Dominic Sherwood talked to Teen about Vampire Academy and Christian!
First thing’s first, was he a VA fan prior to filming?
“If I’m completely honest, no. I hadn’t heard of the series. I did my research after the first audition — just before the first audition, actually, when I found out that it was based on the best-selling series. I started there, then dug a little deeper. I read the first one, and I’ve actually made the conscious choice not to read ahead of what we’re filming because — as we’ve finished the first one now, and Richelle makes it all illustrative, which is amazing — I’m not hired to do Richelle Mead’s version; I’m hired to do Mark and Dan Waters’ version. It was very important to me that I didn’t end up kind of muddying the water, and confusing one with the other. It’s almost like if you were hired to play Romeo, and going back and watching other people’s performances, you will naturally pick up things from that part that they’ve done, and that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to do Mark and Dan’s visioning of it.”
On director Mark Waters
“It’s such a pleasure to work with Mark. I never had a day where it seemed stressful. I knew what was happening, and I knew we were working toward deadlines, and Mark was under some stress, but he never pressured us… It was a really, really nice relationship. He was always kind of happy to work with us if we thought that there was something we could potentially do a little differently; we would always do it his way, then give our way a try as well. He’d always say at the end of every take, every scene that we did from every angle, ‘You know what? Let’s do one for you guys.’ So, it was this opportunity to kind of do whatever we’d want, which is great, BUT at the same time, before I knew this about Mark, and before I knew when he was happy, he’d say, ‘Great, check, let’s move on.'”
“Before I knew any of that, I went through my audition process — I did six auditions for Vampire Academy — every time I would go in, and I would audition, I’d try and give him what he wanted, at the end of the audition, he’d just go ‘Cool, yeah, that’s it. See you around.’ Each time I was like, ‘Uhh, I messed up. That’s it; that’s all there is. I’m not going any further.’ And every time I got called back, and obviously now I know that’s how Mark feels — when he’s happy, that’s it. You move on… Six times I went in and six times I came out miserable thinking I messed up, and I got it, so I’m eternally grateful to Mark.”
On his character, Christian Ozera
“He’s had a terrible upbringing because his parents [are] the worst things that are known in vampire culture; [they’ve done] the worst thing that they could possibly do. So all the people at school — I think it would be kind of like [at] any school, if your parents do something that’s seen as criminal or immoral or whatever, he’s neglected, and he’s pushed to one side, and he’s segregated and bullied by all the kids at school, so he ends up very much on his own; he turns to humor and sarcasm and that’s how he kind of defends himself. Lissa has this same sort of thing where she’s locked up and feels alone because of royalty and all the things she’s going through. And then they find each other, which is really nice because they find love in one another through something that’s quite normal.”
On his appearance in Vampire Academy
“My eyes are different colors normally, in reality. Christian and the entire Ozera family have these piercing, ice blue eyes. Mark wanted my eyes as is, which is cool, so I didn’t have to go through much of the painstaking that Lucy did, having to put contacts in every day, getting used to them, then having to take them out; I didn’t have to go through that. I did have to watch what I [ate]… a little. Christian’s, like, skinny… I didn’t want anyone calling me fat basically, that’s what I’m trying to say. We weren’t allowed out in the sun when we were filming, which was over the summer, so that was difficult. But it was cool, it wasn’t sort of too much, it wasn’t painstaking.”
On his co-star BFF(s)
“I don’t think I grew closest to anyone really in particular. We all ended up being this big family together because we’re all around the same age. Even when the casting call came out it said that we need to be this age and play young because it’s important that the cast will have this rapport, and really work well together, but at the same time, have the ability to just be social and develop friendships. And that’s kind of what we all did, we all ended up being really close, we all ended up going out every weekend… So I wouldn’t say I got close to anyone; we all ended up really, really close with each other.”
On the VA fandom & social media
“I need to get more into this whole thing because I’m so bad at Twitter and social media. My agents and everyone, they all know this about me. They keep telling me every day, ‘’Don’t put anything stupid on Twitter because it will haunt you for the rest of your life.’ So I’m being so careful about everything I do, and I tend to not do anything or follow [many]. But I do look at my Twitter, and some of the things that people say and how committed they are — as you say, because the fandom is so inspiring — it’s really nice to know that people are behind us, and they really care about what we’re doing because really that’s half the battle — to know that we’re kind of making people happy; to obviously go see the movie and the movie’s gonna make them happy, that’s really what matters to us.”
Which of the elements would he want in real life?
“It’d be fire, hands down. Having done some of the filming and actually having fire in some of the scenes — there was talk about actually setting my hands and a couple other things on fire, but we never got to do it. I was gutted; we never actually got to see it. I was upset that we weren’t going to try it. And now with the new trailer, you get to see what the fire actually looks like… It’d be fire, 100%.”
On other YA franchises
“I’m a big fan of The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence; Jennifer Lawrence, in particular… I’m really excited to see how that kind of starts rounding off and coming to an end… And I read Divergent. In the casting process, just before I started going in for Vampire Academy, I kind of got my little stake in that, and I obviously know how that’s gonna end, unless they changed it from that point, but I’m excited to see that too and see what they’ve done with it, and all the trailers look really cool as well.”
What’s up next, film-wise?
“I’m not allowed to say right now, unfortunately. I’d really love to. We’ve got some stuff that we’re working on in the pipeline, but I’m not allowed to say.”
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