Jonathan Rhys Meyers tackles 'Dracula' role: 'I play the bad guy because I look like one'

Posted By Kate Stanton  |  Oct. 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM
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(UPI) -- "Dracula," NBC's dark and stylish adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, hits television screens this week, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the titular role.

“I play the bad guy because I look like one,” Rhys Meyers told The New York Post Saturday. "I suppose there’s a kind of feral element in me. It’s just part of those energies that encompass me.”

Unlike earlier incarnations, Rhys Meyers' Dracula lives in the Victorian U.S., where's passing himself off as an American industrialist.

Rhys Meyers played Henry VIII in Showtime's notoriously over-the-top and sexualized "The Tudors." But the 35-year-old actor told the Post that "Dracula" won't have the same freedom on a network like NBC.

“I have to say there was a weight on my shoulder. I really loved Gary Oldman’s version and ‘Nosferatu.’ But I knew it was going to be a network show, and I was going to find a way to make it fascinating within those parameters," he said.

"In the world of ‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood’ and all the contemporized vampire stories, we thought we would go back to the original, and the book is still really fresh and really original," NBC Entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt told The Washington Post.

“It will be faithful to the period, which is 1896, but it will be sort of looking to the future and hopefully be a really cool, new version of ‘Dracula,'" he added.

"Dracula" debuts Friday, October 25 on NBC -- just in time for Halloween.

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