Vampire Academy Coeds: Zoey, Lucy and Sarah
By: Lynn Barker
In the new film Vampire Academy based on the first of a popular series of novels, three high school girls deal with jealousy, rejection, peer pressure, bullies etc. You might be saying “So? That’s every day at school for me”. But, these 17-year-olds only have night classes, have fangs and are fighting other, evil vamps for their lives!
Zoey Deutch who plays Guardian half vampire Rose Hathaway in the film, co-starred as Emily in the Beautiful Creatures movie, was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s daughter in TV’s “Ringer” series and guested on her mom Lea Thompson’s TV series “Switched at Birth”. Lucy Fry, playing royal vampire princess Lissa Dragomir, has appeared on a ton of series in her native Australia and Sarah Hyland (Natalie Dashkov) is on “Modern Family” and has a load of Broadway theater and TV credits including Disney Channel Original Movie “Geek Charming”.
Fashion Patrol: Picture Zoey, dark hair up, wearing a short, red and black brocade dress with a black jacket over a white blouse and super high black heels. Lucy, long blonde hair down, is in a short, black skirt topped with a leather jacket over white blouse and sweater and, of course sky high heels. Sarah is in a bright red sleeveless dress and some killer high red sandals with cut-outs. Talk about 3 color-coordinated besties!
We ask Lucy a question before Zoey and Sarah come in.
Kidzworld: Before Zoey comes in, how was working with her? Did you hang out off set too?
- Lucy: It’s really great working with her. One of the really fun things is that Zoey is really into fashion and she took me shopping and it was the first time I’d gone shopping with a girl for fun. It’s weird. In America growing up it’s a thing that you do and I grew up (in Australia) not doing that. We would go to the beach or surfing or hiking, more of an active, outdoor kind of lifestyle. It was really fun to play with clothes with her. She’s so good at it. She’s so hilarious and playful and loving.
Kidzworld: What do you all like about your characters?
- Lucy: I love her heart. That’s the center of Lissa. She’s very loving and vulnerable and fragile in a lot of ways but she also has the deepest strength. She’s a leader, even though she is naturally shy. One of the things I loved about this film is that she loses control because she wants so much to protect Rose and to be okay in this crazy high school world so she uses her powers to manipulate everyone around her and, in doing that, she loses herself. She needed to lose control completely in order to find a balance at the end. I enjoyed playing that.
- Zoey: I liked that Rose Hathaway is passionately curious. She’s strong-willed. She’s loyal to her best friend. She’s a fighter, literally and figuratively. What I love the most about her is her sense of humor that she uses as a means of survival and a defense mechanism. I loved that about her.
- Sarah: I love that Natalie does have this unique energy. She brings something very different to the movie than any of the other characters. The movie is very comedy-driven with action and romance as well but Rose Hathaway is very dry and witty and sarcastic and she has this dark, twisted sense of humor. Natalie is so...all over the place to where it's this different type of energy. I don't want to say its slapstick, but she's definitely the person that slips on the banana and then gets laughs.
Kidzworld: How hard was getting used to wearing the contacts and the vampire fangs? Did you wear them outside of filming?
- Lucy: The contacts were awful. I did take the fangs out to wear in public. That happened. I just was with friends and everyone was like, “Wow!”
- Sarah: I wore them and looked particularly scary one day and I went knocking on Dominic's door. I like hid behind the door so when he opened it up I jumped out and scared him really bad.
Kidzworld: Who was the funny jokester on set?
- Lucy: Danila (who plays Dimitri the Guardian). I remember this time we were waiting to shoot in a school room. It was boring. He saw this book, the biggest book you’ve ever seen, massive. He pulls this book down and walks around casually reading it and doing a whole show with it. He could make anything funny. He called me “Your royal highness” and I would say “Yes, my Guardian”.
Kidzworld: What were you like in high school?
- Lucy: I was a drama nerd. I loved sports too so I just threw myself into a lot of activities and spent a lot of my time playing water polo and hockey and basketball and doing all the school plays I could get my hands on and doing theater outside of school. I played bass guitar. I think I was scared of the world of popularity than I just hid from it by doing a lot of activities.
- Sarah: I went to a performing arts school. I'm from New York. We didn't have a football team or cheerleaders or the mathletes or anything like that. It was a very welcoming high school. Granted, you're gonna run into your drama no matter what high school you go to. If it’s a musical theater, you have drama over who gets the lead or who gets what solo. But, we all had similar interests so we were all really good friends and it was a very small school. I was a social butterfly but I was also working at the same time so it was hard to keep the social life while doing theater.
Kidzworld: And Zoey, you also went to an Arts high school? What was that like?
- Zoey: It was just refreshing because I’d gone to a private school my whole life where I’d found that a lot of my peers had a lack of purpose and therefore just were so catty and awful and just were not stupid but so bored. When I went to the Arts high school, I was surrounded by people who had passion for things that were important to them. It was eye-opening and inspiring.
Kidzworld: Do you check out your fan sites?
- Lucy: I check them out every now and then when my mom says “Oh Lucy, this happened on one of your sites.” I would love to be better at social media but I think computers are allergic to me. We went to the Facebook Headquarters yesterday. I go there and they open these computers so we can go in and do this chat thing and, of course, my account shuts down. Even the Facebook people were like “We don’t know what’s happening. That’s never happened before”. It’s not my fault. It’s the internet. It hates me.
Kidzworld: Lucy, you have a little love scene with Dominic Sherwood as Christian. Was that easy?
- Lucy: It was really easy with Dom. On the second day of filming we had our kissing scene and that was awkward. “Hi, nice to meet you” and okay….but it was good to get it over with straightaway so we knew what it was like. We were really goofy with each other. It was a really easy relationship in that we make each other laugh a lot and don’t take anything too seriously.
Kidzworld: Zoey, you had a love scene with a hot older guy (Danila playing older Guardian Dimitri). Was that difficult or easy?
- Zoey: I usually deal with that kind of stuff with self-deprecating jokes. I just say to all my friends when they saw the trailer “And you saw my a**. How was that for you?”
Kidzworld: Could you kick Danila’s butt in real life?
- Zoey: Yes because he would never fight a girl. He would never hurt a woman because he’s a gentleman through and through.
Kidzworld: Zoey, when you were a kid you did a lot of dance. Did that help you with the fight moves for this movie?
- Zoey: It was helpful in that the kicks were easier for me to do because I was flexible but more so the choreography. My body was able to adapt and learn quicker for that but it didn’t help me with the martial arts because I needed to go to the gym to build muscle mass for that. A lot of training. It was the first time I set foot into a gym! I still do kick boxing and I’ve always done Yoga and hiked but I’m not much of a gym rat but Rose hates that too.
Kidzworld: Sarah, did you have to do martial arts training for that one [scene] fighting in a tight dress?
- Sarah: I did training three times a week while we were shooting and I also did stunt choreography. I did not have the privilege to do it three months in advance like Zoey did. I wish I had but it was a lot of fun! I use to dance too when I was younger so I was very active at one point in my life. It was a lot of fun to get back into it because stunt fighting is kind of like a dance in its own way so it was really interesting to do that. It was my first time ever doing something like that!
Kidzworld: Were you familiar with the book? And what did you think when you first read the script?
- Lucy: When I first read the script I loved it because of the friendship between Rose and Lissa. I think a story about female friendship is really exciting and powerful. Then, when I found out I got the part I read the book about six times. I probably over prepared for the role reading it over and over. I’m up to book three now. I didn’t want to get ahead of my character. I wanted to exist in the world of the first book. Hopefully, if we get to do the second movie I can get that story arc internalized. I’m addicted now.
- Zoey: I read the book after I got the part. I hadn’t read it before.
- Sarah: I was actually in Baton Rouge working on “Bonnie & Clyde” (TV mini-series) when I booked it so it was a really fast turnaround for me. I wasn't able to read the book before we started filming so I was reading it during filming. It was hard to read the book while filming cause you have this image of Natalie (in the script) and I had my own image of Natalie in my own head that I wanted to bring certain things to the table. I was kind of too late by the time that I got to some pivotal moments and we were like "well we already shot this so...oh well!"
Kidzworld: Are you into supernatural movies or books? Or maybe fantasy?
- Sarah: I am! I love vampires, I love zombies like so much “Walking Dead!”, Yup! Zombieland. Even like cheesy sci-fi zombie apocalypse movies. Dawn of the Dead and everything. I also like things in the fantasy world like “Game of Thrones” and “Harry Potter”. I'm a really big nerd when it comes to stuff like that. I like gooey monsters and everything!
- Lucy: Yeah. I love fantasy. “Lord of the Rings”. As a child that was my favorite series.
Kidzworld: How would you handle it in real life if you were attacked by a Strigoi (undead, evil vampire)?
- Lucy: I would probably scream for a Guardian. Rose is gonna come save me! Zoooey!
- Zoey: Hey, I’m from the Valley (in L.A.) I’d use my Valley girl accent and scream super loud and that Strigoi would go running away quicker than I can say “(screams) ahhhhhhhhhh!”
Kidzworld: Have you listened to the movie soundtrack?
- Lucy: I haven’t actually listened to it yet. I’ve seen a cut from November of the film, which I loved but I wanted to save the final cut (including the music) for the premiere.
- Zoey: I love the soundtrack. It’s super cool. I was surprised by how much I loved it when I saw the film “What! I love all these songs”.
Kidzworld: What kind of music generally do you like to listen to?
- Lucy: Kind of folk music. I go to this festival in Australia every year called Woodford Folk Festival and that’s where I delve into my music happy place. Gautier and Matt Colby and other Australian artists like Angus and Julia Stone, Babylon Circus. Fun and crazy music.
- Zoey: I’m so in a different music world right now because I’m doing a movie after this about the Allman Brothers (‘70’s bro band) called Midnight Rider so that’s all I’m listening to right now.
Kidzworld: What is in this film for people who haven’t read the books to like?
- Lucy: I think it’s just as wonderful if you haven’t read the books because you don’t have any preconceived ideas of what it’s going to be. The context of the world is explained really simply at the beginning of the movie about the Morai being the living vampires with powers, the Dhampir being half human vampires who protect the Morai from the Strigoi, the undead vampires and once you understand that context you dive into this world where everything about being a vampire is just normal and all these crazy things can happen. If you haven’t read the books, you’ll still just love it.
Kidzworld: Zoey, what was a favorite scene in the movie?
- Zoey: I loved the opening scene where it establishes Lissa and Rose’s relationship. After that things get so infiltrated by the chaos of everything around them. It’s nice to see them just being friends and enjoying each other’s company, that bond between them.
Kidzworld: How was working with Lissa’s cat Oscar?
- Lucy: The cat was the cutest thing in the world. I loved, loved the cat because I really missed my dog while filming to it was like therapy for me to get to cuddle that cat on set. Just thinking about it makes me happy.
Kidzworld: What can the audience learn from the Lissa character? Do you identify with her?
- Lucy: Everything that Lissa does comes from a place of love but she struggles to stay herself in a world that is crazy where everything is under threat. In everyday life people struggle to be themselves yet not feel too vulnerable to the world. I think everyone will relate to that internal struggle to be yourself and deal with those days when you feel out of control.
Kidzworld: Like a young actress in Hollywood.
- Lucy: (laughs) Yeah! Pretty much.
- Zoey: I hope they’ll learn from Rose’s loyalty to her friends. It’s a great message for young girls or anybody. I find things can get cloudy when you find somebody you like and make the wrong things a priority. I’ve done that and Rose is so clear about how important Lissa is to her. That’s loyal and that’s awesome. I’m not half of the friend that Rose is. Personally, I’d do anything to protect my mother, father and sister.
Kidzworld: What was your reaction when you first saw yourself on screen with fangs and feeding off a host and the like?
- Lucy: It didn’t feel like me. It was like looking at something and thinking “That’s a crazy woman over there. That’s not me”.
- Zoey: It was fun to watch the story but it wasn’t fun to watch myself even though I’m someone who, ironically, who loves attention but it’s very embarrassing and weird to watch yourself for two hours on screen. Yeah, I nit-pick. I’m hypercritical.
Kidzworld: Your character has so much narration as well as dialogue in the movie. When you saw that in the script, did you think how hard it would be?
- Zoey: Not necessarily how much dialogue there was but it was so wordy and specific. What you saw, about three fourth’s of my lines are cut. Everybody in the cast can attest that I never flubbed on my lines which I’m proud of.
Kidzworld: What makes Rose different from other supernatural heroines?
- Zoey: She is the heroine and the narrator but she makes mistakes. She’s not always right or perfect and I loved that. The lead character is, in a lot of ways, so human. She’s so sure of things and so strong and confident and you think “oh, wish I could be like her” then she screws up. I find strength it that kind of vulnerability of being wrong.
Kidzworld: How did you like your clothes in the movie, Zoey? Rose has some cool outfits. Did you keep any of them?
- Zoey: They didn’t let me keep anything but I stole a pair of sweatpants and a towel that said Saint Vladimir’s Academy. They wouldn’t give me anything. Ruth Meyers, the costume designer is so awesome. We went through so many of the leather jackets. They were from Zara because the girls discuss malls and it makes sense. I didn’t want Rose to have a really nice $2,000 get up because she doesn’t have any money or a family to pay for it.
Kidzworld: Is her style anything like yours?
- Zoey: Well, I wear black pants and combat boots.
Kidzworld: How will you celebrate the release of the movie. Do anything with the cast?
- Zoey: I have to take a red-eye after the premiere but after, I’ll eat more cheeseburgers.
- Lucy: I think we’ll probably go out afterwards but my mom is here and that’s exciting for me to have my mom and boyfriend coming to the premiere with me because they’ve supported me through the whole process and it’s been very daunting and an exciting experience so having them hold my hand makes it feel much better.
See Vampire Academy in theaters starting February 7th!