In the upcoming film Vampire Academy (based upon the series of bestselling books by Richelle Mead), Zoey Deutch plays heroine Rose Hathaway. She’s a Dhampir, half human/half vampire, and a guardian of her Moroi best friend, Lissa (Lucy Fry).
Dread Central sat down with Zoey last week, and she told us all about the new movie.
Dread Central: What do you like about this character [Rose Hathaway]?
Zoey Deutch: Oh my gosh. How many times have I answered that question? What did I like about this character… 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 physically – and to me, what I love most about her is her sense of humor and that she uses it as a means of survival and as a defense mechanism. I loved that about her.
DC: You had a love scene with a sexy older gentleman. Is that nerve-wrecking that you get nervous for your parents and friends to see that?
ZD: Nah. I just kind of deal with that kind of stuff with self-deprecating jokes. I just kind of say to all my friends when they see the trailer, “And you saw my ass! How is that for you?”
DC: You’re very kick-ass in the movie with Danila [Kozlovsky]; do you think you can kick his ass in real life?
ZD: Kick Danila’s ass in real life? Yes, because he would never fight a girl! He would never hurt a woman. He’s a gentleman through and through.
DC: As a kid you did some dancing. Was that helpful in the learning of martial arts for this?
ZD: It was helpful in terms of any of the kicks to do because I was flexible. And more so for the choreography because my body was able to adapt and learn quicker for that. But it did not help me with the martial arts because I needed to build muscle mass. It’s a lot of gym training.
DC: What was the first thing you had to do for this film?
ZD: It was the training. Yeah, I was reading the books and training.
DC: Was it the first time in your life to do this kind of thing?
ZD: It was the first time I set foot into a gym… and I don’t recommend it!
DC: Have you kept it up with all the muscle workouts and everything?
ZD: Absolutely not. I mean, I still do like kick-boxing and I’ve always done yoga and hiked a lot. But I’m not so much of a gym rat. Which – hey – Rose Hathaway would totally agree! She hates that!
DC: So how would you personally, as Zoey Deutch, handle a Strigoi in real life?
ZD: I’m from the Valley! I’d use my Valley accent and scream super loud. And that “insert bad word here” would just go running away… quicker than I could say [Zoey screams] AAAAAHHHHH!
DC: You went to an arts high school, right?
ZD: Yes, ma’am.
DC: So what was that experience like? I was just asking Lucy if she was sporty or nerdy. Was that experience pretty normal, or was it weird for you?
ZD: It was just refreshing because I had gone to a private school my whole life where I had found that a lot of my peers had a lack of purpose and therefore were just so catty and awful.
DC: [Like] Mean Girls?
ZD: Yeah. But no, not necessarily even mean. Bored. They were so bored. They were all intelligent people doing very well in an extremely difficult school but they lacked purpose. When I went to [my] arts high school, I was surrounded by people who had passion for things that were important to them and it was eye-opening and inspiring.
DC: Zoey, you come from second generation entertainment. Can you talk about the best advice your parents gave you and what it’s like working with your mom because you have worked with her before?
ZD: My mom [Lea Thompson] is such a professional, it’s intimidating. Every set I’ve ever worked on, there’s always someone on the crew… whether it’d be a grip or a sound person or a producer, the director… they always have a specific example of how kind my mother was to them. Which is so awesome! Especially in a business like this. And working with her was great. We work together a lot. She helps me with a lot of my auditions.
DC: Did you get to learn any Russian from Danila or Olga on set? Can we possibly hear one?
ZD: I learned a ton of curse words that I promised Danila – I swore to Danila that I would not reveal it during the press tour and he’s like “oh no, I’m gonna get in trouble!”
DC: A lot of people took your Danila comment about kissing him on the red carpet if we won the MTV Movie Brawl very seriously. I mean we didn’t win, but we got to the semi-finals! They’re wondering if you’ll still do it?
ZD: No that wasn’t the deal! *Laughs* what would be the purpose of it? Then I would be just another example of being a creepy stalker. I’d just be kissing him!
DC: Were you familiar with the book series? Did you read the book before you got the script? What was your impression of it?
ZD: I read the book after I got the part but I hadn’t read them prior to auditioning, no.
DC: Was it fun to enter this fantasy world and see yourself on screen being a host for these vampires and protecting them?
ZD: It was fun to watch the story but it wasn’t fun to watch myself even though I’m someone who, ironically enough, I’m a younger sibling I love the attention so you would think I’d be like “oh look at me! I’m on the screen!” But it’s very embarrassing and weird to watch yourself for two hours…or hour and a half, however long the film is.
DC: Do you critique yourself when you watch and say like “I should’ve turned my head this way or done it this way!”
ZD: Yeah… yeah, I nit-pick everything. I’m hypocritical.
DC: You had so much narration in this. When you first saw the script and saw how much she has to say, were you like “oh my god, this is gonna be hard” or…?
ZD: It’s not necessarily much how much dialogue there is, its actually THE dialogue. The words are so wordy and specific. What you saw is like 3/4th of my stuff is cut. It’s a lot of memorizing and anyone in the cast can attest that I never flubbed on my lines which I’m… PROUD OF!
DC: Did you talk to the author of the book first and get the intel on [how to pronounce all the names]?
ZD: Yeah, we called her on speakerphone and were like, “Hey, Richelle! Here we are on the set, making your uhh…. movie! How do you pronounce ‘dhampir’?”
DC: How do you think Rose is as a heroine? We have strong, young heroines like in The Hunger Games. How is Rose different from the other similar genres and type of characters?
ZD: I think that… well, one, her sense of humor. I think that it’s hilarious. The actual words that come out of her mouth could be so ridiculous. But I think what separates her apart from everybody is the fact that she is a heroine, she is the narrator, the hero, but she makes mistakes. She’s not always right or perfect – and I love that. Your making the lead character, in a lot of ways, so human you know? That she’s so sure about things and she’s so strong and confident and you’re like “ugh! wish I could be like her!” and then she screws up! And I appreciate that. I find strength in that kind of vulnerability of being wrong.
DC: What is your favorite moment of Lissa and Rose in this film?
ZD: I liked the opening scene where it establishes Lissa and Rose’s relationship because after that things just get so infiltrated by the chaos of everything going on around them that it’s nice to see them just be friends, enjoying each of their company, and seeing that bond between them.
DC: Is it surreal that people are calling this the next Twilight and now you’re getting all these crazy fans?
ZD: It’s not surreal because it’s not going to be the next Twilight. It’s not going to be the next… anything! It’s going to whatever it’s gonna be.
DC: What are you most looking forward to if you guys get a sequel?
ZD: Getting to work with Cameron Monaghan. That would be wonderful. I’m a huge fan of his.
DC: Do you watch “Shameless”?
ZD: A little bit! Not too much.
DC: He’s great in it!
ZD: Yeah, he’s pretty much good in everything he does. Although I don’t like to give him compliments cause he already has a big head.
DC: You’ve got some cool clothes in this. I liked that leather kick-butt outfit. Did you keep anything for a souvenir?
ZD: They didn’t give me anything. I was just the lead character… seriously, I stole a pair of sweatpants and a towel that said “St. Vladimir’s Academy.” Stole! They wouldn’t give me anything! The leather jacket, well… Ruth Myers was the costume designer and she’s so awesome. We went through so many [leather jackets] and we went with a Zara coat! I think that was because we discussed smalls and that was very present and it made sense. I also didn’t want her to have this really nice, all saints, $2,000 get-up because she doesn’t have much. She doesn’t have any money, she doesn’t have a family to pay for it, so I thought that was nice.
DC: Is her style anything like your own?
ZD: A little bit. I mean, I wear like black pants and combat boots.
DC: What did you think of the soundtrack? Any favorites on it, or have you heard it?
ZD: I love the soundtrack! Yeah! It’s super cool! I was surprised by how much I loved it actually. I heard it for the first time when I saw the film. I was like, “What?! I love all these songs!”
DC: What kind of music are you into when you just listen for fun?
ZD: I am so in a different music world right now. I’m doing a movie after this about the Allman Brothers so that’s all I’m listening to right now.
DC: “Midnight Rider”?
DC: What is the important aspect of your character that you want people to learn from?
ZD: I think her loyalty to her friend is a great message for young girls and actually anybody at that. I find it can get cloudy when you find someone you like and you make the wrong things a priority. I know I’ve done that. Rose is so, so clear about what’s important to her, and that’s Lissa. That’s loyal and that’s awesome!
DC: Is it kind of similar to you and your best friend?
ZD: I’m not half of the friend that Rose is. No, I wouldn’t die for any of my friends except for my family *laughs*. I guess the way that Rose feels is how I feel about my mother, my father, and my sister. I’d do anything to protect them.
DC: Any plans to celebrate the release of the movie?
ZD: Well, I take like a red-eye after the premiere and go for more press and stuff. I’ll eat more cheeseburgers!
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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