The Inspector Speaks: A Chat With Actor Nathan Wilson of “DOCTOR MABUSE”
Continuing on our coverage of DOCTOR MABUSE from FANGO #322, we talk to Nathan Wilson, MABUSE’s Inspector Carl Lohemann.
We were pleased to preview the new thriller/noir film DOCTOR MABUSE in FANGORIA #322. Inspired by the pulp character created by Norbert Jacques in 1921, the arch-villain was the subject of several films by the great director Fritz Lang.
The character’s return to the screen is generating a bit of a buzz: Ansel Faraj, the new film’s director, is only 21 years old. For his take on Mabuse, the young auteur reunited three cast members from DARK SHADOWS (Faraj and his DS cast members chatted with FANGO in our print edition story).
DOCTOR MABUSE has a fourth star. It’s now our pleasure to speak with Nathan Wilson, the up and coming young actor who play’s Inspector Carl Lohemann in DOCTOR MABUSE. This is the second feature length collaboration between Faraj and Wilson -the two are already scheduled to work together on several more projects.
FANGORIA: How did your association with Ansel Faraj begin?
NATHAN WILSON: I met Ansel last February 2012. I had an audition for a film called BROTHER DROP DEAD, The role was for the oldest brother in a Southern offbeat hillbilly family. I went to the audition and booked the role of Edgar. That was the first time I met Ansel, who was the film’s director. When we finished shooting BROTHER DROP DEAD, Ansel asked me if I would be interested in doing another film. I had a lot of fun working with Ansel and got a lot of experience working in front of the camera on the film, so I said yes, not thinking of what was to come. About a month later, he sent me the script to DOCTOR MABUSE. I read the script not knowing about the prior MABUSE films by Fritz Lang. I thought the script was amazing and couldn’t believe it was written by only a twenty year old. It was different, unusual, and the character of the Inspector was very complex, which I loved.
WILSON: Ansel didn’t want me to watch any of the Fritz Lang movies because he wanted something new and different with DOCTOR MABUSE, but now I have checked out some of the films. What Fritz Lang did in the originals is comment on society. The lengths people will go and the things they will do for money, with Mabuse at the center of it all, organizing and manipulating everything. Our film is more about paranoia. The world the characters live in is untrustworthy and dangerous. In a way it’s being controlled by Mabuse, and Lohemann has to hunt him down. It’s not a remake or connected to any of the old films. The character I play in DOCTOR MABUSE, Carl Lohemann, is a young inspector with a rough past. But he has a good heart. He was wronged when he was a kid and doesn’t want others to experience what he had gone through. Lohemann is set up against a criminal mastermind who will test his limits . Carl might not be ready for the challenges ahead, but he will give his all to do what he thinks is right.
FANG: How did you prepare for the role?
WILSON: I first met with Ansel a couple of times to talk about Lohemann’s story, his past, his ethics, his hopes and dreams. Ansel is such a movie buff, and I think he has seen and probably owns just about every movie ever made. So he picked out a couple of movies such as THE BIG SLEEP and KISS ME DEADLY, and had me watch them to get the feel of what he wanted for Doctor Mabuse. Then I read the script over and over and thought about what Lohemann had to go through emotionally, and try to bring up those feelings.He’s flawed and obsessive, and tries to be a hero in a corrupt and untrustworthy world. Carl was a challenging character to play and I had a lot of fun playing him. I’m very grateful to Ansel for giving me this role because if this were a major studio film, there would be a slim possibility I would have been chosen for the part, as an unknown actor.
FANG: Were you familiar with your co-stars pasts on DARK SHADOWS?
WILSON: I never knew about DARK SHADOWS until I started working on DOCTOR MABUSE. Ansel called me one day and told me he had some amazing news. He sounded very excited. We got together and he told me that he had reached out to Jerry Lacy for the role of Doctor Mabuse. Jerry had gotten back to Ansel, liked the script, and wanted to know more about it. He continued to tell me that Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker were also thinking about joining and they didn’t know we had Jerry yet. It was all very exciting. After that I watched some DARK SHADOWS episodes and looked up Jerry, Kathryn and Lara. That’s when I realized we might have something special on our hands. I knew Ansel was a huge DARK SHADOWS fan and it meant the world to him to be able to work with his idols. He wrote the roles for them, but I don’t think he ever really expected to get them.
FANG: What was it like for you to work with the DARK SHADOWS cast members?
WILSON: The first time I met Jerry, Kathryn and Lara, it was at Ansel’s house for the read through of DOCTOR MABUSE. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. They’re all very experienced and have done so much. Working with them on set was an amazing experience. They all convey so much with just the slightest look. And Jerry brings such a commanding presence with a look in his eyes and voice. It was a real pleasure working with them. I really learned a lot.
FANG: How would you describe DOCTOR MABUSE to potential viewers?
WILSON: It will be a movie that nobody has ever really experienced before. It’s a Gothic psychological thriller with a noir feel. It’s a great story, and it will keep you wanting to know what’s going to happen next. For the budgets and resources we had, I really believe we can turn some heads. This is the first time Jerry, Kathryn and Lara had acted together on screen in about forty years, so that’s pretty cool in itself.
FANG: What are your professional hopes for the future?
Wilson: To work with more amazing directors, actors, and writers. Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Redford, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day Lewis, the list goes on and on. But I believe Ansel and I have a great connection. I’m sure we will work together long into the future starting with MABUSE 2.
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