Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE Reginald the Vampire

'Reginald the Vampire's creator and Mandela Van Peebles go inside Maurice's vampire origin story

Maurice the vampire has lived quite the undead life.

By Tara Bennett
Mandela Van Peebles as Maurice

From the moment Maurice Miller (Mandela Van Peebles) first sank his fangs into Reginald Baskin (Jacob Batalon) in the Reginald the Vampire pilot, the vampire has remained quite the enigma. He's made it clear that he has no interest in being BFFs with his confused progeny, yet he keeps showing up to help Reginald whenever he's in a pinch. What's this guy's deal anyway?

How to Watch

Watch the Season 2 premiere of Reginald the Vampire on Wednesday, May 8 at 10/9c on SYFY.

Audiences finally find out in Episode 4, "All the Time in the World," which puts a spotlight on Maurice's human past right around when he gets turned, more than 50 years ago. We see Maurice as a member of the Black Panther Party, his complicated family life with his mother, and then when he meets and gets turned by vampire Angela (Savannah Basley). 

In SYFY WIRE's weekly Reginald the Vampire post mortem, showrunner Harley Peyton and actors Van Peebles and  Basley explain how this episode illuminates the complicated nature of sire bonds and why Maurice is so reticent to attach himself to anyone, including Angela and Reginald. 

RELATED: Recap: ‘Reginald the Vampire’ Episode 4 reveals the tragic history of Maurice and Angela

"Reginald and Maurice's relationship goes through so many ups and downs, a break at one point and then coming back together," Peyton explains about the new sire bond roller coaster that is still vexing Reginald. But "All the Time in the World" gives context to Maurice via his reminiscences of his own past in the 1960s. Peyton says casting Van Peebles, who follows in the entertainment career footsteps of his grandfather, Melvin Van Peebles, and his father, Mario Van Peebles, gave him the opportunity to infuse Maurice's history with the real life legacy of Mandela's legendary family. 

"Obviously, I created the character before I even met them, so that was another one of those really lucky breaks where Mandela brought so much to the part. The character was not African American in the book, so that was all new," Peyton says of the original changes made to Maurice in the series. "He has a backstory about being a Black Panther and Mandela's grandfather was very much connected with the Black Panthers. Thanks to Mario, his father, we actually have some original Black Panther art on the walls."

Peyton says he got to know Mario Van Peebles well during production as the actor/director initially visited set to see Mandela. "We talked a lot about the character of Maurice," he says. "And this character actually altered a little bit based on those conversations."

An up and coming actor, Mandela admits Maurice is his first go at portraying a vampire in any medium. "I tried not to have too many expectations going into stuff, but after a while of doing some research and trying to develop my character, I realized that I had the opportunity to channel people from different generations playing a vampire," the actor explains. "I'm channeling my granddad. I'm channeling my great granddad, and sayings that I've heard in my family or just around in different cultures that bring different generational traits to a modern character. I thought that was really fun. Also, just taking the traditional idea of a vampire and just flipping it on its head.  We see so many diversities in Reginald the Vampire that we don't usually see with this kind of a supernatural vampire show."

Part of that is showing the complex sire bond between Angela and Maurice. She uses his life against him and then turns him, which binds them in a sexual, love-hate relationship that is especially dysfunctional. "A lot of the more intimate scenes me and [Angela] share, they span across years," Van Peebles says of their connection. "So, I wanted to bring some innocence to some of the earlier ones, more letting her show me the way. And then, towards the later ones, there's more of the confidence and the strength of someone who has grown up a bit since the first time that you see us interact in that way.

"And it's fun, you know?" he laughs about the blood-soaked sex scenes. "You got some blood, you got some fun additions to our love story, and all of that. And, I think it's interesting because, when you live forever, how long can you really hold a grudge for?  I think that's a nice theme that plays throughout me and Angela's relationship, and unfolds on camera."

Basley concurs. "There is this long amount of time in our relationship. And Angela can sometimes come across as seeming angry or evil for no reason. If you're not a big fan of her, then she gets misunderstood. And so it was really important to me to make sure that people know that there is this beautiful, soft spot to her, and there's a reason why Maurice fell for her," she emphasizes. "There is a reason why she is a lovable person. Some things just happened within the 400 years that she's been alive that maybe made her put a wall up."

New episodes of Reginald the Vampire gush on to SYFY every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.