Exclusive: Wallace Shawn Discusses Vamps

Comedic actor Wallace Shawn was able to speak to ShockYa about his role as Dr. Van Helsing in Amy Heckerling’s sassy vampire film, “Vamps,” starring Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter as two vampire roommates that get tired of being forever young. During the interview, Shawn answered a question many people have been asked before, that question being, if you could, would you become a vampire? Check out his answer and more below. “Vamps” is out on Blu-ray and DVD now.

What do you think about this take on vampires?

Wallace Shawn: Well, I’m not really–I don’t know any vampires in real life, so I’m sure it’s much more accurate than if I had written it. I’m sure that they consulted with real vampires and people who loved them.

What did you think of Van Helsing when you first read the script?

Wallace Shawn: I suppose I was a little bit hoping that I would get to be a vampire rather than a fighter of vampires because I thought that might be more fun, but I love my character and I love my interaction with those who are vampires. I guess I was a little jealous, you know, that I couldn’t get to be one myself. But I’m very honored to play Van Helsing.

What was it like working with this cast, especially someone like Sigourney Weaver, who has been a lot of “sci-fi”-ish type films?

Wallace Shawn: Well, I have been very few “sci-fi”-ish type films, so for me, it was quite exciting and fun to do things like try[ing] to chop Sigourney’s head off. Everybody involved in the film was a great sport, you know. Everybody threw themselves into it 300 percent and it was a pretty lively set and of course, quite smart. Most of the people in this movie have actually written books!…It was a brainy cast.

What message do you have for your fans who are considering seeing this film?

Wallace Shawn: I would say one of the wonderful things about this film–but difficult–is that it doesn’t fit into any category, so nobody really knows how to describe it…I think of it almost more as a serious more [so] than a comedy. It’s almost…it’s somewhat painful and somewhat heartbreaking. I think of it as a very romantic film and I would say it’s very colorful and beautiful and rather poignant. And I don’t know if I would go to it just to see vampires. It’s more about human life seen from a strange perspective more [so] than about vampires life.

Since you were talking earlier about being a vampire in the film, if it were possible, would you become a vampire in real life, if you could?

Wallace Shawn: Well, I think we’ve learned it’s quite a tragic fate in real life to be a vampire. And as a matter of fact, the vampires face serious problems because they are very nice, decent people who don’t really want to kill. They don’t want to hurt other people. They don’t want to hurt anybody, and yet, how else are they going to live? So they’ve figured out some ingenious ways of surviving without doing any harm, and I don’t think I would want to be a vampire in real life, although it’s rather romantic.

One off-topic question: If Pixar made “Toy Story 4,” would you be back on board?

Wallace Shawn: Oh my God, yes! I’d certainly be on board, unless they threw me overboard, but how can they? Yes, I will be there, if it happens. I mean if I’m alive! I hope I will be.

Hopefully. It’ll be fun to see Rex on the big screen again.

Wallace Shawn: Well, I hope it does happen, so thank you for saying that.

Monique Jones :Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.