Guy Flanagan plays Mitchell (The Vampire)
What was it that attracted you to this script and playing a vampire?
The script jumped out at me, the idea itself sounded quite kooky. When I read it I thought it was really well put together and the characters were well developed. It's mainly about the relationships between the three characters that just happen to have these conditions.
Who wouldn't want to be a vampire? I get to be invincible and bite beautiful people, what more could you want? It's a hard job, but someone has to do it!
It's always nice to do something different from the norm and nothing like this has been made, certainly not recently, so it's good to be a part of something that stands out.
Who is Mitchell and how does he fit into the drama?
Mitchell is about 120 years old – so he's looking good for his age. He's lived through wars, travelled the world, done everything, been everywhere and met incredible people. Now he's just trying to settle down for a bit.
He finds, in George, a genuine guy and a friend. Vampires generally struggle to find friends unless they're fellow vampires, so he's looking to have closeness with someone.
If you live forever, you have a different view of the world. At 120, he's overcome the boredom. He's laid back and there's no point getting bored of it all, but he's trying to tame his instincts to bite people.
How did he become a vampire?
He was bitten a long time ago – he's probably been other people in the past and changed his name a fair few times. He's seen so many people die so he's got an emotional coolness about him.
He's not always out to get people like other vampires, he has respect for human kind, so he doesn't get off on the challenge of biting. Initially, when people are bitten, they get a buzz out of it, they're often on a different plane – but that wears off after a while and he doesn't want to commit people to the sort of life he's been subjected to.
At times, I think he feels it's a curse as there are things he can't do. He can't fall in love or experience the same love as normal people. Once you're committed to this dark world, you just have to deal with it.
There isn't too much emphasis on the vampire fangs – how will the audience know that you're a vampire?
It's set out very early on in the drama. We don't milk it though; his fangs only come out at the crucial moments. We didn't want to overdo it; we wanted maximum impact when the moments actually arrive. The characters are very much living in the real world, so we wanted to make them normal, but the vampire is always there.
There are so many different forms of vampire with different limitations. To be able to tell the story that we wanted to tell, he had to go out into the light, but he's always wrapped up in a coat, scarf, gloves and sunglasses and UV cream. He prefers not to be out in the sunlight – not so much a problem in England!
Did you do much research into vampires?
I did a lot of research on the internet and I've seen a few vampire films in the past but I didn't actively go out and research too much. I didn't want to do too much before I actually got the part. Bram Stoker's Dracula was a good place to start and that was a great book!
Do you think that vampires exist in real life?
I found a fair few people on the internet that think they do. I met some people years ago who drank each other's blood for fun – they weren't under the illusion that they were vampires though. Some people are into things like that.
When I was growing up, I was an indie kid, but I hung around with Goths who got the thrill from drinking blood. It's not something I'm really into though, I must admit.
In the supernatural rules, where does vampire come on the chain of superiority?
Vampires are at the top of the chain – they would certainly think of themselves as the top anyway. The other vampires don't approve of Mitchell's friendship with George – werewolves are pretty low on the supernatural chain; they're not immortal and vampires just see them as dogs.
His other friend, Annie, is a ghost, who is even lower on the chain – after all, anyone can be a ghost!
Vampires are immortal, they're strong and sexual beings – I don't know who could oust them from that position.
Vampires live forever, how would you feel about that?
I've got a fair few decades left in me yet, but I wouldn't want to live forever. I'm not religious, but I like to think that something kicks off when you die. I think living forever could be a lonely existence. Although it's a big world and there are a lot of things to see, if you had forever to see it, you'd get it done and you'd want more.
Were there any scenes that particularly stood out for you?
The scene where Mitchell bites his current shag was the first sex scene I'd ever done, so I expected it to take a couple of hours. However, it was the Rugby World Cup Final and this scene was the last scene of the day and we were running over. With 20 minutes to do the scene, I was thrown in at the deep end and all the electricians were threatening to pull the plugs if we didn't get it done because they didn't want to miss the final! I usually like to take my time over these things, but there was no chance of that!