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Back to school: Peacock's 'Vampire Academy' TV series stakes out cast and directors
Members of the undead are so hot right now. Peacock's Vampire Academy is preparing to rise from its coffin with a full cast of series regulars and a lineup of talent behind the camera. Showrunner, executive producer, and writer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries) is set to add yet another feather to her cap as a member of the directing team, which also includes Bille Woodruff (first episode), Luis Prieto, Jesse Warn, Erica Dunton, and Geoff Shotz.
Based on the best-selling collection of YA paranormal romance novels written by Richelle Mead, the upcoming show is set at St. Vladmir’s Academy. It's a secret boarding school where noble blood-suckers are educated before they enter civilized vampire society. In addition, half-human teenagers are trained to protect their royal charges from savage vampires known as the "Strigoi."
Mortal Kombat's Sisi Stringer leads the cast as Rose Hathaway, a half-human/half-vampire known as a "Dhampir." Fiery and outspoken, Rose is a fighter and always ready to jump into action. More often than not, however, this attitude results in demerits. "She might be the strongest fighter in her class, but her success will depend entirely on her willingness to toe the line when it counts," reads the official description.
Here is the remainder of the lineup:
- Daniela Nieves (Five Points) as Lissa Dragomir, a Royal Moroi vampire. Growing up the younger sister to the heir apparent, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir is a carefree, kind-hearted, royal princess coasting through her studies and happily chasing fun. Lissa is uninterested in the political machinations of the royal court or the hypocrisy of Moroi royal society. But with a sudden death in her family, Lissa is thrust into a role she’s neither trained for nor is emotionally equipped to handle.
- Kieron Moore (Sex Education) as Dimitri Belikov, the model of a Dhampir guardian. Lethal, disciplined, discreet, and totally committed to his role as bodyguard to the ruling Moroi, the “good,” mortal vampires of his world. He lives by a deep moral code, but beneath his stoic, watchful surface, there’s an expansive spirit that could threaten to expose the underlying tension between his sense of what’s right and his formal duty to the Moroi.
- André Dae Kim (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) as Christian Ozera, a Royal Moroi vampire. Intelligent and thoughtful, Christian is the pariah of the school and royal court, due to his parents’ unforgiveable societal sins. Well-read and hungry for knowledge, he searches for faith-based answers and discovers a kindred spirit who is also looking for the truth.
- J. August Richards (Angel) as Victor Dashkov. Victor is a Moroi noble vampire with a heart of gold who’s highly regarded for his role as advisor and political strategist to Moroi dignitaries. He’s a fierce loyalist who uses his intelligence and influence to protect that which he values most: the well-being of his husband and two adopted daughters, as well as the betterment of his Moroi community.
- Anita-Joy Uwajeh (West End’s King Lear) as Tatiana Vogel. Tatiana is a Moroi vampire and political underdog who slowly takes the royal court by storm. Motivated by love and a sense of justice, Tatiana has a unique skill of making herself seem of no consequence until we realize much too late that she was always the one to watch.
- Mia McKenna-Bruce (The Dumping Ground) as Mia Karp, a student at St. Vladimir’s Academy. Witty, cutting, and just the right kind of ruthless when necessary, non-royal Mia has a long-term plan to social climb her way into the ranks of royalty, with all the privilege and freedom that entails. A plan complicated by her instant chemistry with Meredith, a Guardian-in-training, as Mia struggles to reconcile her attraction to Meredith with her lowly status.
- Rhian Blundell (Doctor Who: The Dread of Night) as Meredith, a smart, strong-willed Dhampir who is a keen observer, which makes her an excellent strategist and a valuable asset. She has little patience for Rose’s volatility or Mia’s elitism, and regularly calls both of them out.
- Jonetta Kaiser (Breakwater) as Sonya Karp. Quiet, careful, and decidedly odd, Sonya is not of royal bloodline and sits out on the fringe of Moroi society, preferring to spend her time in the library or her gardens. Not a person who likes a scene, nonetheless she has a quiet but profound power of her own. She is taken by surprise when a Dhampir Guardian named Mikhail shows interest in her, a relationship that will expose both the brightest and darkest parts of her heart.
- Andrew Liner (Grown-ish) as Mason Ashford. Charming, loyal, and popular, Mason is Rose’s main competition in the quest to become the number one Guardian-in-training. Though their relationship is casual on her side, he is hopeful she will finally look at him and see him as something more.
Executive producer Marguerite MacIntyre shares writing and showrunning duties with Plec. Emily Cummins, Don Murphy, Susan Montford, Deepak Nayar, and Jillian DeFrehn also serve as executive producers.
Peacock has yet to fix a premiere date for Vampire Academy.