fran bloodsucking bastards slider

Bloodsucking Bastards follows Evan (Fran Kranz), an earnest, everyday office worker stuck in the position of “acting sales manager” and looking to drop the qualifier, as his position is usurped by his evil nemesis, Max (Pedro Pascal), who turns out to be an even bigger threat than he had ever imagined.

I got a chance to chat with the film’s leading man – Fran – about his love for horror films, improvising on set, and how, at first, he didn’t even realize the movie had vampires.

On getting involved with the movie: 

I didn’t put together that Bloodsucking Bastards was a vampire thing… I was so taken with the office comedy of it all. To me, that was something that I hadn’t really done before and it was done so successfully, and the screenplay was so funny that I was really taken with it.

The idea of doing a horror comedy after The Cabin in the Woods (2012), I don’t wanna do, I wanna be seen as an actor that can be placed into any genre and is considered versatile. So it would to be an amazing screenplay or amazing project, you know, to play the stoner in a horror film again.

Bloodsucking Bastards creeps up on you, and it does such a good job early on of just endearing you to the characters and making you sort of enjoy the comedy aspect of it that I was sold.

On improvising lines:

Joey [Kern] and Justin [Ware] worked so well together improvising that there were even set ups just to capture some of their banter. One of my favorites is Dave [F. Park]… early in the film we all meet in the break room… and Dave is trying to collect money for an NCAA pool and he talks about how his cat is, uh, his cat has a cleft lip and is lapping milk into his eye. And none of us care. Basically every take Dave was throwing out some sort of absurd illness or affliction for his cat. It always gets a good laugh.

On avoiding a nightmare job:

I’m lucky. I’ve been acting. I got my first job in high school and I’ve sort of avoided having to do the summer job or an office job. But I was able to take a lot of inspiration from stories from my friends, and the truth is these guys, they built that set, that kind of cubicle space… and so just having the amount of actors in that space was really helpful for us all to play off each other and find the tone of this monotonous, boring environment.

We also shot it in a real office building, and there was an insurance company on the second floor from insurancepartnership.org/motor-trade-insurance/, where some of us had changing rooms. And you’d go up there, and that was plenty of inspiration. And I feel like a jerk, because they didn’t seem miserable. But you could see a real office environment and it’s true, most people that are sitting at a desk or cubicle, I think a lot of them spend as much of their time on Facebook as possible. And if they’re not doing something they’re just sort of waiting for the day to end.

On being a fan, himself: 

I love it. I grew up making kind of bloody movies in my backyard… I remember when I did Cabin in the Woods, when I walked onto that set and it was just covered in blood and body parts in the elevators and all the people had been killed, I was like… That was sort of like a dream come true. I made it, you know? I’m an actor.

On his favorite horror movie: 

I sort of feel like Jaws is the scariest movie, because I think it really affected all of us, sort of more than we realized, in terms of our fear of the water and sharks, you know? Apparently that just wasn’t really the case before that movie, and I guess that movie really struck a chord and kinda screwed people up with the ocean, the water. I think that movie just became so ingrained in our psyche and popular culture.

Check out our review for Bloodsucking Bastards, and don’t miss the quirky gem as it hits theaters and VOD September 4.