Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington played opposite each other as Superman and Jimmy Olsen in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. After appearances on TV shows like MTV's Undressed, One Life to Live, Gilmore Girls, Cold Case, and Will & Grace, Routh shot to instant fame upon winning the role of America's best-known superhero. Since then, he has appeared in the films Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Unthinkable, among others, as well as putting in a twelve-episode arc on NBC's Chuck. Sam Huntington's film credits include Fanboys, Sleepover, Freshman Orientation, Not Another Teen Movie, Detroit Rock City, and Jungle 2 Jungle, and he has appeared on Veronica Mars, Law & Order, and Human Target. He was a regular on the short-lived sitcom Cavemen before booking the role of wolfman Josh in the hit SyFy remake of the BBC's Being Human. Longtime friends, Routh and Huntington reunited to play Dylan Dog and his zombie sidekick Marcus in Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, adapted from the beloved Italian comic book series. Backstage at the Moscone Center during the 2011 WonderCon, the dynamic duo explained their history.
Sam Huntington: We met, we were like neighbors at the same apartment complex. What do you need?
Brandon Routh: Water. I was looking for more water.
Sam Huntington: You can have a sip of mine, if you want. I have cooties.
Brandon Routh: Mmm.
SH: And we played basketball together. And then—watch this. Brooke, water! Brooke! That's done.
SH: I love that...
SH: And then we did a little movie together.
BR: Did Superman. Returns.
SH: Yeah. You know what's funny? Somebody, the other day, when I was in New York, was like, "So how was it filming 'Superman Rehearsed'? Uh—" And I was like [under breath:] you motherfucker. Is that what it feels like to you? It's like rehearsal for the—
BR: Were they joking, or were they for real?
SH: No, it was a—
Groucho: Freudian slip.
SH: It was a flub, yeah. A Freudian slip.
G: Anyway! I'll move on from that.
BR: Moving on.
G: Can you guys talk a little bit about how you saw your character in the film, and what your take on the character was? Obviously, there's the comic-book history with the character. I don't know how much that informed your performances, but how did you see the character?
BR: It informed my performance a fair bit, I guess I would say. There are only six comics translated to English, of Dylan Dog, so I read all those and also had a friend who had spent some time in Italy and knew the comic books well, and so I talked to him, picked his brain about the character and what he thought was important and kind of took all those aspects that worked—that I found, that I thought were important and added it into—or found those parts of me that were like Dylan and tried to bring that out.
G: What were some of those elements that were key?
BR: The dry, sarcastic humor. Y'know. I can be grumpy some times.
BR: When I'm tired. And—
SH: You say that, but honestly, I don't know if I've ever seen you grumpy.
SH: I've seen you really tired, too.
BR: Well, I don't get—I don't call people names and stuff, but I get dry and sarcastic when I'm grumpy.
SH: That's true, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's true, alright!
BR: That's me being grumpy.
SH: Fair enough!
BR: My humor's just—
BR: And so—I guess, yeah.
SH: So what was the question?
BR: I've forgotten what the question is now.
SH: (Laughs.) Sorry.
BR: Just taking up words.
SH: Oh God.
G: And Sam?
SH: Oh, well, uh, my character was kind of original. Y'know, I boned up a little bit on, kind of, the world of Dylan Dog, but to be honest, it was in the script for me. Marcus is a new character and he's original to the film. And obviously, he fills the same shoes as the Groucho character does in the comic, but he is vastly different. And I actually think—to be honest, I think—and I hope that fans of the comic don't beat me up over this, but I think that to translate the Groucho character literally to the screen would be not impossible but very, very, very, very difficult, and so I think that they did themself a service by creating this character.
G: Did you homage Groucho at all?
SH: Oh yeah!
SH: I'm not going to tell you now, but, yeah, just a little: not huge, but, y'know...
G: Were there any detective archetypes or role models from screen history that you sort of tapped into as a reference?
BR: That's a good question. (Long pause.)
G: Fave detectives?
BR: I feel like—I think the whole film noir style, as a whole, was kind of a bit of a starting point, that feel: the loneliness of the detectives, and they all have some tragic event that's happened, y'know, or that's about to happen to them, that we're following, and that becomes their story. So that was there in the character, and just from the various things that I've seen in the past. And also there's a sense to me of the roguishness of Dylan. I kind of relate some of—when I first read the script it felt to me there were kind of like a lot of Han Solo moments in there where he's up against something that he—or even Indiana Jones moments—where [there's] something there's no way he can possibly face, but he's still calm and cool and collected and has some witty, sarcastic remark and saves the day or gets away, so—
SH: Spoiler alert.
BR: There's a big boulder.
BR: There's a guy with a sword.
SH: Yeah, right, right, right, right.
G: And Sam, I'm curious about, for your work as playing a werewolf and a zombie—
G: In this film, what sort of physical tics are particular to each of those types of characters, that you've developed?
SH: You know, Marcus, the role in this film, is—we just saw it again, last week—and he is a real character, like he really—I was kind of swinging for the fences on this one. So, hopefully it plays! (Laughs.) It doesn't.
BR: He's funny, and it's all called for. It's hard for him to hear it, but—
SH: No, no, but, yeah, I mean, so Marcus is one big tic, just one big tic, I would say. He is literally a caricature. And so, you know, and then Josh on Being Human is much more grounded. And facing something, I think, that—y'know, the show is called Being Human, and I think that that's what he's striving to do, literally. And so I think that that's much more grounded, much less genre, if you will, than Marcus...
G: Good to talk to you.
BR: Good to talk to you.