Q&A: “WOLFCOP” himself Leo Fafard Speaks!Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
With the amount of campy throwbacks hitting the market recently, those films are only as effective as those filling the shoes of their main attraction. This is especially true for WOLFCOP, a film in which the human aspect has to be as endearing and fun enough to keep the audience engaged until we get to the more monstrous action. Luckily, that film has Canadian actor Leo Fafard filling the role of the beastly constable, delivering a committed and frequently hilarious performance both in and out of make-up. FANGORIA recently caught up with Fafard about his inaugural leading role as well as keeping his humanity as the WOLFCOP…
FANGORIA: So when I spoke to [writer/ director Lowell Dean], he said that the role of WOLFCOP was tailored for you. What was your first reaction when you got the script for the project?
LEO FAFARD: Well, Lowell had been talking about a main role, and I’ve been working on an acting career for fifteen years now and getting nothing but tough breaks. I was totally excited; I had been involved with the project from its inception. I was glad he was willing to stick with me as the lead cop, so I was out of my mind happy.
FANGORIA: As soon as they got you into the makeup chair and they finally set you up as WOLFCOP, what was that experience like?
FAFARD: At first, it was kind of daunting. I mean, I had been under makeup a couple of times, a less-intensive version for a music video. I knew I was gonna be in it for eleven or twelve days out of seventeen, but then it ended up being more than that since we ended up doing a couple extra days after. I would hope my head would hold up because we had those extra days , because I thought would lose my frickin’ mind sitting in that chair for 5 hours a day every morning, but when everybody is a professional, it makes it easier.
FANGORIA: As an actor who has to go under so much makeup and knowing they’re probably going to alter your voice, were you ever concerned if certain things would translate? For example, doing comedic moments in full WOLFCOP make-up?
FAFARD: Y’know, I wouldn’t get worried about it. Lowell was the director, and there were plenty of people behind the camera, so I wasn’t worried about the way I would come off or the way I’d be portrayed. As far as worrying whether my characterization was going to hold up, if my character was developed enough, whether I’d do it well enough, or if I’d internalized it enough to pull it off, there was a bit of concern there, because of my lack of experience, but no I wasn’t worried.
I didn’t go into this project with any delusions that I was going to be getting an Oscar. I just went in there every day and gave it 110%; I did my homework, worked on my character, and knew that the professional guys were going to make it look like how it was planned to look. Most of my worry was whether or not I was going to pull it off for seventeen days straight.
FANGORIA: In terms of the WOLFCOP character, was there any approach you took to playing it as the human element as opposed to the wolf element? Was there anything specific in terms of physicality that you wanted to change up, or was it more about playing in the moment?
FAFARD: I won’t lie, there was a lot of playing in the moment based on the character I’d developed in the weeks and months leading up to WOLFCOP. I worked on my character for a length of time. It was a bit of a trick staying on top of whether or not I kept my humanity when I would play the wolf, or whether or not he was going to come across as something really savage and animalistic. That was a concern for me.
But other than that? No, I had done my homework, I developed a character that I could make me. It took the pressure off, the crew was very supportive and they helped keep me on track. Having been working in the film industry for so long, I knew everyone on set, and it wouldn’t necessarily be Lowell who would say, “Hey, look buddy, you’re going a little out of left field there.” Sometimes it would be a grip or an electric guy who’d go, “Whoa, dude, where’d you go there?” So I had lots of help.
FANGORIA: With such a premise, were you ever concerned that the cast wouldn’t necessarily take the premise of WOLFCOP seriously, or did everybody come into the project knowing what they were getting into and completely game for what twisted places the movie would go?
FAFARD: I think everybody came in with a very professional attitude. There were no misgivings of what we were shooting; it was always supposed to be campy and it was always supposed to be a [horror] movie, so everybody approached it as such. Everybody was very into it, nobody had any difficulties dealing with a big hairy beast on set. There were never any misgivings about what were shooting, what we were going for, or what genre this was. The people who were brought in from out of town for the project, the other actors, y’know, we may as well have been shooting BENJAMIN BUTTON; they were totally professional. Everybody kept their attitudes in check and we had a good time.
FANGORIA: Speaking to Lowell, he was talking about how he’s already hard at work on putting together WOLFCOP 2. Have you discussed this at all with Lowell yet? If so, are you going to be a little bit more active in the character’s development this time around?
FAFARD: I’d like to be. I had given Lowell some notes after reading through the first draft of the script, and Lowell really gave me a lot of reign on the first one, so for me to be any more involved I’d more or less have to be sitting in Lowell’s front pocket while he’s writing it or polishing it. We’ve done a read-through, back-and-forth type of thing. I was very involved in the character development the first time. As far as story development goes, that’s Lowell’s baby.
WOLFCOP is now on DVD/Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.