Suppose you’re an actor who finds himself playing a series of film roles opposite a Marvel superhero (Spider-Man: Far From Home), a popular Transformer (Bumblebee), and a female cyborg warrior (Alita: Battle Angel). In that case, odds are those title characters are getting top billing no matter how great of an actor you are.
So, when Dominican-American actor Jorge Lendeborg Jr. was offered the first lead role of his career in the action-horror flick Night Teeth, he jumped at the chance faster than you could say “Nosferatu.”
“I was pumped and excited,” Lendeborg Jr. told Remezcla during a recent interview. “To be the lead in a movie is not an easy feat. Being a young actor, you get in that mode and think, ‘What am I going to do next?’ When this thing came through, I was up for it.”
In Night Teeth, Lendeborg Jr. plays Benny, a young college kid who takes a gig as a chauffeur to make some extra cash. A simple evening turns out to be more than Benny bargained for when the two mysterious young women (Debby Ryan and Lucy Fry) he’s driving around turn out to be thirsty vampires.
“Vampire [movies] feel like their own genre altogether – like the werewolf or the zombie or the slasher,” he said. “Throughout the filmmaking process, I discovered that vampires have their own rules. Being a part of it was exciting and something new for me.”
When Lendeborg Jr. read the script, he thought it sounded like a fun ride with interesting set pieces and fight choreography. Then, there’s also Benny’s passengers themselves, two beautiful vampires who want nothing more than to drain the blood of their next victim. If that’s the case in most vampire movies, why, then, are the pale villains usually portrayed as sex symbols?
“They’re the only monster that has immortality, so I think there is something inherently sexy about that,” he said.
Lendeborg Jr. admits he hasn’t seen too many vampire movies (he likes the Twilight series) but seemed intrigued by the idea of the unconventional 2013 romantic comedy Only Lovers Left Alive. In that indie film, a pair of vampire lovers, who have lived hundreds of years, take decades-long breaks from their relationship so they don’t get tired of one another.
“It’s good to hang out with somebody,” he said, joking that if he were a vampire, he would like to live about 125 years. “A hundred years is a big break, even if you live 1,000. But then you’re coming back [together] with this whole new bag of stuff like, ‘Oh, I went to Mexico. I went to Nicaragua. Look what I got!’”
Maybe Lendeborg Jr. would be open to making another vampire movie in the future – perhaps one with an eccentric storyline. For example, what about a vampire musical? When presented with the idea, Lendeborg Jr. was noncommittal.
“I’m not going to promise you because we’re not doing it in Night Teeth 2,” he joked. “Night Teeth 3, nah. But in Night Teeth 4 ….”
Night Teeth premieres on Netflix on October 20, 2021.