Hey TWIST readers,
Recently, we talked to Lucas Grabeel about his new vampire musical movie, I Kissed a Vampire! Lucas plays Dyaln, a shy, awkward guy who is turned into a vampire! Dylan has to learn to deal with his new blood-thirsty lifestyle while keeping his girlfriend Sara, played by Adrian Slade, safe from his vampire mentor Trey Sylvania. We chatted about the movie, his show Switched at Birth, filming with his High School Musical pal and more! Click "Read more" for our exclusive interview with Lucas, and don't miss I Kissed a Vampire when it comes out in theaters on March 16!
TWIST: Can you tell us about I Kissed a Vampire? Lucas: I play Dylan, an unlikely hero who is turning into a vampire. He doesn't want to because he's in love with the girl next door. Literally, she's his neighbor. She doesn't know that he's turning into a vampire. Chaos ensues when this other vampire, Trey Sylvania comes into the picture. He really wants me to embrace my vampireness, and I don't want to. He tries to take over my girlfriend as a ploy to get me to be more like a vampire and take what I want.
TWIST: I Kissed a Vampire was originally a three-part web series, so what was the process of turning that into a movie? Lucas: This is an interesting project because it wasn't originally set out to be a movie. We started off with three web series episodes. We put those on iTunes, then iTunes asked for some more episodes. While shooting those extra episodes, we found that what we were doing, we really liked, and we were adding it up, and we almost had a full-length movie. Over the course of two years, we kept shooting little bits here and there, and finally created what is now the movie.
TWIST: Can you tell us a little more about Dylan? Lucas: He's kind of awkward, not really confident, and a little shy, but head over heels with this girl. They've been friends forever, and he's really not taking a liking to this 'turning into a vampire' thing. He thinks it's totally overrated and doesn't see the plus sides of it. He just wants to be normal.
TWIST: What's the difference between this and some of the other vampire series that are out now? You have Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and more. What sets this apart? Lucas: This one doesn't take itself so seriously, and I don't think anyone should take it seriously. It's a fun, musical, vampire comedy with lots of silly jokes and such in there. It's there to have fun with.
TWIST: You did the High School Musical Tour with Drew. What was it like getting to work with him again? Lucas: It was great! Drew was actually the guy who brought me into the project. He said, 'Hey, I'm doing this web series. It's going to be a lot of fun.' So I listened to the music and was hooked. It was a blast. You don't always get to work with your friends. Usually you work with people and you become friends, but when you're friends already, it adds that extra level of comfort when you show up on set and you just get to have fun.
TWIST: What's the difference between shooting something like I Kissed a Vampire verses shooting a show like Switched at Birth? Lucas: Completely different. First of all, Vampire was a musical, so I'm not singing and dancing all over the place on Switched at Birth, but also just the scheduling. I shoot five days a week every week, and we're in the middle of shooting 22 episodes right now of Switched at Birth, so there's a routine in the schedule. We had kind of a skeleton crew, I guess you'd say, on Vampire, so it was a little bit more longer days and intensity, a lot of people running around, trying to get everything done by the end of the day. Switched at Birth is a little bit more relaxed.
TWIST: It's hectic, but it's all worth it in the end. Lucas: Oh, of course! That's the main difference between making a movie and a TV show. With a TV show, everyone and all the stuff is there when you show up, and you just kind of do the same thing but different every day. With a movie, you're either on location or you don't know anybody. You show up and you've got to put everything together and make sure you get everything done in that allotted time.
TWIST: Why should TWIST readers definitely check out I Kissed a Vampire when it comes out? Lucas: Well, with all the vampire stuff that's been out, we've kind of had a little break from it, and it's time to revisit and give it a lap or two - and sing songs! Everybody loves a good musical, right?
T: Who are your biggest acting and musical inspirations? Lucas: Musically, Jeff Buckley has always been a big influence for me. Bob Dylan too, and I also love jazz like Miles Davis and all of that. For acting, it can be a moment in a film that gives me inspiration, or one really cool shot in a movie or one really great performance in one scene. I usually look for that more so than following one person's career. I'm really excited for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's career though. I feel like he's an amazing up and comer and has the potential to be another Leonardo DiCaprio, which is exciting. I respect that.
TWIST: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be? Lucas: Justin Timberlake! He hasn't made any music in a long time. He needs to make new music. Actually, I went to a concert last night and saw this girl K.Flay. She's a local artist here in LA, but she's just now rising to the surface, and she's really awesome. She's like this suburban-looking girl that spits these mad rap rhymes. She does all of her own beats and everything. It'd be really cool to collaborate with someone with a contrasting genre than I normally write, and to do a little mash-up. I talked to her after the show and we talked about working together on something, so that'd be fun.
TWIST: Do you have any upcoming projects that TWIST readers should know about? Lucas: I have a movie coming out soon, but it hasn't been announced yet, so I can't really talk about that yet. But that's this year! And of course I feel like I need to mention that March 16 is the theatrical release of I Kissed a Vampire, then June 19 is the VOD/DVD release. Keep watching Switched at Birth. We're going to be going for a few more episodes, then we're going to take a little break, then come back for 12 more. I also will be releasing some more music this year as well in a much more subdued manner. I'm just going to start putting stuff online for free. Photos: Courtesy of Startraks and Montery Media Inc.