British horror film Entity hits DVD next week, and we’ve already given the chiller a thumbs up review here on our site.

Luckily for us, we were able to grab a chat with one of the film’s leads this week – German actor Branko Tomovic, who plays the mysterious Yuri.

Branko, 33, has made his name with a host of TV drama appearances, as well as roles in films such as Into The Woods and Interview With A Hitman.

Here’s what he had to say.

 

MR: How did you first become involved in the project?
I was in a TV series a few years ago called ‘Whitechapel’ which is about a modern Jack the Ripper copycat murder. I played one of the main suspects there, it wasn’t even such a big part, but a pretty cool one. I played this creepy morgue man who sleeps in the mortuary amongst the dead. Steve liked me in that and they send me the script for ‘Entity’. Although the first script I received was completely different, the working title was still “Beast’ and there was no Yuri in it yet. The original character was this 50 year old English professor of Paranormal Studies. So after seeing me in ‘Whitechapel’, Steve rewrote the part and changed the character into Yuri and since the story is set in Siberia it made sense to make him Russian. I was looking for a good horror script and was thrilled when this came my way.
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MR: Your character develops considerably during the course of the film as his motives are revealed – was this what appealed to you?
Yes, exactly. I never wanted him to be this one-dimensional or stereotypical Eastern European villain. Yuri is probably a very sad and desperate character, twisted and ambiguous. People will of course find him suspicious from the beginning, just because he is the only foreigner. But he never shows his real face until he really has to and his motives are absolutely understandable. Unfortunately though, his loss is so great for him and being in this place is overwhelming and unbearable, so that he is almost being pushed to the edge of madness. I absolutely enjoyed playing this character.
MR: How much of a challenge was it filming so many scenes in poor light or near darkness?
The cold was a much bigger challenge, it would have probably been warmer to shoot in Siberia! My pupils are almost always dilated so my night vision is pretty good. I was never afraid of the dark, but that place was very creepy and abandoned in every sense, you wouldn’t want to be there by yourself! It’s like a labyrinth, there was no structure to it, very easy to get lost. So that there was no light for most of the time didn’t help us really and torches only last for so long, but I guess that’s exactly how it came across in the film, and that’s great because it’s authentic.
MR: The premise – documentary crew visit a creepy location – has been done a lot in horror cinema recently. What do you think separates Entity from the rest of the pack?
Entity has a very claustrophobic feel to it. I think this weird location the characters find themselves in, which is almost like an additional character, combined with the Entity and Yuri’s own mission makes it really uncomfortable and tense as there seems to be no escape. It feels like slowly being suffocated. I think especially the emotional depth you find in Entity separates it from other generic body count slashers.
MR: Are you a fan of the horror genre yourself? If so, what would you say have been the best horror films of recent years?
Yeah, I am huge genre fan! I have many favourite films for different reasons, I like a great twist as in ‘The Others’, ‘The Orphange’ or ‘Red Lights’, unique foreign ones like ‘Let the Right One In’, ‘The Host’ or ‘Dead Snow’, and of course films like ‘Misery’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs’ not only for brilliant acting performances. ’30 Days of Night’ is probably one of the best vampire films I have ever seen, I could go on forever…
MR: What can you tell us about any upcoming projects you are involved with?
I just got cast as Nikola Tesla in ‘The Mad Scientist’ directed by Michael Anton, which is a biopic about Tesla’s life following his arrival in New York in 1884, his battles with Thomas Edison, friendship with Mark Twain and his great inventions. We are planning to shoot later this year and it’s a great challenge to play a character that has really existed. There will be references and material out there already which describe him, his demeanour, his persona, his accent, his everything, so you have to stick with that and can’t leave it up to your imagination. It’s about being truthful and respectful to history, I’m very much looking forward to that.

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.