We don’t feature animation here on FEARnet.com that often, but when an animated film comes along that features the classic movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy we have to bend the rules a little. Hotel Transylvania (out on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD January 29) takes these beloved beasts and brings them together to tell a hilarious tale that also pushes the importance of acceptance and being proud of who you are. With voice acting from Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, and many more, the film is one of several animated films recently that have delved into slightly darker territory (and we’re all the better for it).
FEARnet recently sat down with actress Fran Drescher (who plays “Eunice,” the Bride of Frankenstein) to discuss voicing The Bride, a possible sequel, and her Cancer Schmancer movement.
You only have a few lines in Hotel Transylvania, but you have a pretty significant role. How did you get involved in the project?
The project started with a different director and they asked if I were interested in doing it, but then it kind of went on a shelf for a while. Adam Sandler eventually got involved and it picked up momentum. He brought in his own team of comedy writers and started making calls to people that he wanted to be a part of the movie. It turns out that he’s a fan of mine and, of course, that feeling is mutual. So he called me and asked if I still wanted to do the movie. I said, “I’d love to,” and then the movie really started to take on momentum.
I was very happy to be a part of it. I always loved the idea of playing the Bride of Frankenstein and I love that they got Kevin James to play Frank, so it was all good. I was really, really happy. It’s a great cast. I’ve already had Molly Shannon on my show Happily Divorced so it’s been a very fruitful experience. I love the movie and I love the positive message that it has and I think that it’s good family entertainment. It’s really funny and it’s got a little bit of adult humor too. I like playing comedy on several different levels so it’s been good. I’m pleased.
One of the funniest lines in the film is a bit of a nod to the adults as well as a wink from you where your character tells another character that they have an “annoying voice.” Did it feel good to poke fun at some of the folks that might have said similar things about some of your past characters?
Oh, you know. It’s all in the name of good-natured humor. I’m all good about that. I don’t like mean spirited stuff and I think that the larger message of the movie is to not put down what you don’t really understand. And that, when you look a little closer, you may find that you have more in common than you think.
I like to think of myself as a unifier. I like to do it in Washington. I like to do it globally through my television shows. I like to do it in the health space with my Cancer Schmancer movement. I think that’s kind of where I’m coming from.
The film does have few darker, more horrific, moments as well and we’ve seen that a little bit more in animation this year. What do you think it is that’s making children’s films move in that direction? Do you think kids are just maturing more quickly these days?
I think different kids respond to different things. I never really liked anything that was scary or violent or particularly bad, but I think that, at the end of the day, making movies is a business and it’s always speaking to a specific demographic. I don’t think that it means that there’s any kind of shift in any one direction.
I actually think that Hotel Transylvania is the antithesis of that. It’s not really scary and it’s not mean spirited. And that picture is the one that did the best out of all of them and made the most global money.
I could easily see Hotel Transylvania blossoming into a franchise. Have you heard anything about a possible sequel?
I have heard some things about a sequel and I’m just hoping that they want me to be in it.
The cast is really stellar. Did you get chance to work alongside any of them or was this more of a solitary, in-the-recording-booth, thing for you?
For me, it was totally in the booth and solitary, but I did get to meet with the whole cast when we went to Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival. That was a lot of fun and it was great meeting all the other actors. They’re people that I’ve admired and enjoyed their work for so long, so it was really lovely meeting them and sharing in the premiere of the movie.
If you could pick one thing, out of everything you’ve done in your career so far, what’s the one thing you wish had gotten more attention or notice?
I think that there are several things because I have so many different interests and I were so many different hats in life. I think that my cancer survival and turning that into the Cancer Schmancer movement has been a very important aspect of my life and opening up people’s thinking to the fact that they have control over reducing their risk of cancer, how they choose to live their life and, if you catch it on arrival, there’s a 95% survival rate. So stage one is the cure.
I think that The Nanny has been a huge part of my life and big step up for me. The massive audience that I can speak to worldwide on many different subjects like making people happy and also speaking for the greater good. Civil liberties are very important for me. Protecting our constitutional rights is very important to me. I’m very patriotic and I don’t want to see us slip into a rabbit hole that compromises the great vision of what this nation stands for.
You can see Fran Drescher as the voice of Eunice in Hotel Transylvania on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on January 29.