Daniela Nieves & Sisi Stringer on Vampire Academy, vampire society, and the sets and locations

by W. Andrew Powell

Step into the world of privilege and power in the new series, Vampire Academy. At St. Vladimir’s Academy, a boarding school for the upper class, a young group of vampires deal with threats to their existence, royal intrigue, and the classes that separate friends from each other.

Based on the books by Richelle Mead, the series is a mix of drama and fantasy, with a little blood, and heart too.

“It’s such a beautiful story about these two best friends,” said Nieves, “and I think friendship in general, it’s such a beautiful thing to have with two women as the leads of the show. I think Lissa and Rose just represent true, unconditional love and what that looks like in a friendship.”

Talking about Lissa, Nieves said she was “very easygoing. She’s described in the books a lot as, she doesn’t even need to try. She’s just effortlessly sweet and kind and beautiful and she attracts the energy–positive energy–from other people. Later on in the series, you find out that there’s actually a deeper reason why.”

Daniela Nieves as Lissa Dragomir, Sisi Stinger as Rose Hathaway
Daniela Nieves as Lissa Dragomir, Sisi Stinger as Rose Hathaway

“And Daniela has a natural sort of kindness and softness in her personality,” Stringer said, “which just meets Lissa right where it should.”

Their relationship has its challenges though, because of their place in vampire society.

“I think class is the thing that affects [them] most,” she said, “because the full-blooded vampires, they exist in a higher class. And the hybrid half-vampire, half-human, they act as protectors and they act as guardians in order to keep the good vampires safe, basically. So they’re essentially like a race of people who serve the vampires, who serve another race of people.”

“So there’s a hierarchy there, and that puts a lot of tension on their relationship externally, between the two girls.”

Filmed in Spain and Portugal, the only catch with making the series was that Stringer didn’t speak any Spanish.

“It’s so funny because I play this privileged character,” Nieves said, “and then in Spain, in a way, I was also privileged because I was able to [speak Spanish], and a lot of the people on the production as well are Spanish. So there would be a lot of inside jokes or certain things that I couldn’t even translate because it doesn’t translate in English.”

Watch my interview with Daniela Nieves and Sisi Stringer above, and our interview with Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Rhian Blundell, and Mia McKenna-Bruce below.

Vampire Academy premieres on W Network in Canada on September 18.

Photo courtesy of Peacock.

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