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We Talk To Werewolf By Night Actress Laura Donnelly About Elsa Bloodstone & Swordfighting

Werewolf By Night is set to be the first-ever Marvel Studios Special Presentation film to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia on 7 October 2022.

The synopsis reads:

On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster.

Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar, we were given the opportunity to interview Werewolf By Night actress Laura Donnelly, who portrays the role of Elsa Bloodstone making her debut in the MCU. She is best known for starring in HBO series The Nevers.

This interview has been edited for clarity. Stay tuned for the video version of this interview and the review of the series.

How does it feel to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Laura Donnelly: Oh my goodness. I mean, you saying that sentence is just surreal. It feels incredibly exciting, I’ve always been a big fan of the MCU. I watched, you know, from Iron Man and beyond, I’ve watched every single thing that they’ve ever done and I never even considered that I might be part of it one day. And so the fact that I am feels very strange and very exciting.

Were you familiar with the character of Elsa Bloodstone before getting the role, and what attracted you to the role of Elsa Bloodstone?

Laura Donnelly: I wasn’t familiar with her at all, and so that was a whole new exploration for me. After I chatted with our director, Michael (Giacchino), and you know, found out who the character was that I would be playing, I looked up everything that I could on her. I read her NextWave comics and I read her one-shot novel and I just think that she felt like something brand new in this world, you know, and also part of something brand new, in that it’s a supernatural universe and that’s something that’s just beginning to be explored.

And so, it was just the mixture of knowing that I was going to get to do awesome stuntwork, which I really enjoy, and play somebody who’s really funny and kind of really badass but at the same time, particularly in our story, has real heart and warmth and her own struggles that she’s dealing with and felt very human in this world where, you know, not everybody is.

So, yeah, it was that, and add to that the fact that it’s a Halloween special and it was going to be part of this new kind of world in the universe that, yeah, the whole thing attracted me.

Were there any specific challenges of acting in a black and white movie compared to a normal coloured one?

Laura Donnelly: Not for me, because most of the stuff that I got to do with Gael, who is the most incredible actor, and we were both, in spite of the fact that this was very much a tribute to the genre, you know, the 30s and 40s monster movies, we kind of made our own decision, I guess, independently to make these characters very naturalistic and as real as possible.

And for us, it just felt like exploring any other character you would, you know, just dig in, find out about them, connect with each other and play those scenes in a way you would in anything else, and you know, the rest of it’s fun.

What was your favourite part of playing Elsa Bloodstone and of filming?

Laura Donnelly: One of my favourite elements is the stunts. I’ve done quite a lot of stuntwork and fight scenes in other work that I’ve done and I really, really enjoy it. And so that was a big draw for me and I really had so much fun learning and filming them and I got to learn swordfighting for the first time, which was really fun to kind of learn a new skill and getting to bring that in.

So that stuff was probably some of my favourites. Some of the other stuff would have been the smaller kind of dialogue-based character-based scenes that I had with Gael. He’s just such a good actor and we got along so well and I’ve been a fan of his for a long time and so, like in scenes when we were locked in the crypt together and we just get to dig into our characters a bit and we touched on their backgrounds and their insecurities and where they are as people at that point.

You know, I really love, for me, the best part of acting is whenever you get to really connect with another person like that.

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