For the release of ANOTHER WOLFCOP, the sequel to 2014’s Wolfcop, where an alcoholic policeman begins to turn into a werewolf, Abigail had the chance to speak with the Wolfcop himself, actor Leo Fafard. During their chat they discussed everything from the use of practical effects to getting into the mindset of a donut-lovin’, alcoholic werewolf.
Leo Fafard: Hey Abby, what’s up!
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hey there, not too much! Thanks for sitting down with me today to chat! So, Wolfcop is definitely one of my favorite newer horror comedies for sure. How did you and director Lowell Dean initially hook up for this project?
LF: Lowell and I knew each other from previous projects we’ve worked on, and we just knew each other from the film industry in the Saskatchewan area. He was directing a local band’s music video, which had a werewolf in it, and I was cast as the werewolf. Usually I’d be behind the camera, usually as the dolly push, gaffer, or key grip, but I actually landed the part as the werewolf. We started talking later on after lunch about a couple of scripts that he was working on: one was a werewolf script, and the other was a police officer script. So, he mentioned about really wanting to cast me in his next movie. He was unsure about wanting to shoot the cop or the werewolf one, and later on he said he was going to mash these two together and make a police offer that becomes a werewolf. So, that’s sort of where Wolfcop was born, and yeah, we just ran with it from there! I think it all came together in Lowell’s mind during that music video.
Nightmarish Conjurings: How long does it generally take in the chair to become Wolfcop?
LF: You know what, it doesn’t take long anymore. It used to be a dreadful, horrifying thing. Emerson was quite green, as far as facial prosthetics, with the foam latex, and all of that. Emerson did the makeup for that werewolf music video. We started that application at about eight o’clock in the morning. I showed up at his parent’s place just after seven, I laid back in the chair and he would start applying. It wasn’t until the afternoon that we were done – it took five and a half hours to finish the makeup. At that point I though, “Oh my fucking god, how do people do this?” And then, we usually didn’t shoot till well after midnight, and it took a couple of hours to get it all off of my face. I had the brunt of it off within an hour. My face felt like someone tried to rip it off. I think I put it on eleven or twelve times during the seventeen-day shoot for the first Wolfcop. And by the end of it, we were rejoicing because he could get it on my face and finished in just over two hours. By the end of ANOTHER WOLFCOP, we had the process down to about an hour-ish. It was a growing experience for both of us. But yeah, it started out as a real fucking painful thing, and other than a couple of the cleaning solutions he uses to prep my face, I can basically fall asleep while doing it now.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Good modern werewolf movies are very few and far between these days – what’s it like working with traditional special effects in regards to the transformation sequences?
LF: I don’t know if I could do it another way. To tell you the truth, I’m old school and not even that good with computers. Someone hands me a laptop, and I say, “Where’s the wrench go?” So, the fact that there’s a bunch of practical effects, and that Emerson is there and he’s pulling and stretching stuff, and exploding shit in my face, to me that is all a bonus. All of that stuff helps me stay in character, it helps me find my angry place. To me, that keeps it all grounded and that’s what I hold on to. I don’t really look forward to the days where I have to do stuff with a green screen.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Yeah, it never seems to look as good either. Especially with werewolf stuff – once you go CGI, I don’t think it looks as good as it could.
LF: I don’t think so either. It gets too fantastical and it just doesn’t look as good, you’re right. It looks too thin. But when you see the tearing and the slime, and the blood and the shit underneath it all….people can still bite into that. There’s still substance there. I think that’s still a good thing for people.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Is there anything you have to do in particular to remain in character and keep in the mindset of Wolfcop? Like, jokingly I want to say, is it drinking booze or eating donuts? (laughs).
LF: Well, I’m not gonna lie and say that I don’t drink at all during the shooting of these movies. There has been more than one occasion where my long term friend and producer walked up to me on set and just handed me a bottle, usually Jameson, or something to that effect (laughs). But that’s not what keeps me in character, or that helps me find the character by any means. To tell you the truth, what helps me find Wolfcop is just being around people and talking – I don’t hide in my trailer, and you’ll usually see me wandering around set doing stuff. Hell, I’ve even set flags and grip stands on set dressed as Wolfcop. Mostly, when it’s time to step on set I just let myself get real raw, real stupid, and just shut my brain off. I’m checking out, and he’s checking in. It can get pretty fucking bizarre on set, and maybe that’s part of the reason.
Nightmarish Conjurings: That’s awesome. Those are definitely elements as to why that movie is so great.
LF: Yeah, I think it is, and I think that’s why people enjoy the way that I play Wolfcop. There’s not a whole lot of brains there – largely, there’s an animal on set when it’s time to go. And that’s one of the things that I really enjoy about it. It can be pretty freeing, playing that complete asshole. Part of the reason a lot of actors say that if you want to have fun and if you’ve got the choice, grab the character that’s the biggest asshole. Be the bad guy, and you can just shrug off social constraints. He may be an antihero, but he’s still a bit of a hero too, you know?
ANOTHER WOLFCOP is now available to own on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD.