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King of cinematic freaks Bill Skarsgård "lost a tremendous amount of weight" for the Nosferatu remake

He maybe took the "dead Transylvanian nobleman" homework too seriously.

Nosferatu remake - Lily Rose Depp
Image credit: Focus Features

Are you excited for the Nosferatu remake from Robert Eggers? No? Well, you probably should. After absolutely smashing it with The Witch, The Lighthouse, and The Northman, he seems like the perfect filmmaker to update F.W. Murnau's 1922 classic, and the stellar cast definitely helps.

The movie finished shooting earlier this year in the Czech Republic and is now deep into post-production. In fact, we're starting to get some promotional images and plenty of tidbits from the cast and crew. However, we won't be watching it (and getting spooked) until December 25, 2024. The perfect Christmas movie!

The folks over at Total Film were lucky enough to chat with writer-director Robert Eggers about his take on the horror classic for their 2024 preview issue, and the conversation turned to Bill Skarsgård's transformation and performance as the iconic Count Orlok. Most moviegoers will forever remember him as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the most recent It movies, but if you've seen him in more features, you know he's making a wonderful career out of playing freaks and disturbing individuals.

Somehow, Count Orlok could be an even wilder performance from him, according to Eggers: "Basically I was like, 'What would a dead Transylvanian nobleman actually look like for real?' Bill lost a tremendous amount of weight." Oh s**t, he might've activated the 'Christian Bale in The Machinist' sicko mode.

It's not uncommon to see accomplished actors really get into special parts such as this one, but it's also worrying to see them morphing their body and pushing their limits too often. Bill Skarsgård, however, hadn't done this level of physical transformation before, so we're excited to see how much of him became this brand-new version of Count Orlok. Eggers even goes as far as to say casual audiences might not recognize him: "He's so transformed in every aspect that I don't know if people will give him the credit. You can see Bill [as Pennywise] in the It make-up; you can't detect any Bill here. He worked with an opera coach to lower his voice an octave. I think people are going to think we treated it digitally, but that's his performance."

In the original 2022 movie, Max Schreck played Count Orlok, and that iconic look was later recreated in Werner Herzog's decent 1979 remake. Will Eggers' take on the story be better remembered? It'll be a good while before we know for sure. We can pray for a first teaser trailer dropping soon-ish though.

The cast of this iteration also includes Nicholas Hoult as Thomas Hutter, Lily-Rose Depp as Ellen Hutter, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Friedrich Harding, Emma Corrin as Ann Harding, Willem Dafoe as Professor Albin Eberhart Von Franz, Simon McBurney as Herr Knock, and Ralph Ineson as Dr. Wilhelm Sievers. We told you it's a really enticing cast. As for Skarsgård, he's got that cursed remake of The Crow coming up next year too.

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Fran Ruiz