Cabin in the Woods actor Fran Kranz admits he was hesitant about returning to the horror-comedy genre after being approached about starring in Bloodsucking Bastards (out in select cinemas and on VOD on Sept. 4). “I got an offer for it and, while I like the title, it made me think that I was about to read a horror-comedy and I realized that I’m always a little reluctant because of Cabin in the Woods,” he says. “I love the genre but I want to be a versatile actor that’s seen in a lot of films. But it was too funny a script and the part was different enough. I met Brian James O’Connell, who directed and Justin Ware, who produced and did some revisions on the script and acted in it, and we had the best time together.”
In the film, Kranz is a low-level office employee whose dreams of promotion are eviscerated by the arrival of a new hire (played by Pedro Pascal). The latter is an old college nemesis of Kranz’s character and, oh yes, a vampire hellbent on transforming his new underlings into high-efficiency artery-chompers. It also has to be said that Pascal makes the other male members of the cast look like hot garbage whenever they happen to share a shot with him.
“I know, I know,” laughs Kranz of Pascal’s look. “It’s sort of nice, right? It was low budget, and we had a great wardrobe team, but they were like, ‘Look, we need all the help we can get, bring in some stuff.’ But then they would be like, ‘But make sure it’s unflattering.’ So we had shirts that didn’t fit, the ugliest ties, things that didn’t match. They did us no favors. Then Pedro had this gorgeous three-piece suit that he’s worn on red carpets. But it’s perfect. His slickness is perfect for the role.”
Bloodsucking Bastards is written by Ryan Mitts and the L.A.-based comedy group Dr. God, of which both O’Connell and Ware are members, and also features the onscreen talents of Joel Murray (Mad Men), Emma Fitzpatrick, (the CW’s Significant Mother), and Joey Kern (Cabin Fever), who plays one of cinemadom’s laziest employees. “I love Joey,” says Kranz. “I think Joey steals the movie. On paper, it’s a role that fills that kind of slacker, stoner archetype. [But] Joey has such an insane indifference to the circumstances that he’s kind of this anarchist. He’s so far beyond slacker he’s actually pretty striking in how unaffected he is by the horror around him. I was so impressed by his performance at the table read that I just had my man-crush on him and we became good friends.”
Kranz has a number of other upcoming projects, notably the thriller Mojave, which is directed by William Monahan, screenwriter of The Departed. “It’s got Garrett Hedlund, Oscar Isaac, Mark Wahlberg, Walton Goggins,” says Kranz. “It’s a really rally cool movie.”
The actor also hopes to reteam at some point with Joss Whedon, who cowrote Cabin in the Woods, created the Kranz-featuring Fox TV show Dollhouse, and cast him in his 2012 big screen version of Much Ado About Nothing. “He is such a gifted musician and loves that world so much, my guess is, he’s thinking about something musical,” says Kranz of Whedon’s post-Avengers plans. “That’s my guess. But I’ll just leave it at that. I’d like to be on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, or something, just so I’ve had my tiny share in the Avengers. I always said, ‘I just wanted to be a guy Thor kills.’ Just, like, a henchman, an anonymous foot-soldier who gets hit by Thor. [That’s] all I’ve ever wanted!”
You can see the trailer for Bloodsucking Bastards, below.