Making His Mark
Demián Bichir on the new version of Let The Right One In
IN THE ORIGINAL LET The Right One In movie, the father of child vampire Eli – spoiler alert – kills himself halfway through the film, first by disfiguring himself with acid, then offering his neck to his bloodthirsty daughter and finally falling from a hospital window. We can only presume that won’t be the fate of the dad in Showtime’s newest reimagining of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s cult novel, otherwise we’re doubting that Oscarnominated actor Demián Bichir would have have signed up for it. This series is a very different beast to the Swedish original. “If you adapt a novel into a film there will be lots of different things that will be new to people who read the book,” Bichir, who plays Mark in the series, tells Red Alert from his home in Mexico City. “And if you adapt it into a series, the nature of the media demands different stories, different characters, new twists and new cliffhangers. This is a beautiful adaptation of the same story that many people know and love. I mean, some characters will probably die along the way, and then maybe some other new characters will come on board, as well. It’s been brilliantly made by Andrew Hinderaker, our showrunner. It’s a love letter to the original story.” One of the strengths of the 2008 film is its grounded, realist tone. Eschewing the melodrama normally associated with vampire stories, Let The Right One In was an almost Ken Loach-like take on the genre. It’s something that’s carried over into the TV series – and that certainly appealed to Bichir. “One of the great things about this series is it’s so real,” the actor enthuses. “It’s so well written that it almost makes you forget that it’s a fantastic type of genre. It makes you feel that you’re watching Ingmar Bergman or Steven Soderbergh.” Of course, it’s an intense series thematically speaking, and Bichir’s co-lead (singer and actor Madison Taylor Baez) is just 11 years old. How was it filming this dark and disturbing story with someone so young? “Oh, we have a lot of fun on set – we have to, because if we go into the dark side of it, then that could be dangerous territory,” he says. “I’m glad Madison has taken this very lightly and playfully. She’s only 11 and she’s very, very smart. Some people were asking her the other day, ‘What have you learned from Demián shooting this series?’ and no one asks me what I’ve learned from working with her. I can tell you, you learn that this is a game we play for a living.” Whether Bichir survives the first 10 episodes we don’t know for sure, and the actor is careful about giving away too much as regards plans beyond season one. “The beautiful thing about a series is that it’s actually the audience who call the shots,” he says. “If people love this series, which I’m sure they will, they will ask for another season, and then for another, and then for another. So this is a beautiful challenge for the creators or writers to keep up with.”
Let The Right One In is on Paramount+ now.
Bichir was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in 2011 film A Better Life.