Why Demián Bichir Sees The Let The Right One In Series As Shakespeare

Tomas Alfredson's "Let the Right One In" is a classic vampire tale. Two young kids who are worlds apart bond over their sense of otherness and commit dark deeds together. It is a story both devoid of emotion and drenched in warm companionship that evolves into love. Given the timeless nature of the story, "Let the Right One In" has inspired an American remake and a comic book series, along with the recently released Showtime series of the same name by Andrew Hinderaker. Demián Bichir, who plays Mark Kane, recently spoke to Awards Radar about the complexity of the show's narrative and explained why he compares it to Shakespeare.

Although Bichir's Shakespeare comparison might seem out of place at first glance, the actor explained that the character-centric approach of the show allowed the story to evolve dynamically. As every character is rife with contrarian impulses and human depth, Bichir compares his admiration for his latest work to characters like Lear or Hamlet:

"When I read the pilot, I saw what I needed, what I'm always looking for – solid story-rich characters, beautifully written and dramatically powerful and three-dimensional characters. I'm always looking for Shakespearean characters. This is my Hamlet. This is my Richard the Third, this is my King Lear. This is everything there. It is quite a ride."

Bichir's statement is applicable to the scope of "Let The Right One In," as the core essence of the story raises important questions about human existence and the limits of love (or lack thereof). Is all really fair in love, and can love justify the defiance of conventional morality? Interestingly, both the original film and the latest series aim to dive deeper into these themes.

Rich, multidimensional characters

Hinderaker's show reimagines the tale of the Swedish original by contextualizing the story in an American setting. The basic gist of the tragic tale remains the same: Eleanor (Madison Taylor Báez), the child vampire, is looked after by her father, Mark. Apart from feeding her and keeping her alive, Mark is in search of a miraculous cure for vampirism while grappling with the guilt of killing innocents to keep his daughter alive. In an interview with Collider, Bichir talked at length about the "beauty" of the story, which features "complex and multilayered" humans who embody the dual morality of existence. Bichir said:

"Human beings are complex and multi-layered beings. We have this duality of being good or bad...That's the beauty of this challenge for me, as an actor. I am not that man. The man that you see, when the series begins, is a transformed human being. It's a man that has been through an entire transformation unwillingly, forced by circumstances. That is a phenomenal challenge for any character. It's almost like a Shakespearean character. Deep inside, it's very Hamlet or Richard III, or many different characters like that."

Bichir's analogy makes sense from a character point-of-view, as Shakespearean characters like Richard III or Hamlet wrestle with complicated impulses that are innately human. Both Hamlet and Richard III suffer due to circumstances outside of their control and their own tragic flaws, which mirrors the tragic nature of the human condition. Bichir's Mark is also faced with a moral dilemma, which instigates a multitude of emotions within him, making his arc more interesting from an artistic perspective.

"Let The Right One In" premiered on Showtime on October 9, 2022.