31 December 2008, 10:53
An American vampire smiter couldn’t be further removed from the role of the infamous Gene Hunt as portrayed by Philip Glenister.
“I was quite nervous about the American accent at first,” admits Philip. “I came straight off the back of Ashes to Ashes but thought from the off that Galvin would be a nice removal from playing Gene.
“I did have a voice coach. A very nice lady called Judith who was very expressive with her language. She was on set for the first week and after that I was OK. I’ve swapped ‘Huntisms’ for Americanisms. I can often be heard telling Luke: 'Other people have a life; you have a destiny'.
“Actually accents seem to be one of the few things I was born with a head for. I enjoy doing them as well. I’ve done so many; northern, American, German, I don’t think I could play my own accent any more. I wouldn’t know how to play myself.”
Describing his character in the new sci-fi drama, Philip says: “Rupert Galvin was the best friend of Luke’s dead father. Something happened many years ago while they were on a mission together in Transylvania, Luke’s father was killed and Galvin saved baby Luke. As his godfather Galvin has kept a distant eye on Luke ever since and at the start of the series decides to come back into Luke’s life as the dark forces are gathering.
“Galvin attempts to act as Luke’s mentor, to train him up as a smiter and to protect him as much as possible.”
Talking about his cohorts on Demons, Philip continues: “It’s a bit of a Scooby gang. Though of course they are all young, gifted and beautiful and then there is me…the dad character. Maybe Galvin is the sensible one in Scooby Doo – Fred. But much older!”
“We are making a family supernatural thriller and it is dark in places but there is also humour. Kids love to be scared but at the same they want to have some fun.”
“My girls are six and three and they are obsessed with Doctor Who and the Sarah Jane Adventures. They love being scared when they know it is comic book scary. I’ll never forget watching Doctor Who with my friend Paul when I was a lad. We’d half hide behind the door when the Daleks were on.”
So does Philip still have a vivid imagination?
“Yes, to the point where I wouldn’t do a parachute jump because I can imagine the bloody thing wouldn’t open!” he laughs. “When I was a kid I used to love the Hammer Horror films and Christopher Lee’s Dracula but you grow up and your influences change. So in that respect this is not a genre I have followed in recent times; which is one of the reasons I thought this would be such an interesting project to do.
“Sci-fi is something I’ve never done and I wanted to see what it would be like. Whether I could act with a green screen, react to things that aren’t there and cope with crazily dressed people while making it real.”
“The prosthetics are astoundingly good, by the same team who did Harry Potter. Martin Hancock plays a character called Redlip, I remember seeing him on my first day and he freaked me out. Oh my god, I didn’t want to leave my trailer for a week.
“As a kid I used to love Batman. Spiderman never did it for me, Superman was OK but Adam West as Batman; how he made those lines work was magnificent. I’ve learned a thing or two from him."
And Philip had to contend with a few superhero style stunts as well.
"Christian (Cooke) has to do most of them, but then he is much younger and fitter than me so it's only fair. But I do get thrown over quite a few cars, I get burnt and I have to fight a demon which involved me wearing a special harness so I could be yanked backwards very sharply, which was not a comfortable experience.
"I also have this gun; a pulse gun which has to be the most useless weapon in the world. I never seem to kill anyone, I keep threatening people and then I get hurled 25 feet across a car park!
"There is one episode when Christian and I have to wear wetsuits for a scene where we are up to our necks, literally, in sewage water courtesy of Kevin McNally. That wasn't pleasant."
And of course the question everyone is asking Philip; what car does Galvin drive?
"He drives a Mercedes. It's a good old car, a 1972 SL in silver. I think it will feature quite nicely in the show and yes I'll be firing up the Merc…"
Last updated: 31 December 2008, 10:53