'Whatever the part was going to be, I wanted to be a part of the actual film," said "The Princess Bride" legend.
Cary Elwes jumped at the chance to be one of the men in the female-driven remake of "Black Christmas."
Unlike the 1974 original and its 2006 remake, the new version was written and directed by women, while also featuring a different kind of female protagonist as well.
"I was fascinated by the idea of a horror film that had a strong theme of female empowerment and it was going to be written by a woman and directed by a woman -- those were all the things that really ticked the boxes for me," the 57-year-old explained in a recent interview with TooFab.
"And so, I thought that was a fresh take and interesting -- whatever the part was going to be, I wanted to be a part of the actual film,' Elwes added.
In the film, the London-born actor plays Professor Gelson, a classic literature teacher who has close ties with a fraternity on campus. Throughout the movie, the members of a neighboring sorority are suddenly stalked by a cloaked stranger -- but, as the trailer shows, these women reclaim their power.
"It's really rare that we have any protagonists who are strong women and not victims, we haven't really seen that other than Jamie Lee Curtis in 'Halloween,'" said Elwes.
The actor believed having women behind the camera for "Black Christmas" was what made it most "interesting" to him, knowing that "it would be different if it was written by a man or directed by a man," which the first two iterations were. And he would know, as he's been in a variety of horror films helmed by men including "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Kiss The Girls," "Saw," and "Shadow of a Vampire," to name a few.
Even though Elwes has played several less than savory characters throughout his enviable career, he said he relishes the chance to explore all sides of the human experience.
"I never really paint my characters with a single brush, I personally don't judge them," he detailed. "I'm interested in the grey area rather than the black and white of good and evil or villain and hero because life isn't that way."
As for whether he saw the classic 1974 "Black Christmas" -- which starred Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder and included a progressive-for-the-time pro-abortion storyline -- Elwes said he tried to avoid watching it to keep his take fresh.
"I've never done a reboot, or remake, or reimagining, as they call it, and I didn't want to be influenced by anybody else's performance or style or anything. I'm very easily influenced. It's very hard for me to watch movies while doing one. I make it a point not to," he explained.
"When I see a talented actor, it depresses me to no end," he quipped.
2019's "Black Christmas" was written by Sophia Takal and April Wolfe, and directed by Takal, who also helmed the much lauded "New Year, New You" episode of Hulu's ongoing horror anthology series "Into The Dark."
Imogen Poots stars as Riley Stone, a college student dealing with the fallout of a horrific sexual assault as she attempts to uncover the identity of a murderous stalker with the help of her sorority sisters, played by Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O'Grady and Madeleine Adams.