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TV Tinsel: Fangs breaking, nails popping off, eye lenses blinding — actors describe the pains of shooting ‘Vampire’ Season 2

Luaine Lee – Tribune News Service (TNS)

It may seem too early in the year for creatures of the night, but then, vampires prowl the Earth every season. To verify that, “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” returns for its second season on AMC and AMC+ Sunday.

And this time the ghouls are extradited to Europe to ply their evil deeds.

“We serve up a second season, which was shot in Prague, Paris and New Orleans,” says Dan McDermott, president of AMC Entertainment and AMC Studios, adding that they are “three cities that offer a deep well of scope and spectacle.” 

“The new season will be even more visually stunning than the first, and introduce key elements of Rice’s novels, like the Théâtre des Vampires, and explore the courtship and love affair of Louis and vampire Armand, played by Assad Zaman,” he says.

“Also starring are the talented Delainey Hayles (new to the cast) and Ben Daniels. Season 2 is a true homage to Anne Rice’s work, and it is not to be missed,” he says.

Even so, it’s not easy being a vampire, the actors all agree. “On my first day, I fell over twice because that was the day that I got my (eye) lenses for the first time and we were doing a night shoot,” says Hayles, who is cast as Claudia, the adopted daughter of Louis and Lestat.

“I forgot that there were props on the floor, and I just walked into them,” she says.

“I did, like, a little roll. … I didn’t even see the bags on the floor. And then I did it again. … The lenses are my favorite part, but they’re also kind of hard to see, especially when it’s nighttime. And I lost my fang on my first day as well. I was very upset about that, but I got it back.”

It turns out that fangs are a pain in the neck, so to speak. “Mine kept breaking,” says Zaman.

“Every single time I put the fangs in, they just did not want to stay. I think I lost about 10 or 12 throughout that eight or nine months, every time I put them in. Sometimes when I’m nervous I grind my teeth, and when I’m really crunching they just go crack, and they would fall out.”

“And you don’t look very cool when you’re off-camera, says Sam Reid, who portrays the blood thirsty Lestat du Lioncourt, “because you’ve usually been guided by someone to get onto set because it’s completely pitch-black and we can’t see anything.

“Then there’s a very bright light shining in your face, which means you can’t see anything anymore.”

Reid confesses the elongated fingernails were also a problem. “We have acrylic nails put on, and there’s also glue-on, stick-on ones that you can get, but they seem to always pop off for me. So I usually spend six months of the year with an acrylic set of nails, which is challenging.

“This year, it ripped off an entire one of my real fingernails, which was pretty painful, and then we moved on to gel nails, which is a revelation. I don’t know if anyone’s ever tried gel nails,” Reid says. “Wonderful things, very light, lovely.”

Even before Anne Rice revitalized them, vampires have been part of our litany of terror. But when Reid was a child, it was a cult movie that shivered his timbers, he says.

“I loved horror films when I was a kid. I loved horror, and I loved being really into scaring myself, but I have, like, two vivid memories.

“Actually, I wasn’t even that young, to be honest. But I remember seeing ‘The Blair Witch Project’ for the first time in the cinema, and like that was —. It was. It’s not so scary anymore. But if you go and see it — back in the day, I don’t know if anyone saw that — people were vomiting in the cinema.

“You’re like, ‘Whoa! This is kind of like, why are we doing this to ourselves?’ So that was kind of a revelatory experience, that you could feel something. Also, Rob Zombie movies. I enjoyed those very much.”

Jacob Anderson, who plays the spooky Louis, says he liked to scare himself when he was a kid. “I think that’s quite a common thing, actually. You’re like pushing your boundaries, aren’t you?”

But it was the film “Beetlejuice” that petrified Anderson. “I love the film ‘Beetlejuice,’ but I saw it way too young at my grandad’s house. And it’s the bit where they open the door and there’s snakes … the stop motion, just as a form, I just find terrifying and have since I was a kid. But I love it.

“I’m so drawn to it. But those kinds of stripey snakes going (he makes a snake sound). I would have genuine recurring nightmares about their hell-world in ‘Beetlejuice.’”

‘Liars’ goes back to school

There’s no summer break for those “Pretty Little Liars.” They have to go back to school. It may be summer school but the intrigue continues as the coeds encounter a new villain in town when the series “Pretty Little Liars: Summer School” premieres on Thursday via Max.

The show stars Bailee Madison as one of the pretty liars, who has been acting since she was a kid, she says.

“My sister was auditioning for a movie called ‘Lonely Hearts,’ and I was in the waiting room with mom waiting for her to get out and ride back down to Florida where we lived. And they came out and saw me, and said, ‘Does she act?’ They were like, ‘I dunno’, They said, ‘We have a role for that age and haven’t been able to find someone right for it. Would she want to try it?’

“They asked me, and I said, ‘Yeah. Let’s try it.’ So I went in there and ended up booking that film and got a self-tape randomly for a movie called ‘Bridge to Terabithia,’ and put myself on tape for that. Then I was flown out to L.A. I was on the verge of 6, and then booked that movie.”

‘Masters of the Air’ — flights of angels

Those who subscribe to Apple TV+ are the inheritors of the marvelous miniseries “Masters of the Air,” which is streaming the entire season now. It’s the story of the unheralded members of the 100th Bomb Group in World War II who were charged with maneuvering the massive B-17s on bombing missions over hostile territory.

The series is produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman – the trio that brought us “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” 

Based on the book by Donald L. Miller, the series covers the daring forays of real-life airmen who daily risked their lives for us. These courageous expeditions remind us that we share the DNA with these men — our great-uncles, grandfathers and great-grandfathers — and how much we owe them for their bravery and dedication.

It’s an inspiring series that young people should see, those who have no concept of the momentous sacrifice that was made by those who came before them.

PBS features doc on ‘Pompeii’

A 2,000-year-old pizza doesn’t sound very appetizing. But it does if it decorates a wall at the new dig in Italy’s Pompeii, where the volcano Vesuvius erupted and buried the entire town in 79 AD.

The people of Pompeii loved frescos on their walls and the depiction of the pizza festoons the wall of what looks like the hallway of a house uncovered in the latest archaeological exploration at Pompeii.

PBS will chronicle this discovery and others with its three-part documentary “Pompeii: the New Dig,” premiering May 15. This series examines the most comprehensive archaeological excavation in the fabled site for a generation. It required nearly two years to make, during which the filmmaking team was awarded exclusive access to the site, a full city block unearthed for the first time.

It’s difficult to imagine what it must have been like for the citizens of Pompeii who were just carrying out their daily chores that Sunday afternoon when Vesuvius began to belch that treacherous ash and smoke.

(Luaine Lee is a California-based correspondent who covers entertainment for Tribune News Service.)

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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