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Arts and Entertainment

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

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We are here for your woman! | Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

We are here for your woman! | Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is the story of 16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia), an average high school student whose best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) gets into trouble when a traveling freak show comes to town. Trying to make things right, Darren trades in the normal life he had to become an assistant to an old vampire named Crepsley (John C. Reilly). First order of business is to become a vampire himself, but in doing so Darren unknowingly breaks a truce between the vampires and the vampaneze and manages to create his own worst enemy. He takes refuge in joining the Cirque Du Freak and makes friends with a snake boy (Patrick Fugit), monkey girl (Jessica Carlson) and bearded lady (Salma Hayek).

I didn’t read the books that inspired this movie, but it feels a lot like the Twilight series. We’ve got vampires who don’t kill people who can’t get along with vampires who do and it’s going to lead to war… a novice vampire who needs to be shown the ropes and gets to blur through town on the back of a super-fast vampire guide… and at least one werewolf. But then there’s the whole freak show element, which is a more interesting backdrop than the town of Forks, and I think young audiences will have fun watching the story and all of it’s bizarre characters come to life.

LAist recently sat down with the stars of Cirque Du Freak, John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek, who told us they’d thought of running away with the circus before they ever signed on with the Cirque.

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John: I’d always wanted to do a fantasy movie. This kind of movie is the kind of movie I like to see, I’m a big fan of like Harry Potter movies and Lord of the Rings. I like a good fantasy-adventure movie, so I was thrilled when this film came along. This whole vampire tidal wave thing that’s happening was not quite cresting when we made the movie, the first Twilight movie hadn’t come out yet or anything.

Salma: I found the concept of the circus freaks more interesting than the vampires, maybe because there have been fewer movies done about them.

John: I almost became a clown, actually. My plan was to go to clown college after I finished acting school and then somebody talked me out of it, a clown actually. He was like, “No, man. It’s like a five year contract and you have to ride in the worst compartment of the train and it’s like a nightmare,” so I reconsidered it. I think I joined the circus when I started doing theater when I was eight-years-old. That’s when I found my people, my fellow freaks. How about you, Salma, did you dream of joining the circus?

Salma: You know I did dream a little bit about being the contortionist or the trapeze artist. I liked the acrobat things. Actually, it’s not the circus, but have you ever heard of Up with People?

John: Oh, yeah. I was in a group like that.

Salma: I had a dream of going away with Up with People and going from town to town doing shows for world peace.

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant opens today.

Article by Courtney Quinn