Richard Armitage is an English actor known for his roles in TV shows like Hannibal, Berlin Station, and Robin Hood, and films such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Hobbit trilogy, in which he portrays everybody’s favorite surly but heroic Dwarf, Thorin Oakenshield. A description that happens to also suit everyone’s favorite vampire hunter, Trevor Belmont, Richard’s character on Castlevania. Below, this master of the dark fantasy deep-throat growl himself gives the low-down on his favorite vampire stories, why he likes Belmont, and the added value of a well-timed burp.
Why did you choose to become an actor, and what do you love about it? Do you enjoy any aspects of voice acting, in particular?
I’m a storyteller and story lover at heart, it’s pure escapism. I love characters, what makes them tick, where they are going and how they are getting there. What obstacles they face along the way. Voice acting is pure storytelling – the work can be very intimate and personal. It’s as if you are reading or performing to just one person.
How were you introduced to Castlevania as a potential project? Did you have any prior knowledge of the franchise?
I actually just received a script – I wasn’t that familiar with the visual world. I loved the characters on the page, particularly how rude and messy they are, particularly Belmont. I thought it would be really fun to play someone who is always about to crash.
As an actor working across several mediums: what factors are most important to you as you choose projects?
I really like to play with new ideas, either a character or genre that I haven’t experienced before. Even if something feels the same, there is always a new set of rules to abide by. Sometimes it’s far away from myself which is fun, and sometimes closer: those roles are harder to define because they just feel like extensions of yourself. There is a bit of me in everyone I play, even the really bad guys!
Having performed in so many fantasy / horror / historical fiction pieces, are these genres you enjoy personally, as a fan?
I love Science Fiction; it’s a genre I have yet to explore, but if something came along I would jump at it. I’ve read a couple of great sci fi scripts over the years. I studied Issac Asimov and other classic sci fi literature for my A level English. Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected are all favorites of mine.
What are your favorite media representations of Dracula and vampires at large?
I think Gary Oldman’s Dracula in Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) was definitive, he was exquisite. A decadent gentleman, terrifying animal, ancient magician, truly terrifying and compelling. I gather Robert Eggers is creating a new Nosferatu. I need to find a way to bribe that man to work with me….that’s a role I’d kill to play.
What do you think Castlevania brings to this canon that is unique or new?
The creatures in Castlevania are excellent. Complete fantasy and terrifying invention. There is also a lot of humour which I love.
Do you often watch animation as a fan?
Animation is not my first port of call, but I did enjoy watching this series. The graphic artists are extremely talented. I love Sypha’s ‘Wall of Ice’ in season 1, I wish she’d pull that stunt a bit more often… impressive.
What do you like best about playing Trevor? Do you relate to him more than any other character in the show?
Trevor is just fun to voice. He is rude and impatient, a bit lazy. A bit drunk. Hard bitten and when necessary a total kick ass. But he feels world weary which makes for a great obstacle. He’s searching for the why and wherefore of his life. The developing relationship with Sypha may well bring some answers.
Trevor has some of the best lines in the show. From either season, do you have a favorite moment of his – something that struck you especially funny, or was memorably fun to record?
I really enjoyed the very first scene when we are introduced to him. He feels like someone at the end of his tether, not much of a hero. I also enjoy the scene and the banter, when he is discovering the *SPOILER*, there is a bit of sarcastic banter with Alucard which was very fun to play. I love throwing in the odd belch and muttering some expletives under Trevor’s breath… I always see if the director catches his rude mutterance!!!!
If you could say something to Trevor at the beginning of season 2, would you, and what would it be?
Sypha may well hold the key to who you are and what your purpose in life might be, but do you really want those answers, or will you always be a wanderer at heart?
How has the experience been working on Castlevania overall?
I enjoy all aspects of it. I love seeing the finished animation, but the best bit is receiving a new script and finishing out what new mischief Trevor will get up to. The downside is that I don’t get to actually partake of the fight sequences. I have to try and stop myself flailing around a sound studio pretending I have a whip. Last time I was in a sound studio in New York, there was a drum kit in the room—Trevor was very tempted to start a rock band with Sypha!!
Thank you for the interview Richard, and your awesome work on Castlevania! So excited to catch more of Trevor’s antics, mutterance & sick whip skillz in season 2.
@everybody – don’t miss the season 2 drop next Friday, October 26 on Netflix!
– Cooper ❀