Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters (2014) Production Notes

Title AKA: Vampire Academy
Director: Mark Waters
Main Cast: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Sarah Hyland, Cameron Monaghan, Olga Kurylenko
AKA: Vampire Academy
Release Date: 2014-02-14
Age Rating: 5 V
Runtime: 105 mins. / 1 h 45 m

Vampire Academy tells the legend of Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, two 17-year-old girls who attend a hidden boarding school for Moroi (mortal, peaceful vampires) and Dhampir (half-vampire/half-human guardians to the Moroi).

Rose, a rebellious Dhampir and guardian-in-training, and her best friend, Lissa – a Moroi Princess - have been on the run when they are captured and returned to St.Vladimir’s Academy, the very place where they believe their lives may be in most jeopardy.

Thrust back into the perils of Moroi society and high school, Lissa struggles to reclaim her status while Rose trains with her guardian mentor and love-interest, Dimitri, to guarantee her place as Lissa’s guardian. Rose will sacrifice everything to protect Lissa from those who intend to exploit her from within the Academy walls and the Strigoi (immortal, evil vampires) who hunt her kind.

Please note: Some production notes may contain spoilers.

Vampire Academy is produced by Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham, Buena Vista Social Club) of Kintop Pictures, Don Murphy and Susan Montford (Transformers, Real Steel) of Montford Murphy Productions, and Mike Preger (Village of The Damned, The Day of The Triffids) of Preger Entertainment. The film is executive produced by Stuart Ford of IM Global and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company. The Weinstein Company will distribute in North America and IM Global are handling international sales. Production financing was provided by Reliance Entertainment and Union Bank.

Vampire Academy is based on the first book from Richelle Mead’s New York Times best-selling series about Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, two teenage girls who attend St.Vladimir’s Academy, a hidden boarding school for the Moroi (mortal, peaceful vampires) and the Dhampir (half-vampire/half-human guardians to the Moroi).

Mark Waters (Mr.Popper’s Penguins, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Mean Girls, Freaky Friday) directs from a screenplay by Daniel Waters (Batman Returns, Heathers).

Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) plays the role of Rose, Dhampir and best friend to the Moroi Princess, Lissa, who is played by Lucy Fry (Lightning Point). Amongst the other cast are Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky (Dukhless) in the role of Dimitri Belikov; Gabriel Byrne (Vikings) as Prince Victor Dashov, the Academy elder; Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion) as Headmistress Ellen Kirova; Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Queen Tatiana; Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) as Victor’s daughter Natalie; Claire Foy (White Heat) as Ms Karp; Cameron Monaghan (Shameless) as Rose’s friend Mason; Dominic Sherwood (Not Fade Away) as Christian, the love interest of Lissa; Sami Gayle (Blue Bloods) as Lissa’s nemesis Mia, and Ashley Charles (All Is By My Side) plays Jesse.

Mark Waters’ creative collaborators include director of photography Tony Pierce-Roberts, production designer Frank Walsh, costume designer Ruth Myers, hair and make-up designer Pamela Haddock and editor Chris Gill, with VFX work by Prime Focus World and SFX by Elements Special Effects.

Vampire Academy was filmed on location in the U.K.

The Three Different Types Of Vampires

MOROI are both royal and non-royal vampires. They are mortal and peaceful. Every Moroi has an elemental power which they specialize in: earth, wind, fire or water. They have fangs and drink the blood of humans, or Dhampir’s, to survive. Sunlight irritates them. They are often pale and tall.

There are only 12 royal Moroi families. Lissa is the last in the line of the Dragomir’s.

The DHAMPIR are half-vampire/half-human. They are often dark-haired, have heightened senses, and they are physically stronger than the Moroi. Dhampir’s lives are dedicated to protecting to the Moroi. They do not have fangs and they do not drink blood, they can eat whatever they want. They endure physical training to become guardians and learn to be warriors: fighting, decapitating and staking if necessary to protect the Mori from the un-dead Strigoi. They live by one simple expression “They (Moroi) come first.”

STRIGOI are the most dangerous of vampires. They are the immortal un-dead. Strigoi only come out at night and they can slaughter you with their heightened power and speed. They are very hard to defeat, even for a highly trained Dhampir guardian. They live outside of society and thirst for Moroi blood to retain their immortality. They would like to kill off the last 12 remaining royal Moroi families and take over society. To kill a Strigoi a silver stake must be driven through their heart.

There are two ways to turn Strigoi: 1) For a Moroi to choose to turn Strigoi, they must purposefully kill a human during feeding; 2) Strigoi have the ability to turn a Moroi, Dhampir, or a human, into one of them with a single, sustained bite.

Dhampir’s have Molnijia marks tattooed on their necks if they kill a Strigoi. Dimitri has six on his neck.

Long Synopsis

After being in hiding for two years, Rose (Rosemarie Hathaway), a Dhampir, and Lissa (Princess Vasilisa Dragomir), a Moroi, both 17 years of age, have been caught by the guardians and brought back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, the school they had run away from. In a meeting with Headmistress Ellen Kirova, the girls, and Rose in particular, are scolded for putting Lissa, the last remaining member of the royal Dragomir family, in danger. The Strigoi, the group of vampires who have broken off from the Moroi to become immortal, and drink Moroi blood to do so, would have loved to kill off one of the last 12 remaining royal families. Kirova tells Lissa that she will stay and finish school, but to her guardian-in-training Rose, she says she has no obligation to keep her there. The girl’s protest, but Dimitri Belikov, the guardian in his mid-20s, who found them and brought them back to the school, tells Kirova the girls have a true psychic bond. Rose is surprised to hear that he knows this. She is able to feel what Lissa is feeling emotionally, as well as see what she is doing and thinking when she is not with her, but she had not realized anyone knew about it. After pleading and reasoning, Kirova agrees to let Rose stay at the school under the terms that she will attend all classes, including extra guardian lessons with Dimitri, and she forbids all social activities for her. Despite the bleak looking school year, Prince Victor Dashkov, Lissa’s sick uncle-type figure, is happy to see the girls safe and back at school.

In school, Rose has a hard time respecting her teachers, but accepts that she needs the classes and is behind in her schooling. She knows she needs to focus on her guardian training in the hope she will be paired with Lissa as her true guardian after they graduate. After all her morning classes, Rose meets up with Lissa to discuss how they are settling back in and what their plan should be. Lissa suggests that instead of running away again, they should stay. Though she’s only been back less then a day, Lissa feels safer there than she had for the two years prior, when the feeling that someone was following her was omnipresent. Rose agrees to stay at school as long as she and Lissa can keep a low profile and coast through, without getting caught up in the royal popularity stakes and social events, which are emotionally draining for Lissa as she prefers quiet situations. Rose on the other hand, loves to have fun and attend non-official parties.

People all over the school continue to remind the girls about the threat of Strigoi and how lucky they were to have survived on the outside. Though both are vampires, Moroi and Strigoi differ in very important ways: Moroi are alive, born, and mortal, but Strigoi are un-dead, made, and immortal. Strigoi’s are made in two ways: the first is if a Moroi is tempted by immortality and purposely kills a human during a feeding to become Strigoi. The second way is by being bitten by a Strigoi, who can turn a human, a Dhampir or a Moroi into a Strigoi with a single bite.

Lissa runs into Christian Ozera, a boy in her year whose parents had turned Strigoi and have been killed. Lissa is surged with emotion seeing him and Rose feels this and allows herself to secretly delve ‘into Lissa’s head and thoughts’, seeing and feeling everything that Lissa does. Rose is concerned for Lissa, but it becomes clear that for the moment, Christian is just a boy who is shamed and hated for his parents wrongdoing. Rose is worried because she can tell that they both have feelings for one another and she thinks Christian could potentially be dangerous.

Lissa and Rose reunite with other students, including Aaron, Lissa’s old boyfriend who is now dating Mia Rinaldi, a Moroi girl a year younger than them who hates Rose and Lissa. Rose finds a flirtation with Jesse, a Moiri boy who is one of the most handsome boys in the school, though, deep down, she has a crush on Dimitri, her guardian mentor. Rose also reconnects with her old Dhampir friends, Mason in particular. As a way of staying off of the royals’ radar, Rose and Lissa start hanging out with Lissa’s cousin, Natalie, Victor’s daughter. They think Natalie is nice, but boring, and it is arranged that Lissa will be her roommate.

After settling into their non-descript school lives, Rose senses Lissa is distressed and finds that someone has placed a dead fox on her bed in her dorm room. It becomes big news on campus and gossip spreads like wildfire. Lissa and Rose are in class when a boy, Ralf, starts harassing them about the fox. All of a sudden, he bursts into flames. Christian had used his elemental power of fire to quash the teasing, not only from Ralf, but from all the students. Every Moroi has an elemental power that they specialize in: earth, wind, fire or water. Later, Christian tells Lissa that he did it for her. Rose can see Lissa’s entire conversation with Christian in her head. Rose decides she needs to blow off some steam and invites Jesse to meet her. They are fooling around when Dimitri bursts in the door and pulls Jesse off of Rose. Rose is surprised to learn she really cares that she disappointed Dimitri and promises to work harder and focus on training. He tells her that if she does, he will teach her to fight so that after graduation, she will be prepared to fend off Strigoi and protect Lissa.

Rose still thinks about the dead animal encounters. Previously, two years ago, a raven fell out of the sky right near the girls. It was on the brink of death, when Lissa couldn’t help but stroke it’s wing. Then, like nothing had happened, the bird hopped back up and flew away. Lissa had healed it. The girls were told to never talk about the incident again to anyone by their teacher at the time, Ms. Karp, whom everyone thought was crazy and had happened upon the situation while walking through the school grounds alone as she often did.

Rose learns that St. Vladimir, the school’s patron saint and a Moroi, could heal animals, and had a special bond with his Dhampir, Anna. A bond similar to the one she shares with Lissa.

The entire school has found out about Jesse and Rose’s rendezvous, and have been gossiping about it, as Mia has pushed Jesse, and Ralf, to exaggerate what happened. Jesse and Ralf have told everyone they both had sex with Rose, though neither did, and she let them bite her while they were doing it. A Dhampir who does this is known as a blood whore, and it is considered the most sordid thing she can do. This is much worse than just being called a slut. No one can stop talking about it and Rose feels uncomfortable, as even though it did not happen with the boys, she knows she did let Lissa bite her and drink her blood when they were on their own outside of the school in order for Lissa to survive, and that secretly she liked the high it gave her.

Lissa is livid about the boy’s lies and swears that she will fix everything for Rose. Lissa uses compulsion, the ability to get other people to do exactly what you want without question on the other students and guardians, a rare quality in vampires. They all temporarily have no control of themselves. She also uses compulsion to ingratiate herself with the popular, royal Moroi students she has avoided since returning to school in order to quash the rumors and also to satisfy her need to live up to the expectations of what she thinks her family would have wanted. Lissa’s parents and brother were killed in a car accident two years prior, and Lissa frequently feels she is letting her family down.

Lissa then finds a dead dove placed in her backpack and a tortured rabbit in her dorm room. Rose does the best she can to calm Lissa down, and assure her that it is nothing to worry about, even though Rose does not believe it herself. This is worse than before when they had run away from the school two years ago having decided to escape the night of the raven incident as Ms. Karp had warned Rose to get Lissa out of the school, saying she would never be safe there and people would always want to destroy her, and the more she used her healing powers, the worse it would become. Two weeks later they had run away as Rose felt this was the only way she could protect Lissa.

Following her secret compulsion act, Lissa becomes part of the popular Moroi group again and the rumors about Rose’s sexual exploits die down. Lissa starts dating Aaron again, and as there is the school Equinox dance coming up, Lissa talks Rose into going. Before the dance, Natalie’s father, Victor, takes them all shopping for new dresses to a local mall. Rose and Lissa are happy to be out in the human world again. Rose is allowed out of the school grounds on the understanding the mall trip will be used as a field exercise in guardian training, and they will be accompanied by Dimitri and other guardians. The trip to the mall is a success, both in terms of getting dresses for the dance, and as a guardian test for Rose.

After returning to school from the mall, Rose trips and her ankle snaps, which causes her to pass out from the pain. She is taken to the school hospital, where after waking up, she is told she has sustained no serious injury. She temporarily accepts this and opens a gift from Victor. He has bought her a beautiful necklace, a rose pendant that she and Lissa had been admiring at the mall. Rose then starts to question what happened to her ankle again, since she is certain she heard it break. Dimitri tells her she was writhing in pain, which the doctors attributed to shock, but that she calmed down significantly when Lissa was by her side. Rose suddenly realizes that it was Lissa who healed her and that is why the doctor had found nothing wrong with her ankle. She also realizes this is why she is alive at all.

Rose and Lissa had been in the same car accident that killed the rest of Lissa’s family and everyone said it was miraculous Rose had not died. Now she realizes it was because of Lissa. Rose also understands there is a link between Lissa using her magic and her mood. A deep depression sets in for Lissa afterwards, alongside feelings of weakness and lethargy. Rose wonders what state Lissa is in now and opens herself up to Lissa and tries to get back into her head. She finds that Lissa is sad and weighed down by all of the issues she has to deal with and when this happens bloody cuts appear across her arms and back.

Lissa is brought to the school hospital to recover where, after she wakes up, she learns Rose told on her, and she is angry with her and refuses to speak to her anymore. It is hard for Rose not to be concerned for Lissa all of the time, but she occupies herself by focusing on her growing feelings for Dimitri. The night of the Equinox dance comes and by this point rumors are circulating all over school about Lissa’s time in the hospital. Mia, who still has an intense hatred for the girls, upsets Lissa at the dance and then provokes Rose until she can it take no more and hits her in the face. Rose knows this will potentially get her kicked out of school as the guardians pull her away and drag her out of the dance to Headmistress Kirova’s office.

After getting yelled at by Kirova, Rose forces herself to calm down and go into Lissa’s head to make sure she is ok. She sees Christian and Lissa, and at first sees that Lissa has calmed down slightly, when all of a sudden, a group of men swarm them, but they are not Strigoi, they appear to be guardians which confuses Rose. They knock out Christian and kidnap Lissa. Rose snaps herself out of Lissa’s head and knows she needs Dimitri’s urgent help. She is still wearing her clothes from the dance, a slinky black dress and the rose pendant from Victor. She runs to Dimitri’s room, and finds she is suddenly overcome with lust and love for him. The feelings she has had for so long about her mentor are suddenly the only thing she can think of. She can’t even remember what the important news was that drove her to his room in the first place. For the first time, he responds to her the way she wants him to. For all their training sessions he had remained professional and focused, but when he opens the door for her now, he is voracious. They kiss and begin to take off their clothes but when he removes her necklace, something happens. Rose still wants him but her urgency to be with him has dispelled. Dimitri feels embarrassed and disappointed he has let it get that far as he realizes the necklace was under a compulsion spell, forcing them to act that way. Rose remembers why she went to him and tells him Lissa has been kidnapped. They run to tell Kirova.

After confirming Lissa is no longer on school grounds, and guardians find Christian, Kirova gathers a group of teachers and guardians to look for her. Rose slips back into Lissa’s head to find out where she is and they leave in a convoy for Victor’s Lodge. Rose has a hard time concentrating, as she is still consumed with embarrassment over what just happened with Dimitri.

Lissa is surprised and outraged to find Victor has kidnapped her. He tells her he needs her to heal him, that he would have become ruler of the Moroi if not for his genetic disease, Sandovsky disease, which ages him and makes him ill. He reveals it was him who left all of the dead animals, with the help of his daughter, Natalie, and who caused Rose to trip and fall, all because he needed to be absolutely sure Lissa truly had the power to heal. He tells her that he will need to keep her captive forever because she will need to continuously heal him, despite the damage it will wreak on her body and mind. Lissa refuses to help him but he has one of his guardians torture her until she breaks. She heals him just as the convoy from the school pull up. As all hell breaks loose, Lissa though weak, manages to use compulsion on the guardian holding her captive and escapes from the house into the dark night.

Dimitri and the guardians capture Victor, once they have fought off the disloyal guardians. Rose seeks Lissa’s whereabouts in her mind and Christian appears having hidden in one of the vehicles. They both go to find her when they are attacked by highly dangerous PSI hounds, an advanced breed of intelligent wolf-hybrids. Rose and Christian fight them off in order to keep them away from Lissa but Christian is attacked before the guardians can get out of the lodge to help them. On the brink of death, Lissa goes to him but she cannot heal him as he is too weak. Rose allows Lissa to bite her and use her blood to regain her strength, so she can then heal Christian.

Back at school, it is agreed Lissa’s special powers will be kept a secret. They bring Victor back to the school and temporarily imprison him in a secure cell until the royal Moroi court can get there to handle the matter. Natalie has been imprisoned too for conspiring with her father. After staying a couple of days in the school hospital, Rose, Lissa and Christian are restored back to health. Rose goes to see Victor in his cell because she still cannot fully understand his motives. He answers her questions, telling her that the lust compulsion curse on the necklace would not have worked if the feeling weren’t already there, and that Lissa did in fact bring her back to life after the car accident, forging their bond, and leaving her shadow-kissed. Shadow-kissed means Rose has seen death, but has been brought back from it by Lissa’s healing powers. He also explains to her his desire to be the King of the Moroi is in part so they no longer play the victims, that they must fight alongside their Dhampir guardians in order to defeat the Strigoi. They are interrupted when Natalie walks in. She has escaped from her cell. Rose sees Natalie’s eyes are red and that her mouth drips blood. The realization hits Rose that Natalie has become a Strigoi.

Rose hesitates to fight Natalie, which causes her to get knocked down by Natalie who is now much stronger than Rose since she turned Strigoi. Rose feels saddened knowing Natalie must have turned to please her father. Victor tells Rose that it was a necessary evil in order to carry out his plan. She can see the bloodlust forming in Natalie and that she is going to try to bite her and turn her. As Rose is attacked by Natalie, Dimitri runs in and fights her too. Natalie fends off Dimitri and continues her assault on Rose, until finally, Rose lands a silver stake through Natalie’s heart, killing her.

Victor is removed from his prison cell to be dealt with by the royal Moroi court. Dimitri’s lessons with Rose cease and they do not talk about the love charm necklace incident, until one day, he tells Rose they can never be together as they will both likely be assigned to guard Lissa, and if he fell in love with Rose, he would be more likely to protect her than Lissa, his assigned Moroi, which he cannot do. Rose is hurt but understands. Lissa begins to officially date Christian and promises not to use her healing magic or compulsion anymore…

The Filmmakers

From page to screen:
“Seeing the book come to life in a movie is like taking what I visualized in my head and making it even bigger and better. Book writing and filmmaking are two different mediums. I specialize in book writing, and I feel pretty good about doing that, but to put something on a big screen, to make it larger than life, that’s a whole different art form and it blows me away to see what Mark Waters and the rest of the team working on the movie can do. It’s just incredible to have people who specialize in this kind of art form, those visual talents, bringing this to life.”

MARK WATERS (Director):
Two female leads:
There’s very few movies that actually have two strong female characters who aren’t at odds with each other, who actually talk to each other. The great thing about our movie is that the primary relationship, the relationship that you’re most interested in seeing mended at the end is that relationship of Rose and Lissa.

On casting:
“We went against the grain. We cast three unknown leads as one of my thoughts was the idea that we needed actors the audience could own, supported by good supporting cast to give it gravitas.”

On Vampire Academy:
“I heard Mark Waters say he saw it as a high school movie, rather than a vampire movie. It sort of put everything in place. It just happens to be set in that world but predominantly it’s a high school movie, and that makes it uniquely different to vampire films where they come out in the nighttime and there is always somebody lurking around the corner. In Vampire Academy they come out at night to study and it changes the dynamics of the genre.”

On the appeal of Vampire Academy:
“You’ve got a bond between two girls and I think every sort of teenager understands that when you make that very first best friend, and you have that incredible connection, they become the most important person in the world to you. I think it really touches into that first experience with your first best friend, with either a girl or a boy.”

DON MURPHY (Producer)
On the screenwriter and director:
“I think as we were approaching the books, and this project, we kept just sticking to the fact that this was a high school movie and they happen to be vampires. One of the greatest high school movies of all time was Heathers (written by Daniel Waters), and as luck would have it one of the other great high school movies of all time is Mean Girls (directed by Mark Waters). The way to relate to it is as a high school movie, which just happens to have some vampires in it.”

MIKE PREGER (Producer)
On the fans of the book series:
“There is a huge fan base and it is international in scope. The entire creative team from the get-go felt a very strong commitment to preserve this world and incorporate all of the beats of the story and preserve the characters as best we can. We think we’re pretty much on target and the fans are really, really going to like it.”

DANIEL WATERS (Screenwriter)
A new take on the vampire genre:
“Let’s face it, we’ve all seen a vampire movie. We’re past the point in this culture where people are going to go ‘Oh my goodness those teeth are turning into fangs, and they are drinking blood, this is crazy.’ So I took the approach, and one of the things I love most about the book is it takes the same approach, it’s like, ‘Hey these are vampires but they’re also going to high school’ and I think you bring in real world problems like bullying, but you put it in a weird kind of allegorical kind of way, and when you’re thinking you’re going to see a vampire movie you bring in these real emotions and then when it starts to get too much like a John Hughes movie you pull out the fangs! It’s about keeping people off balance. I think it’s definitely not your normal vampire movie.”

FRANK WALSH (Production designer)
On the look of the sets:
“I wanted to try and create contrasting spaces, mixing old and new. I was quite keen to mix in references from other periods. For instance, the security cells are rather weird, gothic, subterranean chambers and we wanted to have a hi-tech environment in there so we built this shiny diamond of a set piece within it. With the training field I was quite keen to establish a design ethos for that whole sequence. Shooting in an open space at night I had to design something that we could light and I was very keen that the lighting become a design element.”

JAMES O’DONNELL (Stunt co-ordinator)
About the inventive and dynamic fight scenes:
“One of the things Mark Waters was keen to do was develop a style of fighting that we could imagine would develop through a course of guided training. We wanted something fresh, something new, which is always difficult. So I actually had to sit down and think what would the philosophy of vampire fighting be? And particularly when you’re fighting a Strigoi, the main adversary. One of the things I looked at was Aikido, which I’ve been doing for many years, Ju-jitsu, Krav Maga, and a few other ‘kicking’ arts, plus sword arts. A Strigoi is like fighting an elephant, you can’t punch it - it won’t notice as it’s so strong. It’s direct, it’ll just be running at you, so we developed our style around fighting a moving elephant. We sort of built these rules about the style, and some basic stances and moves, which then have the ability to develop at a more advanced stage.”

Developing the stances and techniques:
“We came up with basic stake patterns, empty hand patterns, multiple attacks for dealing with Strigoi’s. We have very basic stances where we’re guarding the neck, very much a Strigoi first response, guard your neck and find a way out - it’s a bit like if you see Agent Smith in the Matrix, don’t fight him, get out of it, unless there’s three of you. We had this rule about three guardians being the minimum that was needed to take down a Strigoi and we came up with ways of dealing with that and introduced it into the film. The only guardian who really takes on a Strigoi is Dimitri on his own, because he’s a god. He is also very humble and traditional in his martial arts. All of our techniques have a function and there’s a philosophy. The guardians have a Vladimir salute, which they do at the beginning and end of each battle. We tied in as much as we could from the books into that style. It’s been really exciting and I’ve loved working on it.”

The Cast

ZOEY DEUTCH plays ROSE HATHAWAY (Dhampir (guardian-in-training)
About Rose:
“I think the qualities of Rose Hathaway that make her amusing are her immense passion for all things, which kind of translates into an inability to hold back feelings and express everything that she’s thinking. I don’t think she quite understands the idea that honesty without compassion is kind of cruelty. She’s someone who just says it how it is, whether it’s going to upset someone or not. She’s a badass through and through.”

On her stunt training:
“When I got cast back in Los Angeles, I trained for a couple of months, both gym and fight training. And then I came out to London and I had two weeks to do intense stunt training, and those two weeks were the most vital, the most important part in terms of my preparation.”

On Rose and Lissa’s friendship:
“I’m so excited for all the fans of Vampire Academy to see this movie. It’s so rare that there’s a story about a friendship between two girls. You see it a lot with two guys and their friendship and their ‘bromance’. It excites me that there’s a new and inspiring story for young girls to see. I admire Rose and Lissa for their true friendship.”

About Lissa:
“Lissa is a really sweet, loving, sensitive Moroi. She’s someone people want to be around because she gives them all of her attention, and her heart, and she has this sweet joyous energy, as well as being really trusting.”

On Lissa and Rose’s friendship:
“As a teenager your friends are the ones you go to all the time and I think it’s really great that there’s a film about girls and friendship in this way. Lissa and Rose are always there to support each other, no matter what they’re going through. They just happen to be in this magical world where Lissa is a Moroi vampire princess and her best friend Rose is a Dhampir, her guardian and a really strong fighter.”

On her friendship with Zoey:
“Zoey and I, it’s hilarious, we are pretty much exactly like Rose and Lissa. Zoey is so energetic, passionate, fiery and is always running around, dancing and singing and filled with joy. And I’m quite calm and peaceful, and maybe a little bit dreamy, and so our personalities have almost moulded into a very similar relationship as to what our characters are like.”

DANILA KOZLOVSKY plays DIMITRI BELIKOV (Dhampir (top-ranking guardian)
About Dimitri:
“Dimitri Belikov is Russian but he has been living in America for years and he's rather mysterious. He reads old cowboy books. He likes listening to old music. He loves to wear his long leather coat.”

About Vampire Academy:
“Vampire Academy is a very unique story because it’s not about vampires who love to drink blood, it’s about vampires who have normal problems. They are sometimes happy, sometimes upset, they fall in love, they kind of live like normal people, but at the same time they are vampires, or half vampires, in another world inside the real world.”

GABRIEL BYRNE plays PRINCE VICTOR DASHOV (Moroi (senior elder)
About Victor Dashov:
“I play Prince Victor Dashkov and he’s a benign and overseeing kind of character in the Academy. He suffers from a disease peculiar to vampires called Sandovsky syndrome but he is very much in charge of everything with Headmistress Kirova. What his motivations are remain to be seen.”

About Headmistress Kirova:
“My character is really eccentric and quite funny too. I had never played a character like this and I thought it was a fun new thing to do. Kirova is a Moroi, so she drinks blood, which is very exciting. I got to have fangs. Kirova wants to protect Lissa and she doesn’t get on her nerves as much as Rose does. Lissa is a nice girl, she is a princess and she is sweet. Rose is a bad influence on Lissa and she is Kirova’s biggest concern.”

SARAH HYLAND plays NATALIE DASHOV (Moroi (daughter of Victor Dashov)
About Natalie:
“I play Natalie Dashkov and she is very geeky, kind of like the typical loser of the school. She is not the most fashion orientated. I have to wear glasses, they make my hair really crazy and I wear fake pimples. Natalie becomes friends with Rose and Lissa when they come back to the school. They’re trying to stay off the social radar and clearly Natalie is the person to befriend if you want to stay off the social radar.”

The Locations

St.Vladimir’s Academy is hidden deep within a remote woods outside Montana, USA. It is another world within the real world, where the vampire residents go about their daily life at night and sleep during the day to avoid sunlight.

Vampire Academy filmed in the UK for eight weeks in 2013 from late May through to mid-July. The majority of filming took place on location, five weeks of which were nightshoots, in order to create the nighttime world of vampires.

The UK, with its historical buildings and landscapes, provided the perfect setting to create the unique but traditional world of Vampire Academy.