“Who wouldn’t want to play an alcoholic, womanizing police officer who gets to turn into a werewolf? I mean, are you kidding me?” laughs actor Leo Fafard, who plays Lou Garou in the horror-comedy WolfCop, the first film produced by CineCoup’s start-up program.
Much like his character, Fafard is leading something of a double life between handling his workload and press obligations as an actor while juggling his job crew-rigging cellphone towers in his home province of Saskatchewan. Although he doesn’t turn into a werewolf at the end of the day—that’s left to Garou, who tends to get blackout drunk and wake up in strange surroundings. These situations grow increasingly strange as Garou begins to notice that crime scenes seem all too familiar, his senses become heightened and he eventually finds himself transformed into a snarling werewolf when the full moon comes out.
“You get to play the bad guy and the good guy in the movie all at the same time,” he adds. “There’s tons of challenges as far as acting goes and then physically as well, so it’s sort of a dream role.”
Embodying his role as WolfCop involved being tied to a makeup chair for hours on end while prosthetics were glued to his face.
“There’s claustrophobic aspects to it. The chemicals, which are—I mean, none of them are really bad for your skin—but the fact is you’re gluing things to your face, so there’s that aspect that’s a challenge, and not losing your mind and trying to rip it all off after 10 hours,” he adds with a laugh, noting the process sped up as shooting went on and the film’s makeup artist perfected the techniques.
Separating the characters esthetically is one thing, but it was another for Fafard to embody their respective—and very different—personas. Fafard describes himself as an excitable person with little in the way of a verbal filter, so he had to work to remain in a mellow state and repress those aspects of his personality to fit the downtrodden traits of Garou and the more animalistic ones of WolfCop.
“Just staying out of the hubbub and excitement on set, not allowing my energy to get up and get distracted, so just focusing on myself and allowing myself to become that darker, downtrodden sort of individual without allowing the environment to creep in and let myself get excited,” Fafard explains. “Once I found the character and knew where he lived it was all right. It became sort of enjoyable … that was a bit of a trick was to allow myself not to get too dark and go into places where I couldn’t crawl out of very easily.”
Fri, Jun 6 (8:20 pm)
Cineplex South Edmonton Common