A twist on history wasn’t what first attracted actress Alex Lombard to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” though the plot alone was interesting. It was also the chance to work with two of Hollywood’s most visionary filmmakers—Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.
“When I found out these two amazing men were involved, it was an incredible opportunity for me,” the actress said during a telphone interview from her Los Angeles home. “Of course I thought the story idea was a great concept—Lincoln and vampires together. But I also knew there was a great trifeca of talent with Tim and Timur, and a lot of the cast and crew.”
In the movie, which is in wide release starting today, Lombard plays Gabrielle, the love interest of Henry Sturgess, a 900-year-old vampire played by Dominic Cooper. The film explores a secret life that one of the nation’s most famous presidents could have had—in the unique way that Burton and Bekmambetov tell it.
“I have always been a big fan of Timur,” Lombard said. “I loved his film ‘Wanted’ with Angelina Jolie, loved the way her character unfolded and the many levels she had. And of course working with Tim Burton was something that I think everyone would want to experience.”
The actress, who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, said “American history kind of runs through your veins when you’re from the South. I think this film is going to appeal to so many people, since it has action, horror, intrigue, and of course history.”
Burton and Bekmambetov’s film imagines Lincoln as a great hunter of the undead, truly a departure from history’s depiction of the president. The cast also includes Rufus Sewall, Mary Elizabeth Winsted and Benjamin Walker.
“Burton’s style is so iconic,” Lombard added. “My scenes were filmed in New Orleans, and the French Quarter is part of that great city, a magical town. I wasn’t surprised at the storyline–I was more intrigued.”
Audiences will recognize Lombard from her role in “Inception,” opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. “That was part of an amazing experience, even though my role was relatively small,” she recalled. “Leo, [director] Christopher Nolan–it was a great opportunity to be part of that cast.” She also co-starred in the series finale of “Big Love” on HBO, and has guest starred on “How I Met Your Mother” and “Days of our Lives.” One of her favorite roles was starring opposite Shannyn Sossamon in the film “Man Without a Head.”
Lombard also longs to work behind the scenes, both as a screenwriter (“I’m shopping around a script this summer,”) or as a director. She’s worked as a production manager and AD on films already, and her screenplay is “a fish out of water story about an Eastern European exchange student in the rural South. I really like writing stories that deal with the alternate to the status quo—psychological thrillers, or even stories that prove that pure love does exist.”
Clearly, this actress seems focused on enjoying her craft for years to come. But first, she needs to survive that romance with a vampire, a tale ready to greet moviegoers nationwide, starting today.