Karl Urban is a doctor on the Starship Enterprise in "Star Trek," is blasting guns alongside Bruce Willis in forthcoming "Red" and, soon, will be playing another extreme role in "Priest": vampire.

The New Zealand actor spoke to HitFix recently on his character Black Hat in the 2011 action-horror-Western, saying his villainry in the film is a "nod back to the silent movie days.

"You had westerns, and obviously the villain in the western typically wore a black hat. So, visually it takes its cue off that," he said on set of "Red" in New Orleans. "The fun thing about villains is they get to do and say those things that we can never do it real life."

Urban describes Black Hat as a former priest who formerly hunted down vampires, but was then captured and turned into one, "I guess it's sort of a do or die situation."

Paul Bettany, Maggie Q and "Twilight" actor Cam Gigandet star besides, with director Scott Stewart ("Legion") at the helm. "Priest" is running on schedule, due Jan. 14, 2011, and is based on the comic book by Min-Woo Hyung.

"I heard the other day they showed the film to Sam Raimi and a bunch of execs over of at Sony, and they were just really thrilled with it. I haven't seen it," Urban says of the dailies.

As for the general Vampire trend -- with the success of the "Twilight" books and movie series, "True Blood," the ilk -- Urban says he can understand the appeal.

"I think it's kind of sexy. It’s really interesting how that whole genre has taken off. I think there is something taboo about [vampires] and that is always, I think, very attractive. There is something forbidden about it and sexual, and I think that is a great hook for people. You always want what you can’t have."

As previously reported, Urban will start shooting for the sequel to "Star Trek" next year.

 

Follow HitFix’s Katie Hasty on Twitter for more music and movie news at /katieaprincess.