Adrian Țofei is a renowned Romanian filmmaker, best known as the writer/director/lead actor behind the independent found footage horror Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015). Since then, Adrian spent the next seven years working on his next project, apocalyptic found footage horror We Put the World to Sleep, along with co-star Duru Yücel, currently in post-production (a film I am highly anticipating) as well as starting work on the third film in his indie trilogy, Pure (currently under production).
Being a huge fan of Adrian’s acclaimed first film Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, “Possibly one of the most engrossing found footage films since The Blair Witch Project (1999)”; we decided to reach out to Adrian to ask him a few questions we were dying to know.
When did you first discover your interest in performing arts?
Hmm, I think it was during high school when I attended an acting class and performed on stage in a high school play.
The character Adrian in Be My Cat was based on a character in your earlier one-man performance The Monster. How did the character evolve between the two performances?
The character had a very long evolution. First a 15 minutes monologue in a theatre-dance show at the end of college, then I transformed that monologue in a full 50 min one-man-show – The Monster – and then the character in The Monster evolved with every new performance. Since I was the director/producer/writer, and I was using impro, I would allow myself the freedom to change stuff from one performance to another. All in all, I’d say the character evolved over the course of 5 years from the 15 min monologue to what you see in Be My Cat. I also lived partially in character when I was doing the one-man-show, I experimented with various aspects of his psychology. Then again for the movie. The most obvious change from the character in The Monster to the character in Be My Cat was his obsession: the one in the one-man-show was obsessed with a Romanian actress, and the one in the movie with Anne Hathaway. It had to be a worldwide known celebrity so people worldwide would connect to the story. But lots of other changes as well, as Be My Cat is not an adaptation of The Monster, it’s a totally different story. Only the psychology of the character was partially kept in the movie.
What were your first thoughts when actress Sonia Teodoriu called the police whilst filming Be My Cat?
I don’t remember my first thoughts, I think I got a bit scared, but right away I remembered the language switch we were using (English meant we’re in character, Romanian meant we’re ourselves), so, since she did not switch to Romanian, she continued speaking English even after calling the police, I understood that she did not call the police on me, she was still in character, improvising for the movie, calling the police on my character.
You said you would be interested in starring in a direct sequel to Be My Cat, would you prefer it retained its found footage foothold or venture out into new territory?
I think a sequel has to be found footage, because that’s the format that was essential to the original. I do want to venture outside of found footage, my third indie movie in the trilogy, Pure, won’t be found footage for example, so career wise I’m beginning to distance myself from the genre, but for the sequel specifically I don’t think there’s another way.
Can you give us a bit of background about your newest project We Put the World to Sleep? What was the inspiration for making this film and how it evolved from conception to completion?
It began as an ambitious goal to combine the metaphysics of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the realism of The Blair Witch Project, which are two of the movies that influenced my career the most. Years of obstacles followed (7 years till now), constantly living in and out characters, countless changes, I never imagined that this project would be so hard to make and that would end up affecting our personal lives as well… I won’t do anything like this ever again, living in character and improvising over such a long period of time. It’s dangerous. There are some views on life I held which I’m not sure how much they belonged to my character and how much they belonged to me… It’s scary!
What is the best way for people to keep up with what you are working on?
Follow me on social media and add my films to your watchlists on IMDb/Letterboxd, here are all my links: https://linktr.ee/AdrianTofei
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Hey there, I’m Jim and I’m located in London, UK. I am a Writer and Technical Director here at Grimoire of Horror. A life long love of horror and writing has led me down this rabbit hole, allowing me to meet many amazing people and experience some truly original artwork. I specialise in world cinema, manga/graphic novels and video games but will sometime traverse into the unknown in search of adventure.