Mark Waters: Unlike ‘Twilight,’ ‘Vampire Academy’ Is Humorous

Writer Daniel Waters, actresses Zoey Deutch,
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Stars Zoey Deutch, Sarah Hyland and Lucy Fry hit the red carpet at the L.A. premiere

Sure, “Vampire Academy” is an adaptation of a wildly successful YA series chronicling the lives of teenage vampires, but the similarities to “Twilight” stop there.

Aside from dealing with a different vampire mythology, director Mark Waters said the tone of the film is drastically different from that other vampire franchise.

“It actually had this kind of element of subversive humor to it,” he said during the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Tuesday. “The ‘Twilight’ movies are great in their own right, but they certainly don’t have any sense of humor to them. And this did. And my brother added even more of it when he wrote his screenplay.”

This is Mark and his brother Daniel Waters’ second vampire pic. Their first collaboration, “Bloodsucking Freaks,” never got off the ground. Mark said they avoided “subjugating studio development hell” this time around.

“I usually welcome coming in at the end of a genre cycle,” Daniel said. “Like with ‘Heathers,’ I came in after a lot of John Hughes movies and people said, ‘Oh nobody wants to see another teen film.’ And to me, that’s an opportunity to get really crazy with the genre and mix it up and lead people into thinking they know what they’re going to see and then surprise them.”

As evidenced by the massive crowd assembled at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas, the movie already has a rabid fanbase. As with most film adaptations of YA series, readers scrutinized every casting decision last year for fear that the actors didn’t look the part.

“It was primarily that I didn’t have big enough boobs for the part, which is awesome because they don’t know that jelly things exist — P.S. go to Victoria’s Secret,” said star Zoey Deutch, who was accompanied by her famous mom Lea Thompson and boyfriend Avan Jogia on the red carpet. “I really could care less. That doesn’t bug me. In fact, if anything, it makes me excited that they’re so passionate, that they love this story and this character so much, that they have these fervent opinions.”

Deutch’s character Rose Hathaway, an irreverent, sharp-witted human/vampire hybrid who protects her vampire best friend from predators, was one of the project’s selling points for the sibling filmmaking duo.

“She’s not just a strong female character like Jessica Chastain in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ … she’s a messed-up character,” Daniel said. “She’s like a Jack Nicholson character, almost — somebody who’s got strength, but also weakness and obnoxiousness. I love that a female character can be that kind of complexity.”

But what makes vampires such pop culture phenomena? According to star Dominic Sherwood, these supernatural creatures reflect societal temperaments.

“Look back through ‘Nosferatu’ — people were scared of rats and infection, and that’s what their lead vampire looks like,” Sherwood said. “And it gets molded that way. And I guess Bram Stoker’s (‘Dracula’), when the movie came out with Gary Oldman, people were more afraid of spirituality and ghosts. And it moves with society. We’re now at a point where it’s very romanticized.”

Joely Richardson said she was eager to step into this mythic universe.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of the whole vampire world in terms of film or television so this was perfect to play the queen (of the vampires),” Richardson said. “It felt a little bit camp when we were shooting it, but I don’t know how Mark will have interpreted it.”

The stars, including Olga Kurylenko, Sarah Hyland and Lucy Fry, partied at Lucky Strike bowling alley following the premiere. Weinstein Co. opens “Vampire Academy” Feb. 7.

(Pictured: Daniel Waters, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Sarah Hyland and Mark Waters at the “Vampire Academy” premiere after-party at Lucky Strike)

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  1. anguhluh says:

    Cast was perfection and the movie was great (: Wish more people would’ve watched it. Out of all the YA adaptations out there, this one deserves a sequel.

  2. Mina says:

    The person below does raise a good point, but otherwise, I really liked the movie! I liked the books but the trailers made the movie look cheesy, so I went in with low expectations. But it was funny and didn’t take itself too seriously and was fun to watch! I don’t know why more people aren’t going to see it, it was a blast.

  3. Larissa says:

    People complained not because of breast size but because Deutch has the completely wrong body type. Rose is supposed to be 5’7 and extremely curvy and ATHLETIC, not stick thin with no muscle tone at all—more importantly, she is supposed to be BIRACIAL. Cute how she tries to deflect the fact the role was whitewashed by blaming it on her boobs.

    Disgusting, no talent Hollywood brat who got the role through family connections to the production company. End of story.

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