Master of Monsters

Meet The Werewolves of
Brian Steele

By AL J. Vermette

Brian Steele is the Lon Chaney of our generation, he is an actor who has dedicated his career to playing some of the greatest Movie Monsters of all time. Chances are if you have seen a monster movie, it was Brian bringing the films true star to life…the creature itself. His work can be seen as the Kothoga creature in the movie “The Relic”, Hell Knight in “Doom”, the loveable Big Foot of “Harry & The Hendersons” TV series, the bat creatures of “The Cave” and the Lycans in “Underworld.”

Brian has played everything under the sun and full moon for that matter almost 20 years now, but who is this man of many faces who slips into rubber and fur and brings these wonderful creations to life? Not long ago, I had the chance to meet Brian fresh from playing William: Lord of The Lycans in the movie “Underworld: Evolution” and I must admit it was so cool to talk with the man who has played all the Movie Monsters that I have seen over the years. Shortly coming from the set of “Resident Evil 3”, Brian and I set up this interview for the fans of “Werewolf Magazine,” “Werewolf Café” and “Blood Moon Rising.”

AL: As a kid growing up, have you always wanted to make yourself up as a monster?

Brian: I can remember running home after to school to watch Monster Week on Channel 50. It was so cool to watch these creatures do battle. That is when I fell in love with Monsters!

AL: How did you get into the movie biz playing creatures?

Brian: Well, I’m going to date myself here! In 1987 I went to an audition to play Frankenstein’s Monster at Universal Studios Tour. I got the job and thus began my adventure portraying Monsters.

AL: Please tell our readers what it is like to perform on a movie set as a monster and what it takes to become something other then human?

Brian: I have the greatest job in the world. I get the opportunity to perform these Creatures that Artists have created. The talent and imagination that goes into creating these Monsters on my body astonishes me every time. When performing on set it is a culmination of many months of preparation. I work within a team of makeup artists and puppeteers to create what is seen on film. My performance comes from understanding the sculpture of the Creature because this design lends itself to what the movement should be. Then, taking that into account, I begin my intense physical training to strengthen those muscles used to move this Monster.

AL: What were some of the longest make-up sessions you had on a film?

Brian: I believe the longest make-up session so far has to be on “Blade Trinity.” If I remember correctly the make-up took close to 4 hours. It was well worth it after seeing the final result.

AL: What was it like playing one of the Lycans in the movie “Underworld” and what did you have to do to bring the werewolves to life?

Brian: Portraying the Lycans in UW was a great experience. It was a performance that required me to wear leg extensions. This brought a new challenge to my performance. There I was standing over 7 and half feet tall fighting many different actors in this animatronic suit with leg extensions trying create a performance that was convincing. The last thing any suit performer wants is to look like a guy in a big rubber suit! So, I trained many hours with the extensions before leaving for Budapest until they became a part of me. This allowed me to work with confidence and concentrate on other areas of the Lycan performance.

AL: In the movie “Underworld Evolution” you played one of the coolest looking werewolves in all of film history, William the very first Lycan. What was it like to play him and what did you have to do to make him different from the other Lycans with acting?

Brian: WOW! Thank you! When I saw the Sculpture of William I just couldn't wait until they had a design for me to try out. He is just such a bad-ass! The great thing about William is that there were no limits on how to play him. I went into it with the idea of just making him ruthless. A killing machine! We worked on changes with the leg extensions to give him more mobility than what the original wolves had. As you can see in the film William has the ability to walk almost upright then attack in a quadruped stance. This gave me many performance variations to draw from. I can't say enough great things about Tatopoulos Studio. They designed and crafted the Lycans in UW, UWE and William for UWE.

AL: You play werewolves so well, have you portrayed any other lycanthropes for other movies other then “Underworld?”

Brian: UW and UWE have been the only Films I have portrayed werewolves in. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to complete the Trilogy and work on UW3! Then we will try some really groundbreaking stuff!

AL: Please tell our readers what other creatures and movies you have been in?

Brian: Well, the best way to explain that is to direct your readers to my website&helip; To highlight the work I have done recently: Sammael in “Hellboy”, Hell Knight in “DOOM”, Creature in “The Cave”, Drake Beast in “Blade Trinity”, Tartutic in “Lady in the Water.”

AL: Of all the beasts that you have played over the years, which ones have been the most fun to play and why?

Brian: With out a doubt my favorite is Portraying Harry in the TV show “Harry and the Henderson’s” This character was so wonderful to work with. The writers gave me the freedom to perform and the cast was amazing to work off of. It was an incredible two years of my life.

AL: What is the one creature you have yet to play that you would most like to slip into the rubber for?

Brian: Great question! Lets see... I'll leave you guessing but, the clue is it has to do with a dark Lagoon!

AL: So what’s next for you and what creatures and movies do you have coming up that we can look forward to.

Brian: I recently completed work on the latest “Resident Evil” movie. I can't say anything about the monster except that it is damn cool. It looks like I could be going on location soon on a movie called “Gallow Walker”. That's it for now, but 2007 is looking very interesting!

AL: Thanks Brian and keep scaring us in the years ahead.

Go to Brian’s website
and see what creatures he has played & or will play in the future

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