Vampires

Sept. 25, 2014 | 2:21 p.m.

‘The Strain': Kevin Durand channels his inner Viking warrior for Fet

Kevin Durand stars in "The Strain." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
There are few things that will bond a cast of actors more closely than two consecutive weeks of filming at night in close confines during a polar vortex event in Toronto, according to actor Kevin Durand, who plays the towering exterminator Vasiliy Fet in “The Strain,” FX’s hit series adapted from the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. But the experience of shooting the eighth episode, “Creatures of the Night” — which sees the show’s ensemble of heroes fending off hordes of attacking vampires from inside a Brooklyn convenience store — didn’t just help him forge lasting connections among the actors, Durand said. It also allowed him to channel his inner action hero. “I love getting physical with characters,” Duran said in an interview earlier this year on the Toronto set of the show. “With this guy, there’s […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Richard Sammel relishes evil role as Thomas Eichhorst

Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst in "The Strain." (Michael Gibson/FX)
It takes a certain mind-set to want to bring about the end of the world. For Richard Sammel, the German actor who plays emissary of evil Thomas Eichhorst in FX’s apocalyptic series “The Strain,” a relentlessly positive attitude and a misplaced sense of self-assurance are key. “Guillermo gave me a magic word,” Sammel said recently, referring to “Strain” co-creator Guillermo del Toro. “He said, ‘Richard, for every strong character, there is a cue word, and for Eichhorst, it’s, ‘Yes!’ I couldn’t do anything with it for quite a bit, but… at a certain point it just opened. Yes! He’s hubristic, egocentric, narcissistic. It’s the vampire version of Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’ Yes, I can. Yes, I do the right thing.” Sammel’s wicked charisma and gleeful zeal have helped transform a character that easily could have tipped into sinister parody — […]
Aug. 19, 2014 | 12:42 p.m.

‘The Strain': Guillermo del Toro vampire series renewed for Season 2

The apocalyptic horror series “The Strain” will return for a second season, FX announced Tuesday. Based on a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the show is the latest high-concept thriller to explore the end of modern civilization — here, the threat arrives on board a flight into JFK when an old-world monster steals away on the plane and infects the passengers with a virus that transforms them into blood-thirsty monsters. Corey Stoll’s CDC epidemiologist Eph Goodweather finds himself drawn into the unfolding chaos, and before long, he is forced to partner with an eccentric pawn shop owner, Abraham Setrakian (played by David Bradley), to face down the creatures. PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot on the set of ‘The Strain’ “The thing I wanted to do in ‘The Strain,’ you can actually see this world collapse in a […]
Aug. 17, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Vampire hunter David Bradley revels in action hero role

English actor David Bradley in Beverly Hills.  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
It’s in the vein of old-style vampire hunters that David Bradley operates on “The Strain,” FX’s hit series that sees the world on the precipice of apocalypse thanks to the bloodthirsty undead. But the English actor, well known to genre audiences from his work in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise and on the wildly popular “Game of Thrones,” says he doesn’t directly draw inspiration from any famous forerunners in the unusual science. “I didn’t try to look for references or comparisons with other characters, otherwise there’s always a danger of playing that rather than what Guillermo and Chuck have got written down,” Bradley said in an interview on the Toronto set of the show, when asked about any similarities between his determined Abraham Setrakian and Bram Stoker’s Abraham Van Helsing, the man who famously tracked Dracula and brought the powerful […]
July 11, 2014 | 12:14 p.m.

‘The Strain': Guillermo del Toro addresses billboard controversy at premiere

"Pacific Rim" director Guillermo del Toro is photographed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif., on June 17, 2103. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Several drivers and pedestrians have complained for weeks about billboards around Los Angeles promoting FX’s new horror drama “The Strain,” which feature a nasty-looking worm crawling out of an eyeball. Guillermo del Toro, the key creative force behind the series,  wants to know what the big deal is. “It’s just a … worm coming out of an eyeball,”  he said with mischievous glee as he hosted the premiere of “The Strain” Thursday at the Directors Guild of America. The Oscar-nominated director (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), who directed the pilot,  was obviously in an upbeat mood as he introduced the episode, which he hoped would terrify viewers. The billboards certainly have unnerved many who have passed by, prompting FX to remove some of them. At the premiere, John Landgraf, head of FX Networks, pointed to the image on the screen during his opening […]
May 23, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Del Toro and the new face of the apocalypse

On the set of the latest -- vampiriic -- drama of the apocalypse, "The Strain."
TORONTO — The forecast insisted that the latest in a series of punishing winter storms was due to descend on Toronto in a matter of hours, but the sky hovering over the cast and crew of FX’s new vampire series, “The Strain,” was nothing but a blanket of pristine blue. The sunlight might have cheered the locals who had endured more than one Polar Vortex event — yet it was dampening the spirits of the behind-the-scenes team attempting to film a vampire attack that was supposed to be taking place during an eclipse. On a clear and cold Friday, technicians attempted to create enough shade for the sequence by maneuvering a giant black tarpaulin at the entrance to a narrow alleyway, with mixed results. Miguel Gomez, the actor who plays the show’s streetwise Gus Elizalde, was gamely wrestling with an […]
Oct. 08, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

‘The Originals': Charles Michael Davis on Marcel’s pride, back story

“The Originals” star Charles Michael Davis is new blood in the “Vampire Diaries” universe. His character Marcel is vengefully staking his claim in vampire-overrun New Orleans amid a bitter rivalry with his creator, the fearsome hybrid Klaus. The new CW spinoff series, which aired its back-door pilot during “The Vampire Diaries” last April, premiered last week and centers on the family of Niklaus Mikaelson, or Klaus (Joseph Morgan), who was born a werewolf but was transformed along with his half-siblings into the world’s first vampires thanks to a protective spell cast centuries ago by their mother. The bloodline of this Original family links all the vampires of the two television series. In Tuesday’s episode, Klaus’ estranged sister Rebekah (Claire Holt) arrives in New Orleans at their brother Elijah’s (Daniel Gillies) behest. Klaus is already embroiled in two rivalries: one with […]
July 26, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.

‘The Originals’ sets up ‘Vampire Diaries’ rivalry, ‘epic’ Klaus

Daniel Gillies as Elijah and Joseph Morgan as Klaus. (Skip Bolen / The CW)
This post has been updated. See note below for details. “The Originals” is set to premiere this fall on the CW, and the show’s stars are already working to establish their characters in their new setting, gearing up for a rivalry between their fledgling pilot and its parent series “The Vampire Diaries.” In the same vein as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” “Hercules” and “Xena: Warrior Princess,” and “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” the new series picks up members of “The Vampire Diaries” cast and transplants them in a new setting while maintaining their previous story lines. The shows also amp up fan excitement, building to cross-over episodes featuring characters from both. The latest vampire saga on the network’s supernatural roster sees the deadly original vampires, a brood of siblings who were turned into vampires to survive werewolves terrorizing their […]
July 22, 2013 | 10:15 a.m.

Comic-Con: ‘True Blood’ star Deborah Ann Woll’s photos, survival tips

Deborah Ann Woll at Comic-Con 2013 in San Diego. (Michael Yaris/WBTV via Getty Images)
As part of our Comic-Con International coverage this year, Hero Complex reached out to a select group of actors and writers, asking them to document their experiences in San Diego. Deborah Ann Woll, star of HBO’s “True Blood,” shared what it takes to survive the convention. Check out the gallery above and the silent videos below to see snapshots of the actress’  experiences, with captions written by her. The panel day for “True Blood” is quite an amazing experience. Here’s a guide for getting the most out of the day and surviving the chaos: 1. Stock up on Advil and breath mints at the TV Line interview. Two very important essentials for surviving Comic-Con. You don’t want to turn away a fan with your bad breath, and any girl will tell you all day in heels will make you rush […]
Feb. 28, 2013 | 4:10 p.m.

The Flixies: Netflix awards aim to honor fan-favorite programming

Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker as Daryl and Merle Dixon in "The Walking Dead." (Gene Page/AMC)
Just when you thought Hollywood’s awards season had come to a close with the Oscars, Netflix has unveiled a new prize — the Flixies. But this honor is designed to celebrate widely popular entertainment — movies and television series with ardent followings that too often go overlooked by more conventional ceremonies. “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are among the films and TV shows nominated in seven tongue-in-cheek categories including “Best Tantrum Tamer,” “Best Bromance,” “Best Hangover Cure” and “Best Commute Shrtnr.” Among the other genre nominees: “Lost,” “American Horror Story,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Teen Wolf,” “Commando,” “Super 8,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Archer,” “Mythbusters,” “Transformers Prime” and “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” The video streaming services’ new awards are designed to recognize the way audiences now watch TV and films. Services such […]
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