“One of the things I love about this show and really wanting to do it on CBS is a big emotional wallop on each show.”
This upcoming fall season, CBS has taken a giant leap into the supernatural. With the help of super producer Joel Silver and Buffy co-writer David Greenwalt, a new vampire series called Moonlight is ready to kick off on September 28. The show features a private eye named Mick St. John [Alex O’Loughlin], who’s transformed into a vampire by his wife, Coraline [Shannyn Sossamon]. Decades later, St. John finds himself in love with a human woman, Beth Turner [Sophia Myles]. Luckily, we recently caught up to the Moonlight cast and crew in Los Angeles to take a bloody bite out of what’s to come.
On vampire lore beyond America:
ALEX O’LOUGHLIN: I don’t know about Sophia, but I’ve been kind of obsessed with the genre since I first discovered it, since I could first get my head around it. I discovered Anne Rice when I was sort of late teens. And I read “The Vampire” – the first five or six books of “The Vampire Chronicles” I read twice, actually which was a little obsessive. I loved her character development, I learned so much about her – like about the mythology of vampires through her storytelling and some of which she sort of took dramatic license with, but a lot is authentic. And also I grew up with, in Australia, I grew up with American TV and American cinema because we didn’t really have that much of our own. And so I grew up with all of the films that you guys did. “Lost Boys” was a huge film for me when that was made. And the “The Hunger” was also something that I really loved. So, yeah, I have always sort of wanted to play a vampire.
SOPHIA MYLES: I didn’t grow up them at all actually. It’s been through working in the film industry that my relationship with vampires has kind of been discovered. I’ve done a couple of them. I’ve played a vampire before. I’m a human in this show, but I played a vampire in “Underworld.” And I also did an adaptation of Dracula for the BBC, and I played Lucy. So I had the whole stake-through-the-heart thing. I’m well-equipped, I think.
On why so much was changed from the first pilot to the second pilot:
JOEL SILVER: Well, we did a presentation this year, we didn’t really do a pilot. CBS wanted to only do a small presentation. So we went into this with our eyes wide open, but we didn’t know what we were doing at that time. We were kind of figuring out where we were going. I love Nina’s line, the development doesn’t stop at the pilot, which is really valid. We really felt that when we were putting it together, when they saw what it was that “Twilight” is very different than Moonlight in every way. When we got together and we decided that we wanted to do the show, we all sat down and said “What would we do if we were going to do it as a series.” And we never really had a pilot per se, so we had to kind of think about what the pilot would be. And it just came about that we had a wonderful group of players up here. Jason, we had a great time together on Veronica Mars. Shannyn did a small part for me in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a movie that I love, that we did. Alex also had worked for me in another movie I just did with Kate Beckinsale called White Out which is going to be coming out for Warner Bros. And so it finally came along. And David. And we just put together a fantastic group. So I think that it’s the best of all possible worlds here. We really have great people. And we had a read this morning, the first table read, and it was just fantastic. So it worked out great.
Shannyn Sossamon on her character:
SHANNYN SOSSAMON: Well, her name is Coraline, and she is responsible for turning Mick into a vampire. I don’t think she did it maliciously. She was madly in love with him, maybe the most in love she’d been since she was human we’ll say. And I think she did it out of desperation because she didn’t want to lose him. So she turned him into a vampire in the ’50s, it’s going to be, and that’s when they sort of fell in love and meet. He didn’t know she was a vampire, obviously, and he’s pissed, and basically everyone’s just calling her the ex-wife from hell. The relationship then sort of becomes like classic tumultuous, back and forth, heated, chemical, unhealthy dynamic. Has my place in it, but then, of course, he starts connecting with this human, Beth, and I don’t like it. It’s a femme fatale sort of thing.
On attracting the fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
DAVID GREENWALT: You know, prior to Buffy and Angel, I’ve never done any genre stuff. I wasn’t a geek kid. I didn’t read all the comic books and know everything that the people who worked on those shows knew about. And therefore, I didn’t know the secret of genre which is you can’t exaggerate the emotions, and you can’t hit people over the head with a big wallop, and one of the things I love about this show and really wanting to do it on CBS is a big emotional wallop on each show. You know, there will be fun, there will be scare, and then something that you just go, “Oh, my gosh. I didn’t see that coming.” This is whether it’s about star-crossed lovers or lost love, found love. And so I’m a big believer in the genre. What I would say used correctly, used to exaggerate the emotions, because people can surrender to genre and then in one part, saying that’s not quite 100 percent true and somehow it opens a door for them to let more stuff into their heart. So that’s really why I like it. And then I really like when people are in very dangerous, life-threatening situations that they are quipping because I’m amused by things like that.
The desire to look young as a metaphor for today’s society:
ALEX O’LOUGHLIN: I think there’s a lot of things in this genre and in this sort of era of storytelling that are analogous or metaphorical to stuff, and certainly pertinent to what’s going on in today’s society with vanity – I mean, the thing is all this stuff, a lot of this stuff that we talk about, a lot of it’s sort of drummed up and kept alive by the media and by us, by our demand for magazines and some of this, but it’s also a lot of it was born from the industry that we’re actually working in. There’s lots of interesting contradictions, but yeah, as an actor, I look at the show and this is a story about this vampire, Mick St. John, and like Jason looks at the show like it’s a story about this character. That’s how we all have to approach it as actors, but for me, just for my character he didn’t want to be made into a vampire. He fell in love with this beautiful woman back in the ’40s and ’50s – I’m not prepared to disclose whether this is the ’40s or ’50s yet. Don’t ask. But he fell in love, and he married this woman. She gave him this thing that she thought was gift but to him was a curse. So the fact that he is 90 years old and he’s still, he’s sort of ruggedly handsome – the fact that he’s still youthful and his skin is still youthful and his eyes are still bright is something that he struggles with. So it’s not actually something he ever really gets to enjoy. So it’s, yeah, we’re going to present lots of stuff I think along those lines that I think you’re going to find interesting.