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Chicago Sun

Playing Vampire Appealing Change Of Pace

Stephen Dorff - action star.

Nope. That name and description don't usually jump to mind.

After all, who would have thought the 25-year-old actor, who made his name as the principled young Afrika-new in apartheid-troubled South Africa in "Power of One," or the unforgettable Stuart Sutcliffe in "Backbeat," or the amazing Candy Darling in "I Shot Andy Warhol" would be playing a vicious vampire in a big-budget thriller with Wesley Snipes?

"When it comes to playing tortured souls in independent films, I think I've played as many as any of my contemporaries... That's what I'm trying to get away from," the intense young actor said with a laugh during an interview here (Chicago) last week. Dorff clearly was enjoying himself, sitting in the corner of Excalibur, letting his eyes dart around the room.

"I waited to do this kind of picture until I found one that frankly wasn't cheesy," said Dorff, referring to his action debut in "Blade." To him, "so many of these kinds of films are embarrassing. The kind you know 10 years from now you have to worry will pop up in some magazine article they write about your career. 'Blade' is not like the typical comic book-inspired film. I compare it more to 'The Crow.' This has the tone of that, actually even going a bit beyond. I didn't want to be in some silly costume picture."

Playing the cruel, yet intoxicatingly seductive villain Deacon Frost thrilled Dorff.

"Vampires to me have always been very sexy," he said. "The way they look. The eternal youth thing - living forever - and getting whatever you want. It's always exciting to play someone who's dark, who you almost want to like, but who you want to be afraid of - that's a cool thing to do as an actor."

Coming up for Dorff will be a very different picture, "Entropy," co-starring Lauren Holly. He plays a film-maker directing a documentary about the rock band U2 who undergoes a personal meltdown.

"It's great - really, really funny," he said. "I get to play this sort of Woody Allen character. The film is kind of like 'Annie Hall' meets 'Trainspotting.'"

Chicago Sun-Times
Columnist Bill Zwecker