At his photo shoot a week later, he's lost the Mohawk and is gamely posing in a pair of tight white jeans. After taking a few shots, the photographer points out what everyone has been quietly discussing since Foster showed up on the set: 'That's a big package you've got there, Ben!' Not even attempting to feign embarrassment, he flashes everyone a smile that's more than mischievous and a little less than menacing. In less than 20 minutes he's successfully seduced three gay men and a lesbian.
In his upcoming film 30 Days of Night, due in October, Foster plays a drifter living in a darkness-draped Alaskan town invaded by vampires. While the rest of the town seeks ways to flee, his character is looking for a way to join their ranks. The movie, based on the graphic novel of the same name, costars Josh Hartnett and was produced by Spider-Man director Sam Raimi.
'It's a stone-cold horror film'with intelligence. It was completely terrifying when we were rolling and a great laugh when we weren't,' he says. 'Vampires at the craft services table; victims in various states of death, smoking cigarettes'every day was fucking Halloween.'
The six-week shoot in New Zealand was far from a harrowing experience. 'New Zealand is everything you've heard'the most beautiful landscape anywhere, period. And then to be able to work with my friend [Hard Candy director David Slade] on a vampire movie every night was just excellent.'
Often characterized by casting directors as 'moody' or 'intense,' Foster was looking to play a lighter role until 3:10 to Yuma presented itself: 'I've played a lot of damaged, violent people and was hoping for some sweeping romantic thing, but Yuma came up, and you can't really pass on playing cowboy with Russell Crowe.'
In the remake of the classic 1957 Western film, released in September, Foster plays a bloodthirsty gunslinger, and though his approach to his character may not seem obvious, it completely clicked with director James Mangold's vision. 'All of the research I did for this role was looking at glam rockers. I saw the whole thing as one big rock 'n' roll musical. And the fact that the costumer had done videos with Lenny Kravitz before, it's just what felt right,' he says.