Richelle Mead talks ‘Vampire Academy’ movie with Movie Fone

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Richelle Mead spoke to Movie Fone about the Waters’ brothers, casting Dimitri, and explained about why changes need to be made, and more.

How fitting is it that the director and screenwriter have this great pedigree with movies set in high schools? 
I feel super lucky that they made the movie. I find sometimes that with book-to-movie adaptations there’s so much focus on plot or action that you lose the characters. I think that’s why a lot of these adaptations don’t do so well. With my books, the characters are my goal. Of course the plot is too, but I’m trying to convey these emotions and these people to my readers. Both of them, Daniel and Mark, they both got that. Daniel wrote that into the script, the way the characters interact, their lines, their personalities really come through. That was what I loved about them doing the movie.

I know you didn’t write with specific actors in mind, but does the cast match what you think the characters look like?
The leads are so spot-on with what I had in my head. Dimitri especially is a great choice; I love that they cast a Russian actor to play him. It’s perfect; we’re going to have a genuine accent. He’s the real deal. He’s so very handsome, but he’s also so nice. It’s easy to forget he turns into this hard, bad-ass warrior guy on screen, because when you’re hanging out with him off-camera, he’s so personable and sweet to everyone.

Do you have anything you want to say to your fan-base to prepare them for an adaptation of a book they love?
There’s no huge, major addition or subtraction in the movie that would make me caution my readers that “Oh my God, they left out X, Y or Z that’s pivotal!” and there are no bizarre subplots either. Will it be an exact match? No, but I’ve tried to tell readers that they can’t expect a page-for-page book to movie. It just doesn’t work. It’s two different media and there are time constraints. There are little changes, and the fans may know them even more than I do. But there were no changes that made me feel the integrity of the story was damaged. Everything that they did change I think made a better, more visually interesting movie.

Any examples of those changes we can expect?
The opening when Rose and Dimitri first meet is not verbatim exactly what happens in the book. It’s not radically different either — like on top of a building and Dimitri all of a sudden parachutes in, or anything that weird or completely made up. It is visually more interesting than the book, and that’s all I can say! It’s little changes like that that will read better for the screen. I hope readers will agree with me.

Click here to the full interview!

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