Bill Skarsgård is making a real name for himself in the world of horror, also a face and eyes and just a generally creepy vibe, but it sounds like he might be taking those Pennywise skills to a whole new level in Robert Eggers’ highly anticipated remake of Nosferatu. Speaking with Empire for the magazine’s big 2024 preview, Eggers had nothing but positive things to say about Skarsgård’s performance as the vampire Count Orlok in his film, to the extent that the compliments start to seem… a little mean.
“In my opinion,” Eggers says of Skarsgård, “he looks like a dead Transylvanian nobleman, and in a way that we’ve never actually seen what an actual dead Transylvanian nobleman would look like and be dressed like.” Basically, he’s more of a vampire than a real vampire, which sounds cool. But, at the same time, will there come a point where Skarsgård should be offended that he’s so good at playing freaky-looking weirdos? And then the director of his movie is like “this weirdo looks freaky as hell, you won’t believe how freaky this weirdo is.” Then again, Werner Herzog was definitely saying that about Klaus Kinski when he was making his Nosferatu remake in 1979, and also he probably said that about him all the time in general, so maybe it’s particularly appropriate here.
But it’s not all bullying Bill Skarsgård in Empire, as Eggers also said that Lily-Rose Depp—who plays Ellen Hutter in the film, the wife of Nicholas Hoult’s Thomas Hutter—is “absolutely phenomenal.” He says this version of the story is more about her than the previous versions, adding that it will be “an old-school Gothic movie that’s actually scary.”
Do you know what’s really scary, though? Bill Skarsgård! That’s what Robert Eggers would say, at least. We don’t think that. We think he’s cool.