So this is something that after watching a True Blood Panel at the June first event 2010 was lurking around in my mind and was originally written back in October of 2010 …. and rewritten and edited for the Vampire Loving Dorks page in April of 2011 and now here it is again, re-edited, revamped, and still very much a topic in my everyday musings.
A lot of us here would probably agree that we love vampires. Many, such as myself , find that vampire links are possible with everything … even a trip to Chuck E Cheeses! Characters appear on-screen and are referenced to various portrayals in previous vampire based shows, for example we were watching “Amy Burley” from True Blood on Fox’s show “New Girl” …. I recently spotted “Spike” from “Buffy” (Or Angel) as the camera guy at the beginning of the movie House on Haunted Hill … “Daphne” from True Blood was in “CSI Miami” …. and so the list, and the connections would seem to me to be endless.
So where does the character end and the actor begin? Many who are into True Blood or the Sookie Stackhouse Novels would probably consider themselves either Team Eric or Team Bill to some extent or another, but is it Eric the character that people adore or is it the way Alexander Skarsgard portrays him??? What if the original talks had gone ahead and Alexander Skarsgard played Bill???? Would there be more Team Bill fans now with the same adoration for all things AS or does the character create the buzz???
For me its easy … I love Eric from the books and adore the screen Eric and feel that AS really embodies him but I do feel that as long as the portrayal was similar I would probably have felt the same devotion to another Eric. Would I have paid more attention to Bill with Alexander Skarsgard playing him??? Quite probably as he is certainly very easy on the eye lol but would I be a Team Bill player??? Somehow I can’t see it.
My latest “Character love’ is Mitchell from the BBC UK Show “Being Human” (Not to be confused with the poor attempt American copy of the same shown which had a vampire named Aiden – Possibly a nod to Aidan Turner that plays the UK vampire Mitchell?? and pale insignificant versions of the same stories … anyway .. I digress ….. As I was saying Mitchell is possibly one of the darkest portrayals of a vampire on television I have seen EVER. And yes I adore him. I love the darkness … I get excited when he vamps out and goes murdering people .. and I especially like it when he decides humanity has wronged him and along with a friend totally destroys a train full of perfectly innocent passengers in the most gruesome way you can imagine. Rather than being shocked I embrace this side of the vampire. I prefer it to the twinkling tortured “vegetarian” teen vamps or love-sick, pining to be human again creatures trying to fit in. But now that Mitchell is no more (makes me want to sob all over again just typing it) I see a lot of fans now looking to see what he is going to be in next just as many “Eric” fans watch everything that Alexander Skarsgard does. Not me …. mine is definitely entrenched in the “character love” category. It is Mitchell the vampire I am in love with and not Aidan Turner (sexy and gorgeous though he might be. If I ever met him I would only be thinking Mitchell).
This “Character love” can be applied to many other vampires such as those in the Twilight Saga. Team Edward is “alive and well” (yes I don’t understand it either but just look around and you will see that it is absolutely thriving). Take my mother for example, she, who has never understood my love for all things vampyric is suddenly Team Edward in the largest way almost to the point of being delusional. She refer’s to “Edward” as the main part of Robert Pattinson’s being, for example a recent phone call involved her berating the English Press because of how they portrayed “Edward” in the papers as drunk and uncouth.She is constantly telling me that she is going to watch, or has watched the new film that “Edward” not “Robert” is starring in.
So when does the fictional character take over the actor that portrays them? For me it’s never! I love my fantasy book vampires and whilst I enjoy (for the most part) seeing them portrayed on the screen and it certainly allows me to discuss them more with my husband, who might die rather than read one of my vampire novels, never do the actors portraying them quite match the image in my head. That is one of the best things about Mitchell from Being Human ….. he has never had to live up to an already living vision in my head. He was always Mitchell as portrayed by Aidan Turner. Even though I watched a couple of the US version episodes with basically the same character he was never him!!!
A perfect example dates back to when Interview with the Vampire was being made and Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat. I was devastated. How could this actor, whom I had never really liked (although I will confess to enjoying some of his movies), possibly play my blonde hair, blue-eyed devil? Anne Rice apparently shared my concerns but I must confess when I went to see the movie he had done an admirable job. He was Lestat, just not my Lestat, but it does however, remain my favorite Tom Cruise movie to date. Then came the Queen Of The Damned. A mish mash of the next 2 vampire chronicles with none of the actors from the first attempt and a slaughter in the casting department when it came to the lesser vampires. Stuart Townsend definitely embodied the darker, sarcastic side of Lestat but again fell short from my vampire lover from the books. This is more relevant now than ever with the question of who will play Lestat being thrust front and centre once more as the movie rights to “Tale Of The Body Thief” have recently been picked up.
So I ask you all …… are you in love with the vampires, or is it the people who play them. With many books out there waiting to hear about movie or tv deals I am sure there are more fictional vamps just waiting to be bought to life by actors who I am sure dream that their character will become such an obsession that the lines blur between the character and them, and they find themselves stalked to the point of insanity. As for me, I will keep my love affair with the vampires in my books and my new vampires on the screen, as I am lucky, in the real world I have found the one person to share my darkness and my eternity with.