Vampire Academy‘s Andre Dae Kim has teased the possibility of a season two of the hit Peacock series, his romance storyline and the natural chemistry with co-star Daniela Nieves. Please note there are spoilers for the season one finale.
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Andre played the complicated Moroi vampire Christian Ozera while Sisi Stringer and Daniela Nieves star as Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir, with Kieron Moore as Russian dhampir guard Dimitri Belikov. Season one concluded with a shocking finale that saw Lissa accused of murdering Queen Marina, forcing her to escape the province with best friend and guard Rose.
WATCH: Vampire Academy season one airs on Peacock
The decision came after a devastating attack on St Vladimir’s during which time Lissa discovered her presumed dead brother Andrei was alive.
However the attack came after Christian – to whom Lissa is now technically married – was reunited with his parents, who had chosen to turn Strigoi. Christian was left devastated when he realized they had used his love for them to trick the guards into lowering the wards for an attack on the province, and spurred on by anger, Christian killed his father – only for viewers to then see his mother turn Andrei into a Strigoi.
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Season two of the Peacock series has not yet been confirmed but with the show ending on such a cliffhanger, fans will be hoping for quick news especially as they have fallen in love with Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre’s interpretation of the Richelle Mead book series.
Andre spoke to HELLO! and although he woudn’t – or couldn’t – share much on the possibility of more episodes he did tease where he would love to see Christian if Peacock renewed the series, and discussed building connections with the cast as well as how he and Kieron knew Vampire Academy was a story about strong women from the get-go….
Andre is our Spotlight cover star
Thinking back to casting and when you first read the script, can you talk a little bit about that process and how you came to the role of Christian?
Andre: “They came to me via my managers and I had to do a self-tape. You can get into a healthy mindset of, ‘an audition is an audition,’ so I do my best and then I forget about them for a while, and that’s exactly what I did for a week. Then I realized that I had the callback and I was like, ‘Oh [expletive] so this is actually a little more real now.’
“It was in the third round of auditions, which was when I first had the chemistry read with Daniela Nieves, and I started reading the book as well as watching clips of Julie Plec’s other series.
“But in terms of the script I didn’t get anything until we were actually starting to film, so I only got the little bits of it through the audition pieces – but even through that, I really enjoyed the character, he was complex and it was a role I was excited to play.”
Photography: Storm Santos
What was it specifically about Christian? Was he always the role that you went for?
Andre: “Christian was the first person I auditioned for and I guess it was fate because it was the character that I ended up playing.
“When I finally got into creating the backstory, what I really liked about him was that he was so multifaceted. In the books we only get his perspective from the interactions with Rose but I still found him to be a very complex and quite layered character, and I think that is an actor’s dream when you’re able to pull the layers back individually, piece by piece and figure out who this person is, and that was just such an intriguing challenge for myself that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
How much did you allow the books to influence your interpretation, because the show is very different to the books?
Andre: “There’s so many things that happen on the show that don’t happen in the books, we’ve taken many liberties with it.
“But to me, it was more about the essence of Christian. I know this sounds kind of convoluted and backwards for an actor but I think trying to decide who a person is can be a little too difficult for anybody. It’s not so much who this person is, but what makes this person who he is? I think finding those moments in the character is more helpful to discover who they are.
“But I tried to keep the essence of what makes Christian who he is there; interactions with his parents, Lissa and Rose and Mason. I tried to keep all those things there; I tried to follow the books as closely as possible.”
Photography: Storm Santos
May you talk a little bit about the challenges of developing Christian’s character?
Andre: “It’s so tough, especially playing within fantasy where you have to deal with something that is so outside the realm of reality – who finds out that their parents have been turned into zombies? There’s no way I can convey that into my acting.
“But I can boil down that vision into emotion. And one thing you can say is, ‘I want to understand why you left me, and I want to understand why you made the decisions you did.’ I think those are questions that we can have for anybody. When you boil it down, it’s sad, but it’s just this kid who really wants to know why his parents chose to leave him.”
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‘Christian is this kid who really wants to know why his parents chose to leave him’
What would you say is the easiest part of Christian for you?
Andre: “Honestly, his loner aspect was probably the easiest for me to translate. I think that is probably the thing I really relate to most. I hate crowds too – I just feel like I’m like a sheep in a herd at that point.”
At the end of the season, Christian kills his father and his mother turns Andrei into a Strigoi. How do you see these events shaping Christian moving forward?
Andre: “Okay, without giving any spoilers I think moving forward I see Christian in a political position as well as tension between his mother still being out there, and the fact that she may be close to someone he is close to.”
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Photography: Storm Santos
Can you talk about building that chemistry with Daniela? How did you create this wonderful relationship?
Andre: “[Julie and Marguerite] had always told us the story was about strong, independent women, so they let me and Kieron know early on that a lot of our scenes would be respectively with your partners.
“I met Kieron first and then the next day Daniela came in and we decided to get dumplings in a restaurant in Madrid, and we got to chatting about life. We found out that we were both Nickelodeon kids and had worked our way into other TV series. But I think the day that we really bonded as friends was one day we were having a couple of drinks with each other, sharing music videos that we like and listening to artists we like. Then we just naturally had chemistry. We didn’t have to force it.
“We had really frank and awesome conversations with each other because we had such a strong friendship, and when we were working together, it was just as easy as saying, ‘This feels a little weird, shall we try this?’ Immediately we would just do that.
“I feel like I try very hard but Daniela is top tier, and so having someone there to motivate me and put a fire under my a** makes it a great work environment.”
Daniela and Andre bonded over music videos
Across the entirety of season one, what would you say your favorite scene to film was when you look back?
Andre: “One of my favorite scenes was the training scene with Mia in episode six. It was one of the few times you get to see a different side of Christian. It is less about his parents, he was more relaxed and I thought that was really nice.”
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If Christian got to spend a day in the human world with no worries, what do you think he would do with his time?
Andre: “I think he would probably go to a bookstore, and then I think he would definitely go to a very, very high-falutin Michelin star restaurant all by himself. I think he would put in his AirPods and go for a walk along the water as the sun was setting, having like a nice existential moment.
“And then I think he would go to a bar and drink.”
Kieron and Andre were aware this was a story about ‘strong women’
What are the differences between filming Vampire Academy and Degrassi, and what have the experiences taught you as an actor?
Andre: “One of the cool things that I’ve learned about this industry is that every production we join is an entirely different monster. The people you work with are different, the cast, the script, and any expectations about what it may be like are misguided.
“And I always say one of the best traits an actor can have is comfortability, and a lot of that comes from confidence. So I’m very proud of the productions I have worked on for making me more confident.”
What would you say you’ve learned from working with Sisi, Daniela and Kieron?
Andre: “From Daniela I’ve learned what it means to be such a motivated, giving scene partner. She’s always thinking about what she can do, but she’s thinking about what she can do for you in the scene as well, because she understands the very core, integral part of acting is that it is a collaboration. That was an amazing, amazing thing to learn and to see in action and I am super grateful for that.
“Kieron is such an interesting guy because he’s so dedicated to wanting to be Dimitri. He’s learned every bit of it. He does things physically to himself to make sure he can stay in the character, and it’s just such a thrill to watch. So I think from him I’ve learned the importance of what it is to find your character.
“Sisi finds joy and love in everything. She is a ball of energy. I think that sometimes finding joy in acting can be hard to find but she’s actually a bright star in our set.”
Kieron and Sisi star as Dimitri and Rose
What’s next for you?
Andre: “Auditions, callbacks, meetings. Just the regular acting life, which is often the toughest part about coming back from a production, going back into normal life.
“I’ve been writing and I am a big volleyball player and so I am getting back into that a little bit and enjoying time with friends and family.”
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What are you writing?
Andre: “I won’t say too much right now but I’m working on a TV show pilot and I’m writing with a friend of mine. It’s based on the idea of host clubs in Japan. You go to the club and you can rent out a girlfriend or boyfriend for the night, but it’s not a sexual thing – and the most popular versions of that are the male hosts.
“Subsequently, from that, there are new businesses for rental boyfriends, where the hosts take the girls on dates. So the premise is what would that be like if there was like a host party in Canada or the US with a commentary on dating as a young person.”
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