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Vampire Academy cast on the challenges of playing beloved YA book characters

Peacock is entering the planet of the vampires with the brand new series Vampire Academy.In line with the popular young adult novels by Richelle Mead, the series follows the adventures of Rose Hathaway (Sisi Stringer) and Lissa Dragomir (Daniela Nieves) because they navigate love, politics, and killer vampires at St Vladimirs Academy.

Vampire Academycan look to become another breakout hit for showrunners Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre, who previously done The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies. Within an interview with Digital Trends, the Vampire Academycast discuss the pressures of depicting beloved characters, the selling point of portraying vampires, and what they might tell fans of the books that are skeptical of the series.

Christian stares into the eyes of Lissa in a scene from Vampire Academy.
VAMPIRE ACADEMY — “Earth. Air. Water. Fire.” Episode 102 — Pictured: (l-r) Andre Dae Kim as Christian Ozera, Daniela Nieves as Lissa Dragomir — (Photo by: Jose Haro/Peacock)

Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

Digital Trends: Kieron, Dmitri can be an intense, disciplined guy who ,as time passes, reveals a far more sympathetic side to his persona. Why did this role interest you?

Kieron Moore (Dimitri Belikov): I believe, for me, the top level is, needless to say, this lethal, disciplined, bred-to-protect vessel. It certainly type of transcends almost every other things. Nonetheless it was the component of looking for the sincerity and the vulnerability underneath that I believe makes people human, also it comes by means of Rose Hathaway.

Im super-excited to inform that story. Its been this honor. I am hoping Ive were able to make that happen, and I believe because the show continues on, people will maybe discover the trouble I had, that was that in checking and finding vulnerabilities, you often find conflict. That has been really rich for me personally to find, and also the physical stuff.

Rose is really a badass guardian-in-training. Sisi, does this sort of role excite you being an actor?

Sisi Stringer (Rose Hathaway): Needless to say. I browse the books. I was an enormous fan as a youngster. I watched the films. When I acquired the audition, I was so excited. I was like, I understand this girl. I understand this woman. Then once you reach set and you also start playing her instantly, you merely relate a lot more. But I believe the scary thing is how similar we have been, actually. Truly, its honestly scary. Shes very fiery and outspoken and strong-willed. Shes never a doormat. She stacks up for what she believes, and shes really passionate.

But she could be volatile, explosive, and mischievous. Where Lissa always includes a kind word and an open shoulder, Rose isn’t that way. However, all the fighting she does and all the aggression definitely result from a location of passion and love for individuals and the items in her life. In mind, shes a pleasant girl.

J. August and Jonetta, what attracted one to these roles? Did you wish to play vampires?

J. August Richards (Victor Dashkov): I usually wished to play a vampire. Thats probably from years to be on Angel and watching the actors who play vampires have all of the fun. I needed to try another side and quickly I realized that is probably probably the most human vampires. However the interesting thing is I believe all vampires, ultimately, are about humanity and what this means to be human. Its only a metaphor just as that sci-fi or futuristic movies should never be concerning the future; theyre always concerning the present. This character is quite focused on finding justice in this underground vampire society, and thats what drew me to the type.

The Queen and Victor stand next to each other and stare in a scene from Vampire Academy.
VAMPIRE ACADEMY — Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Pik-Sen Lim as Queen, J. August Richards as Victor Dashkov — (Photo by: Jose Haro/Peacock)

Jonetta Kaiser (Sonya Karp): Well, I really like vampires. I really like Julie Plec. I really like the books. I read them as a youngster ,so I had been in when I saw that and realized what it had been. Personally i think so linked to her [Sonya] because Im an extremely shy person. I was raised very, very, very shy. It had been super easy to step into that. Youre right concerning the different personalities because she’s to opt for her dad, sometimes, to his royal things and I must act accordingly, that is not the same as when Im in my own library, handling my books and speaking with birds. [Laughs] So, yeah, it had been interesting. It had been fun.

Andr, so what can fans expect from your portrayal of Christian?

Andr Dae Kim (Christian Ozera): I believe fans of the book will hopefully note that Ive tried to help keep the essence of Christian from the book. A snarky, but walled-off sort of persona which has a lot related to resentment and a whole lot related to protecting himself from the procedure that hes received. But, I am hoping they are able to also find some surprising things in seeing Christian in other states that people dont see in the book, like Christian by himself and Christian minus the perspective of a Rose or Lissa. I believe those parts may be really interesting for book fans aswell.

As the show is founded on a beloved novel series, did you all feel an extra quantity of pressure to fulfill fans who love the books?

Daniela Nieves (Lissa Dragomir) Yeah. After all I believe its an honor, its a privilege, [and] its a pressure. But overall, the stories are simply so excellent, and these characters are so excellent therefore well-rounded. They will have so many dimensions in their mind. I think so long as we obtain the themes and the characters and the planet right, I really do think that the fans of the book are likely to enjoy the show. Theyre likely to have the ability to fully immerse themselves exactly the same way they did with the books. Its a number of 10 episodes they can really dive into.

The fans are so vital that you us. They are really the reason that is indeed iconic. Im likely to play a character in these books that thousands of people have read. Like thats crazy, and its own all due to them [the fans], so were quite definitely deeply in love with them. Were quite definitely associated with them. We value their feedback.

Dmitri holds Rose and looks into her eyes in a scene from Vampire Academy.
VAMPIRE ACADEMY — Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Kieron Moore as Dimitri Belikov, Sisi Stringer as Rose Hathaway — (Photo by: Peacock)

Stringer: We speak to them all enough time. Theyre so supportive, so its always lovely, even though we might not appear to be what sort of book describes the characters or the direction they try the movie where theres very little diversity, lets be honest. Dani always says the essence, right? We capture the essence of the characters, and I believe thats more important than her having blond hair. Sometimes the fans get yourself a bit upset, but theyre always so supportive. Each goes, We realize. We trust you, and we realize that you guys are likely to execute a good job, just what exactly you appear to be doesnt really matter that much. Its nice they have that much rely upon us.

Kaiser: Definitely not. I respect the group of fans. Im one of these, myself. But what we could actually do, what Julie Plec and Marguerite could actually achieve, is keeping the spirit and the center of the books. Its much more contemporary. It expanded on which was written 15 years back so its edgier, hip, cool, and diverse, that is amazing. The worlds that people were in, the costumes that people were in, the scripts we received. When you have all the pieces to the puzzle, theres no pressure as you have all you need. Youre fully equipped. I didnt even consider any pressure from anything.

Richards: I always feel plenty of pressure, but also for some reason, I didnt. I assume since it was this type of journey. We were moving to Spain, obtaining the scripts once we got there, absorbing them, determining the planet, learning Spanish There is virtually no time for pressure.

Because so many characters are excellent fighters, lots of you’d to teach in fighting techinques. How did that go? That which was the procedure like?

Andrew Liner (Mason Ashford): Yeah, any moment we werent shooting, we were training, learning choreo[graphy], or training, gaining some muscle. It had been an extremely interesting experience because not merely did we need to discover the physicality of the characters in an exceedingly character way, but Dhampirs are likely to look a particular way. They’re protectors. They’re physically dominant people, therefore i think discovering that was great. Rigorously learning choreo, and having choreo change on your day and being more comfortable with it changing on your day was awesome.

With experienced creators like Julie and Marguerite, does their prior understanding of the subject supply you a feeling of relief, knowing it is possible to trust their vision?

Nieves: It offers us relief. We feel just like were safe. They definitely have a vision, plus they know what they need. They know the stories they would like to tell. They know very well what they need it to check and appear to be. They’re successful leading women, so its so admirable to just watch them work. Even being around them working feels as though a privilege. Personally i think so blessed to even be part of this with such amazing women.

Stringer: Yeah. Strong women to sort of model our very own strengths from. A very important factor about Lissa and Roses friendship aswell is they are both quite strong women. They will have their pitfalls, plus they have their turmoil. A turbulent relationship sometimes. But at the core of these as characters and the complete story is their love for every other and their friendship.

Vampire Academy | Official Trailer | Peacock Original

For fans of the books that are skeptical concerning the series, what can you tell them?

Moore: I completely understand them. I believe once you cherish something just as much as these books are cherished, you’ve got a love for this, and that needs to be carried through. I am hoping that people supply the show and the characters, which were portrayed inside our interpretations, an open and empathetic approach. I am hoping they take that point to love these people just as much as weve fallen deeply in love with playing them.

Weve discussed this word a whole lot, this essence of character, and its own a thing that stuck. Everyone does take it [esscence] from the books and adopts it within their own way, also it might can be found in different sizes and shapes and motives. Ultimately, the characters the fans love, we love. Just sit tight, trust the story, and trust the writing just as much as we did.

The initial four episodes ofVampire Academystart streaming on Peacock on September 15, with new episodes available weekly on Thursdays.

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