In the upcoming film Vampire Academy (based upon the series of bestselling books by Richelle Mead), Lucy Fry plays Lissa Dragomir. Lissa is a Moroi, which are peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world…
But not everyone wants to see Lissa’s life remain peaceful and discrete. Dread Central sat down with Lucy last week, and she told us all about the new movie.
Dread Central: How was working with Zoey? Did you guys become friends and did you do anything off set?
Lucy Fry: Yeah, we did. Actually, one of the really fun things is that Zoey’s really into fashion and she took me shopping. It was the first time that I’d sort of gone shopping with a girl for fun! I know, it’s weird; in America you kind of grow up and it’s a thing that you do and I grew up not really doing that. We would kind of go to the beach and go surfing or go hiking. It was more of an active, outdoor kind of lifestyle. So, yeah, it was really fun to kind of learn to play with clothes more with her and she’s so good at it so it was really fun to learn that. She’s just such a fun person to be around and she’s so hilarious and playful and really loving and sensitive.
DC: What do you like about your character in the movie?
LF: I love her heart, I think that that’s the center of Lissa, she’s really loving and vulnerable and fragile in a lot of ways but she also has a deeper strength. She’s a leader even though she’s naturally shy and one of the things that I loved about her development in the first book, is that she loses control of it because she wants so much to protect Rose and to be okay in this crazy high school world that she uses her powers to manipulate everyone around her and in doing that she loses herself. And she needed to lose control completely in order to find a balance at the end and I really enjoyed playing that arc of craziness in order to get to the piece at the end.
DC: Was it hard to get used to wearing the contacts and the fake fangs? Did you take them out at all for a test drive in the real world?
LF: Yeah. I have taken the fangs out, yes that happened!
DC: Where did you take them out?
LF: It was actually just with friends, I kind of just pulled them out and was like, “Oh look at these!” and everyone was like, “Oh my god, they’re real!”
DC: What was your relationship with Danila [Kozlovsky] like on set?
LF: He’s amazing. He is such a good person, he’s so… just fun and goofy and playful and deep, as well. He’s such a great actor.
DC: I think most of the cast said that he’s the funniest on set… Is there a certain story about that? Everybody says he’s funny, but is there anything specific?
LF: We’re all in love with Danila, we all wanna marry him. I remember this one time, we were waiting in a room, in a school, and it was just such a boring room and then randomly he saw this book that was like the biggest book you’ve ever seen, it was like half a meter, just this massive book and he just pulls this book down and starts goofing around pretending as though he’s just reading it casually and walking around in the room with this book and just doing this whole skit show with the book. He’s that kind of guy who can just make anything funny.
DC: So, he was the jokester on set then?
LF: Yeah, definitely.
DC: What kind of pranks did they do?
LF: We didn’t really play pranks on each other so much as just being silly. It was more like just making light of the situation and the darkness and the vampire stuff just kind of being goofy as opposed to tricking each other.
DC: I read in the movie companion that Danila said he would call you ‘Royal Highness’ and you would say, ‘Yes, my Guardian’?
LF: Yes, that was true! *laughs* That was true.
DC: What was your own high school experience like? I mean, were you sporty? Cause it sounds like you might’ve been sporty. Or were you popular or nerdy?
LF: No, I wasn’t really popular or nerdy. Well, I guess I was nerdy, I was a drama nerd. That’s true. And I loved sports, so I kind of 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 that I could get my hands on and theatre outside of school and playing bass guitar. Just more doing stuff, I think that I was so scared of the world of popularity and girls that I just hid from it by doing activities.
DC: So, you’re not very big on social media but do you keep up with your fansites? Do you know about them, more or less?
LF: I see them every now and then, when my mom is like, “Oh, Lucy, this happened on one of your sites!” I’m like, “Okay, thanks mom!” But yeah, I would love to be better at social media but I really feel like computers are allergic to me. We went to the Facebook headquarters yesterday and if you’re gonna learn how to do it right anywhere, that’s the place. And I go there and we open these computers to sign and do this chat thing and of course, my account shuts down! And even the Facebook people were like, “We don’t know what’s happening! This has never happened before!”
DC: The internet hates you!
LF: It does! It’s not my fault, it’s the internet!
DC: You have a little bit of a love scene with Dominic [Sherwood]; did you guys do anything to bond off set to build that chemistry?
LF: It was actually really easy with Dom. On the second day of filming we had our first kissing scene and that was really awkward, of course. It was like “Hi! Nice to meet you… okay…” But it was good to get it over with straight away, so it was like ‘Oh, okay, now we know what that’s like; that’s fine’. We’re really goofy with each other and it was a really easy relationship, in that we make each other laugh a lot and don’t take anything too seriously, so that made it fun.
DC: Are you familiar with the book? What was your first impression when you received the script?
LF: When I first read the script, I loved it because of the friendship between Rose and Lissa; I think that a story about female friendship is really exciting and powerful. When I found out that I got the part, I read the book about six times. I probably over-prepared for the role by reading over and over and over. I’m up to book three now because I didn’t want to get ahead of my character; I wanted to just exist in the world of the first book. And then, when we finished, I wanted to read the second one so that hopefully when we get to make the second movie I can get that story arc internalized. But I’m so addicted now that I just can’t stop, so I’m probably gonna finish it pretty soon.
DC: If this does well, are you prepared to come back and do sequels?
LF: Definitely, yeah. I would love to.
DC: Are you a fan of the supernatural, either movies or books, in the past? Anything particular that you like?
LF: Yeah, I love fantasy. Lord of the Rings, as a child that was my favorite series.
DC: How would you handle yourself in real life if you ran into a Strigoi?
LF: Well, I would probably scream for a Guardian cause I would just assume that it was one of the Strigois from the film. I’d be like, “Rose is gonna come save me, of course!”
DC: Or you’d be like, “Zoey, where are you?”
LF: Yeah! ‘ZOEY!!’
DC: Have you gotten a chance to listen to the soundtrack?
LF: 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 absolute final cut for the premiere.
DC: What kind of music do you like to listen to then?
LF: I love sort of folk music. I go to this festival every year in Australia called ‘Woodford Folk Festival’ and that’s where I sort of delve into my music happy place. Which is Gotye, Matt Corby, a lot of other Australian artists like Angus and Julia Stone, Cat Empire and Babylon Circus. Really, just fun crazy music I love.
DC: How would you explain the film to people who have not read the book, say like, an adult? What’s in it for them to enjoy?
LF: Well, I think it’s just as wonderful if you haven’t read the books, if not more so because you don’t have any preconceived ideas of what it’s going to be. They explain the context of the world really simply at the beginning about the Moroi being the living vampires with powers, the Dhampir being the half human-half moroi who protect the Moroi 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 so all these crazy things can happen and it’s just sort of assumed that of course crazy things happen because we’re in this world. So, I think that, yeah, if you haven’t read the books, you’ll just love it.
DC: I thought it was a lot lighter and more fun than the Harry Potter movies, there was really nobody whiny in this movie. No angst, it was fun… I liked it.
LF: Yeah, I’m glad! I think that’s the great thing about having Mark, who directed ‘Mean Girls,’ in it to drive the ship. To keep it really fun and quirky and bright.
DC: Your character got to do some fun stuff, like the mind control and the flipping of the hair when you were flirting. Did you pull from any real life personality traits for that?
LF: No, I think I more learnt from my character through real life. I wanna be able to have a powerful neck!
DC: So, that’s not your flirting move in real life?
LF: No! I’m normally really awkward in real life.
DC: How was working with that cat?
LF: Oh my god, the cat was the cutest thing in the world! I just loved, loved, loved, loved the cat, especially cause I really missed my dog while we were filming so it was like therapy for me to get to cuddle this cat on set and just thinking about it makes me happy.
DC: Lissa is a really adorable character, what did you learn from her? This is a question from the fans: Do you identify yourself more with Lila from “Mako Mermaids” or Lissa?
LF: I think I identify more with Lissa, in that everything she does comes from a place of love, but she struggles in order to stay herself in a world that is crazy and where everything is under threat. She loses control at a certain point in the film when she decides she really wants to protect Rose and use her powers to manipulate other people in order to feel safe. And I think that is a really interesting thing in everyday life, people sort of struggling to be themselves and yet to not feel vulnerable to the world and that balance of being honest and feeling secure. It was a really, really interesting character for me to play in order to find that balance, and I think that everyone will relate to that internal struggle of wanting to relax and be yourself and also how to manage those days when you just feel out of control.
DC: Was it crazy to see yourself on screen wearing fangs and the contacts and feeding off of human hosts? What was your reaction when you saw that for the first time?
LF: It didn’t feel like me; it was like looking at something and being like, “Wow, that’s a crazy, crazy woman over there. That’s not me!”
DC: One of your fansites wanted to know how you’re planning to celebrate the release of the movie… Are you gonna do something fun with the cast?
LF: Yeah, I think we’ll probably go out afterwards. But my mom’s here and that’s one of the most exciting things for me is having my mom and my boyfriend coming to the premiere with me cause they’ve supported me through the whole process and it’s been really a sort of daunting and simultaneously terrifying and exciting experience so to have them holding my hand makes it feel much better.
Based on the bestselling book series by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy will open in theaters on February 7, 2014. It’s directed by Mark Waters, written by Daniel Waters, and stars Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne, Sarah Hyland, Joely Richardson, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Claire Foy, and Ashley Charles.
VAMPIRE ACADEMY tells the legend of Rose Hathaway (Deutch) and Lissa Dragomir (Fry), two 17-year-old girls who attend a hidden boarding school for Moroi (mortal, peaceful Vampires) and Dhampirs (half-vampire/half-human guardians). Rose, a rebellious Guardian-in-training and her best friend, Lissa – a royal vampire Princess – have been on the run when they are captured and returned to St. Vladamir’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 mentor and love interest, Dimitri (Kozlovsky), 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 from outside its sanctuary.
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