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Joe Biden’s likely secretary of state got his career off to a spooky start.
Before sinking his teeth into diplomacy, Antony Blinken helped produce a Hollywood vampire flick set on the campus of NYU.
He earned an associate producer credit for “The Addiction,” directed by Bronx-born filmmaker Abel Ferrara and starring Christopher Walken and Annabella Sciorra.
By the time it hit theaters on Oct. 4, 1995, Blinken was already serving on President Clinton’s National Security Council staff and working as a speechwriter.
“He’s a very passionate and artistic gentleman and was a good friend at the time,” recalled producer Fernando Sulichin, who spoke to The Post by phone from the island of Mustique, where he was vacationing with longtime friend Oliver Stone. “I asked him to invest and he did invest.”
Blinken, a scion of a wealthy New York City banking family, attended Dalton and earned his law degree from Columbia in 1988. It was around that time he became friendly with a crew of aspiring filmmakers and other local creatives.
Sulichin said he brought Blinken, around 32 then, into the project after the two became friendly at a film festival a few years earlier. The future Biden nominee ultimately ponied up around $10,000. The film budget was around $1.2 million and mostly came from executive producer Russell Simmons.
“He was a hard worker, always showed up, brought it, and helped get the film into production,” added fellow associate producer Marla Hanson, the former model slashed across the face in an infamous 1986 attack. in Manhattan.
The stylish black-and-white drama — available on YouTube — follows the story of Kathleen Conklin, played by Lili Taylor, a philosophy Ph.D. student who is bitten by a vampire and slowly spirals downward, attacking friends and professors as she attempts to satisfy her bloodlust. The film ends with much of the NYU philosophy department being attacked and turned into vampires themselves in a blood-soaked climax.
Walken portrayed a brooding reformed vampire named Peina and a young Edie Falco was in the role of Jean, an unfortunate friend of Conklin. Sciorra played Casanova, the veteran vampire who gets the bloody ball rolling by biting the lead character early on.
Though some like the Washington Post panned the horror flick as “so dark — and impenetrable — that it shuts us out,” the film has developed a following and holds a 75% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“It’s among the very best, seriously disturbing vampire films ever made,” said Ron Magliozzi, curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film. “Color and comedy had come to characterize the genre by the 1970s; in contrast the exceptional black and white cinematography of ‘The Addiction’ adds to its weighty melancholy.” The Addiction was performed at a 2019 MOMA retrospective featuring all of Ferrara’s films.
In addition to “The Addiction,” Blinken also raised money, and served as associate producer, for a 1990 short film called “Cafe,” a silent feature which follows the fantasy of a woman who imagines her life living with a handsome stranger she sees in a cafe.
“He’s just a wonderful guy and so supportive of creative people and there is a side of him that wanted to go into it,” director Gretchen Somerfeld told The Post, saying she remained friendly with Blinken and sent him a congratulatory Facebook note after he was named to serve last month as secretary of state.
Blinken did not respond to request for comment from The Post.
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