Kevin Durand is a name that might not immediately come to mind for the casual film and TV viewer, but for fans of shows like Lost or The Strain, his face is immediately recognizable for the many fine roles he’s had over the years. Durand is one of those actors that is so good at what he does he can play one hell of a villain or be so likable as the hero. He has had an amazing career since the late 90’s in such projects as Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, ER (TV Series), Dark Angel (TV Series), Walking Tall, Smokin’ Aces, 3:10 to Yuma, Real Steel and so many more.
For we horror fans, it’s his genre projects that we know and love him for in such shows and films as The Butterfly Effect, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Dead Zone (TV Series), X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Legion, I Am Number Four, Resident Evil: Retribution, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Devil’s Knot, The Strain (TV Series) and most recently, he stars in the horror film Dark Was the Night.
I had the immense pleasure of being able to talk to Kevin Durand recently about his latest film and what it was like to get inside the head of his incredibly deep character, what motivates him and what he’s doing in the future.
Interviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Society
Horror Society: I really enjoyed Dark Was the Night and I thought you did a phenomenal job in the movie.
Kevin Durand: Thank you, I really appreciate that. I’m so excited and so grateful for all the people that came together to make that movie happen and the way that it turned out. I’m so proud of it.
Horror Society: In the movie you play a small town sheriff that has a tragic past and you have to protect the people of the town and also your own family from this menacing evil that descends on the town from the woods. What was it about the role of Shields that drew you to the part?
Kevin Durand: I think it’s so interesting. He’s a strong, powerful man that everyone looked up to him for protection was just so broken, so emotionally broken. He’s lacking all the confidence that he probably once had. He feels that it’s his fault that his son died. He cannot get over it. All the relationships in his life are crumbling, everything about him is crumbling and the fact that these footprints are showing up in town that are completely unidentifiable and livestock are disappearing, humans are disappearing in the surrounding areas and everyone is looking to him to save the day. Maybe if the tragedy hadn’t happened he would’ve been right on top of it and jumped to action. He really doesn’t believe that he can, he doesn’t think he’s the man for the job. That was so interesting to get to play that internal struggle and I’m so glad that I was blessed with the opportunity to do it. It was really fulfilling, I’m so happy with how it turned out.
Horror Society: As you touched on, your character is so full of depth. He’s a devoted father but he also has a strained relationship with his wife but then everyone in the town would follow this guy to the ends of the earth. As you said, he’s crumbling; he’s dealing with so much inner turmoil. Was there any kind of preparation that you did to play the part of Sheriff Shields?
Kevin Durand: Well, I think that it was just kind of thinking myself into the words that Hisel wrote and helped Jack Heller tell the story that he wanted to. Jack and I in our first skype meeting, we really were eye to eye on mostly everything. It was really important to dive into the loss that he felt and the fact that he does blame himself for the loss of his son. Playing that, just playing that, the idea that you’re responsible for the death of your child, I just don’t know if it can get any worse than that. I just had to think about that and every once in a while, Jack Heller, instead of coming up to me and saying “hey hey, up the sad, up the sad”; he’d come up to me and say “You’re a fucking asshole and none of us believe in you. You let your son die, he was such a great kid, you should fucking feel bad. You see all these people?” as he pointed to the other cast members “None of them believe in you. I can’t believe that you let that happen – and then action!” So, I was there. The preparation solely came from the words that were written on page.
Horror Society: Awesome, that’s very interesting to know. This also isn’t the first time that you’ve tackled a role in the horror or suspense genre. You obviously also star in The Strain and you’ve had other projects in the past. Do you like working in that type of arena?
Kevin Durand: You know, to be honest with you I am a big horror fan, I’m a big sci-fi fan but I’m kind of a fan of everything. I’m just a fan of good work. I love to step into a world that stimulates my creativity. I just love the opportunity to play the characters that challenge me no matter what genre the project might be categorized.
Horror Society: Cool, good to know. In Dark Was the Night you had a great cast to play off of, Lukas Hass, Nick Damici, Bianca and more. What was it like to work with that caliber of a cast?
Kevin Durand: Everybody just really brought it and every time we went to camera I always felt like it was so easy to get lost in this film with these really wonderful thespians. They were so good and so present and so generous and compelling in their performances that I attribute so much of why this film is so good to them.
Horror Society: I completely agree with you, everyone was so good in that movie. If you had a choice to work on any dream project that you could imagine, what would that be?
Kevin Durand: You know I’m not really sure. I think my dream project in the future, I do projects – I’m just always looking to carry more weight within the areas that inspire me, that make me feel visceral , kind of changing my body temperature. I’m so excited to get to carry more weight in a good narrative and so far so good. I’m so proud of all these projects that are coming out and I’m just hoping for more of that.
Horror Society: Okay, fair enough. What do you have coming up that you would like to talk about real quick?
Kevin Durand: I’m super excited to be doing press for the movie and for The Strain and at the same time I’m filming Vikings in Dublin so I’m flying back and forth doing that. While I’m doing that, I’m writing and developing a movie that I’ve been dreaming about making for a long time and that all is coming into fruition now so, yeah a lot of really cool, exciting stuff and I’m really hoping The Strain fans keep tuning in and hopefully we get to come back and do a season 3.
Horror Society: That would be awesome! We’re running short on time here but I’m really looking forward to seeing more of you in season 2 of The Strain. I love your character in that as well and it’s such a great show.
Kevin Durand: Thank you, I appreciate that very much, thank you. I really get to sink my teeth into a lot of great pieces of work right now. Yeah man, I’m always crossing my fingers for more great characters to come.
Horror Society: I hope so because you’re a pleasure to watch on screen and it was a real pleasure to speak with you today and I want to wish you the best of luck for anything you do in the future. Good luck with it all.
Kevin Durand: Well, the pleasure was all mine and thanks you so much for your kind words and thoughtful questions and I look forward to talking with you again. Take care.
Watch the trailer for Dark Was the Night here,