This weekend, moviegoers will watch Luke Evans transform into the ruthless warlord Vlad the Impaler in Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold. Known for torturing his enemies by impaling them on large wooden stakes, Vlad Tepes (as he is also known) became one of the inspirations behind Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. One of the most famous movie monsters, the bloodsucker’s true origins inspired us to seek out the real-life inspirations behind other cinema creeps and creatures.
Dracula / Sir Henry Irving
Apart from Vlad the Impaler, it’s believed that the other inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s bloodthirsty Count comes from friend and co-worker Sir Henry Irving. Stoker worked at London’s Lyceum Theatre as a business manager, alongside actor-manager Irving—whose dramatic sensibility and mannerisms formed the basis for Dracula. Stoker had been drawn to the actor ever since he reviewed Irving’s performance in a production of Hamlet.