'Hotel Transylvania': A Cast of Characters To Die For
ADAM SANDLER as DRACULA
''Our version of Dracula is a loving overprotective Dad, which was perfect for Adam being a father of two girls,'' says Genndy Tartakovsky, director of Hotel Transylvania. ''He could really exaggerate all his parenting experiences into Dracula's performance making him a really funny character. The more recordings we did, the more he got comfortable with the character, all the little neurotic nuances started to come alive and Dracula really started to leave and breathe. When he needed to, Adam was able to deliver a very reserved and heartfelt performance, making Dracula a very vulnerable and empathetic character.''
SELENA GOMEZ as MAVIS
"For Dracula's independent-thinking daughter we needed someone young, but being a 118-year-old vampire she still needed some age and texture to her voice. Selena was perfect. Her voice has a lot of depth and texture as well as a confident innocence,'' says Tartakovsky. ''I think Selena saw a lot of herself in Mavis. She is just coming into adulthood and related to her issues. She was then able to deliver a sincere and very vulnerable performance. We really wanted the father and daughter to have a mostly positive relationship.''
ANDY SAMBERG as JONATHAN
''The inspiration for Jonathan really came from Andy Samberg. Andy's voice and performance really helped define the design of this character. Jonathan is kind of goofy and really high on life, with crazy hair and extreme energy — not the kind of character you're usually allowed to do in animation. But then when Andy Samberg did the first voice reading it was like 'Boom! There it is.' And any doubt went away,'' says Tartakovsky. ''Andy brought this realism and sincerity to the role which made Jonathan who he is. It was hilarious and instant magic between Andy and Adam Sandler; the contrast between this very articulate, rigid, and controlling Dracula and this fun loving, out of control, great free spirit was the sell. To me Andy Samberg is like a young Adam Sandler. Andy's already like a cartoon character because he makes such funny expressions and is hilarious.''
KEVIN JAMES as FRANKENSTEIN
''We wanted our Frank to be the ever-lovable uncle,'' says director Tartakovsky, ''and who is more lovable then Kevin James? No matter what character he portrays, they are always lovable and extremely funny. Kevin was able to soften his voice to bring tenderness to Frank that made him lovable as well as sympathetic.''
STEVE BUSCEMI as WAYNE THE WEREWOLF
''We had a really funny take on the werewolf because he has so many children, so many litters that he is just a miserable beaten-down dad; he's always just slumped over, exhausted,'' Tartakovsky explains. ''Steve Buscemi did such a great job at delivering that since he can be the driest of the bunch.''
MOLLY SHANNON as WANDA THE WEREWOLF
''Wanda is always pregnant and she's just in love with her kids and so with Molly you see everything through the motherly point of view, everything's kind of perfect,'' Tartakovsky says. ''We wanted Wanda to be the ever-positive character who always looks on the bright side. Molly is so genuinely sweet that she was the perfect fit. You can just give a line to Molly Shannon and she'll massage it and massage it until it's really funny.''
CEE LO GREEN as MURRAY THE MUMMY
''Cee Lo was great because we wanted the mummy to be very boisterous and kind of a big personality and Cee Lo's smooth voice fell in really nice with that,'' Tartakovsky says. ''He's not a professional comedian so it was interesting to work with him but he embraced the lines in a much different way. It was just this really unique take on the mummy but felt very natural, not like we are forcing any hip-hop kind of thing to it. It was just this big guy who feels great and he brought a lot of warmth and humor to it.''
FRAN DRESCHER as BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
''We wanted Frankenstein's wife to be opposite of her husband, so we needed someone to be brash and bombastic and Fran Drescher definitely knows how to deliver these characteristics,'' Tartakovsky says. ''We needed a positive female role model for Mavis and Fran was exactly that, a strong-willed confident person with a great heart. Fran gave her character a caring Aunt quality that instantly bonded Mavis to her. In comedy it's always a challenge — when to be funny and when to stop and be real — and Fran knew how to balance very effectively.''
DAVID SPADE as GRIFFIN THE INVISIBLE MAN
''David really fit Griffin the Invisible Man [who is just glasses] very nicely because he's kind of snarky and funny and he has some great lines commenting on everything that he sees around him,'' Tartakovsky says. ''He knows the joke, and how to accentuate it, how to deliver it, and how to find the perfect timing. David is so quick witted and so snarky in a way that it's really funny. And he can ad lib 50 different lines within a minute which was a blast.''