Robert Eggers says Bill Skarsgård is unrecognizable in Nosferatu: "You can't detect any Bill here"

(Image credit: Universal/Total Film)

Nosferatu Director Robert Eggers says Bill Skarsgård is unrecognizable in the role of vampire Count Orlok – even more so than he was as Pennywise.

"There are things that are Schreck-like but I felt we had to do something else," Eggers says in the new 2024 preview issue of Total Film, which hits shelves this week. "Basically I was like, 'What would a dead Transylvanian nobleman actually look like for real?' Bill lost a tremendous amount of weight. 

"He’s so transformed in every aspect that I don’t know if people will give him the credit. You can see Bill [as Pennywise] in the It make-up; you can’t detect any Bill here. He worked with an opera coach to lower his voice an octave. I think people are going to think we treated it digitally, but that’s his performance."

Max Schreck played Count Orlok in the original 1922 Nosferatu, and that iconic makeup look was recreated in Werner Herzog’s 1979 remake. It was also in Tobe Hooper’s miniseries of Stephen King’s vampire novel Salem’s Lot. But it's clear that Eggers is going for something different here.

Eggers has been trying to make his own version of Nosferatu since 2015, with the film meant to be his second movie, after The Witch. The second-ever adaptation of the 1922 German silent film is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman and the terrifying vampire infatuated with her, causing untold horror in its wake. 

The cast includes Nicholas Hoult as Thomas Hutter (who you can see in our exclusive image above), Lily-Rose Depp as Ellen Hutter, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Friedrich Harding, Emma Corrin as Ann Harding, Willem Dafoe as Professor Albin Eberhart Von Franz, Simon McBurney as Herr Knock, and Ralph Ineson as Dr. Wilhelm Sievers.

Nosferatu will be released on December 25, 2024 in the US, with a 2024 UK release date to be confirmed. For much more on the movie, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves on December 7. Inside, Total Film has a huge 2024 preview breakdown with exclusive insight into all of the biggest releases arriving in the new year. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's 2024 Preview and Review of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Total Film)

That's not all either, our 2023 Review of the Year supplement is also included, which features our round-up of the best films and TV shows of the year. Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. With our latest offer, you can get a JOBY Magnetic Wireless Charger worth £29.95 when you take out a print subscription.

Total Film's subscriber offer

(Image credit: Total Film/Universal)
Editor-at-Large, Total Film

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror. 

With contributions from