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Nonso Anozie On Playing Renfield As A Black Man & More In NBC’s New ‘Dracula’ Drama Series

Nonso Anozie On Playing Renfield As A Black Man & More In NBC's New 'Dracula' Drama Series

Brit thespian Nonso Anozie joins Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica DeGouw and Katie McGrath to star in NBC’s upcoming new Dracula serial, which premieres Friday, October 25 at 10/9c.

The 10-episode drama will take place in the 1890s and will follow Alan Grayson (aka Dracula, played by Meyers)…

… living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. But his true plan — to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago — is derailed when he falls in love with Mina (DeGouw), who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.

Anozie will play a character named R.M. RenfieldAlan Grayson’s loyal confidante, who knows all of Dracula’s secrets (including the fact that he is Dracula, and what his true plan is), and is the stabilizing force that allows his two personas to co-exist.

A description of Renfield from the original source novel reads: 

Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable, periods of gloom, ending in some fixed idea which I cannot make out. I presume that the sanguine temperament itself and the disturbing influence end in a mentally-accomplished finish, a possibly dangerous man, probably dangerous if unselfish. In selfish men, caution is as secure an armour for their foes as for themselves. What I think of on this point is, when self is the fixed point the centripetal force is balanced with the centrifugal. When duty, a cause, etc., is the fixed point, the latter force is paramount, and only accident or a series of accidents can balance it. — From Dr. John Seward’s journal.

At the time Seward made that entry, Renfield was an inmate at the lunatic asylum overseen by the Dr. 

Here’s more…

He suffers from delusions which compel him to eat living creatures in the hope of obtaining their life-force for himself. He starts by consuming flies, then develops a scheme of feeding the flies to spiders, and the spiders to birds, in order to accumulate more and more life… Doctor John Seward diagnoses him as a “zoophagous maniac”, or carnivorous mad man. During the course of the novel, he is revealed to be under the influence of Count Dracula. The vampire, whose abilities include control over animals such as rats, bats and spiders, comes to Renfield with an offer: if Renfield worships him, he will provide Renfield with an endless supply of food.

It’s supposed to be a meaty role for Mr Anozie, who’ll be making his USA broadcast network TV debut on the series (he appeared on cable TV in a few episodes of Game Of Thrones).

Although this sounds like a project that probably should be on cable TV, not on a broadcast network station like NBC. So I’m not expecting it to be as intense as it could be otherwise.

The new series is a co-production between British Sky BroadcastingCarnival Films & Television, Flame Ventures and NBCUniversal. It was created by Tony Krantz (24Sports Night) and former HBO Films president Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon

A trailer for the series is below; but first, Anozie talks in-depth about the character he plays, his involvement in the series’ narrative, his approach to the role and more, in the first video that follows.

Look for the busy Anozie next in Paramount’s Jack Ryan reboot, in Enders Game, and more.

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