The Vampire Academy took New York Comic Con by storm on Friday when the cast answered fan questions and showed off some new footage from the film.
The cast of the Vampire Academy took the stage in a packed room of avid fans waiting to see the new footage and ask questions. This was the first time cast members were together to discuss the film. Screenwriting and directing duo Mark and Dan Waters were also on stage discussing the adaptation.
The new footage screened for fans consisted of key scenes like the Rose and Mia confrontation at the dance as well as a scene between Rose and Christian. There is more dialogue added for the movie and fans will be happy to know it is very much what you would expect to read in the book. Zoey Deutch is amazing as Rose as she delivers a sassy line and a punch with equal force.
After the panel Hypable and other outlets had the chance to speak with the cast.
When adapting a beloved novel the question of fan opinion will always come up. As fans we tend to nit pick even the smallest change but the cast seemed to understand what it is like to be a fan. Zoey, Sami, and Dominic heard specific talk about the differences between themselves and their characters. Dominic said he heard little bits of concern because his eyes are different colors (one blue and one brown), fans were upset that he didn’t have just blues eyes. Zoey joked that Dominic always gives this sob story because his eyes are amazing. Fans shouldn’t worry about Dominic playing Christian after meeting him – he definitely has put his all into becoming the character and his eyes are amazing.
Zoey found that fans had a different concern about her playing Rose. “The fans were really upset that I didn’t have big boobs. People were generally concerned that I wasn’t curvy enough but I’ll have them know we sorted the situation out.” Sami also found people were concerned about her appearance, telling us, “I think for me Mia’s character has blonde ringlets and blue eyes, and for me I don’t have blonde ringlets and blue eyes. But I think once the poster came out and people saw me as Mia we had a pretty positive reaction.”
Lucy Fry definitely seemed to understand the plight of the adoring fan. “I know what it is like when you read a book and you get a really specific idea in your head of what that character is going to look like and everyone’s idea is going to be different,” she said. “It is really hard to let that go but eventually the actor becomes the character in your head. It is always hard at first to let the actor take over the character you’ve pictured.”
When asked what other character they would like to be everyone answered Dimitri! Zoey even took it a step further. “I don’t want to play Dimitri, I want to be Danila.” Dominic said, “I think being in Danila’s shoes for even 30 seconds of my life would be amazing.”
Zoey talked in depth about being Rose and what she loves about the character. “There are many facets to the character of Rose that I appreciate and love. One, her fighting skills are as brutal as her sense of humor. She uses humor as a means of survival. I love that she knows what she wants. There is no stopping her. I also love that she is loyal. I think it is a really nice message to send out to young girls, that friendship means that much and I respect that.”
Lucy added, “I like the fact that their friendship is the key to the whole story. Lissa as a vampire is so sensitive and loving and I love the way she takes that in and her vulnerability is so lovely and I loved playing that.”
Sami acknowledged that Mia is bratty and mean but underneath she is just an insecure girl. “I think even though she is mean people will see past that and can relate to it.”
Dominic felt the same about his character Christian. “He has his sarcasm and sardonic nature for how degraded he was in school. When you are a teenager you have to put up certain walls to protect yourself. I admire that he has found Lissa and a kindred spirit. He chooses to overcome it and open up for the first time.”
Anytime a novel with a massive fan base is adapted, inevitably the question of fame arises. This cast seems the most prepared to deal with the adoration but they are not getting ahead of themselves. Lucy doesn’t think fame is something you can ever be ready for.
Zoey had a different take on the topic. “Speaking honestly, if that is the case then that means people enjoyed the movie and it made people feel things. They spent their money well and that they enjoyed the art. Therefore we have accomplished what we wanted to. If I look at it from that sense rather than fame or celebrity it is a little bit easier to deal with.”
Meeting Richelle Mead
Lucy said the first thing that she asked Richelle on set was what it was like to see her dream come to life. “Richelle said everything was much grander.” Sami added that the day she came on set they were shooting a scene with everyone in the cast.
Zoey’s first encounter with Richelle was interesting to say the least. “When I met her I was struck by how beautiful she is. I kind of turned into…I just embarrassed myself and she was very composed. I just spattered out of control. Luckily I recently got to go to dinner with her so hopefully she doesn’t think I’m crazy.”
When adapting a novel the first thing fans ask is what are you going to change. Fans are protective of the novel they love but when adapting you can’t keep it all. The cast was very candid about the minor changes you can expect but overall they feel it is as close to the novel as you can get.
Dominic said, “I feel like there aren’t any changes that the audience who have read the book are going to be like ‘Aw, why have they done that?’ As Richelle said she is very happy with the script. I would like to think that we kept it close enough that people won’t be outraged.”
Lucy added, “There are little things that were changed or left out in order for it to make sense in movie format. Hopefully people can accept that.” During the panel discussion Dan Waters did note one change that fans might be annoyed with: “Dimitri does not buy lip gloss. I couldn’t do that to my Russian.” But in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t change the story.
Mark and Dan Waters
When Lucy and Zoey found out they had the part, Dan and Mark took them out to dinner and gave a list of movies they needed to watch in order to set the tone for the film. On the list was Interview with a Vampire, Rosemary’s Baby and La Femme Nikita. They also gave them a soundtrack that they thought was reflective of the film’s themes. There was a lot of dark, creepy, instrumental music on the compilation.
Discussing filming with Mark, Zoey said, “It was a lovely collaboration with Mark and Dan. Mark is someone who likes to get a bunch of different takes and it is so nice to feel free to do anything. He gives people permission to be who they are.”
Dominic added, “And there were always times to do one for you. It was great to have those options. He is an actor’s director and it was really great to have those tricks added to our book. It was amazing to work with someone who really understands who we are and what we need.”
There is definitely a comradery among the cast and the director. The cast is passionate about the project and it will likely translate to the screen.
The Vampire Academy will be released on February 14, 2014.