humor, but because he seems like a really nice guy. The kind of guy, you can just hang out with and have a laugh and share stories with. And I’m kind of afraid he might suck my blood if I don’t. You know, him being a vampire and all…
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Charlie Bewley for taking the time to chat with us. True to our word, we will be sharing information on Bewley’s Kickstarter project with an article here on The Daily Quirk the day the project goes live, July 31, and via our Twitter feed as well. To find out more about Bewley for yourself, take his suggestion and follow his Official Twitter.