Read our exclusive interview with British actress Victoria Summer, who was recently cast as Lina Harker in director/producer Ray Haboush’s remake of the classic horror movie ‘Dracula Reborn.’ Summer is a familiar face to horror fans, as she previously starred in the films ‘The Zombie Diaries’ and ‘Horror Zombies.’ She discusses with us what attracts her to horror movies, and her love of singing and performing on-stage in front of audiences in theater productions.
Shockya (SY): You just finished filming the upcoming horror film ‘Dracula Reborn,’ a modernization of the Dracula story, in which you play Lina Harker, the vampire’s love interest. You also starred in 2008’s ‘The Zombie Diaries.’ What is it that attracts you to horror films?
Victoria Summer (VS): I think somehow I attract them! It wasn’t that I set out to do horror… They are just the roles I got. In terms of ZD, that audition was the first audition I had ever had for a feature film after doing predominantly musicals. I was really surprised and happy to hear that I got the role of Leeann, it was totally unexpected. And with Dracula, I have a classic look and they particularly wanted British because they had already cast Dracula (played by Stuart McKenna from the UK).
SY: What was it specifically about ‘Dracula Reborn’ that made you immediately want to take the role of Lina?
VS: I had a connection to Lina as soon as I read the script. I thought she had some great qualities as a woman; she has a kind heart as well as being smart, quick and witty. I particularly like the scenes between her and her husband Jonathan Harker (played by Corey Landis).
SY: The day you read for the role of Lina at the end of callbacks, you were offered the part that night. What was it like knowing that Ray Haboush, who directed and produced the movie, decided to hire you so quickly?
VS: I was ecstatic after I got off the phone to Ray. I knew I could do that role as soon as I read the script. I knew that it was for me.
SY: What was it like working with Mr. Haboush, who also worked on last year’s remake of ‘The Last House on the Left?’
VS: Working with Ray has been a pleasure – we joked around a lot and it was a great atmosphere to work in; although we spent long hours on set, Ray did a good job of keeping us all upbeat. As an actress, I like to be given trust and freedom to interpret a role as I please and Ray was unquestioning in my creative choices. I didn’t find ‘Lina’ a tough role to play. In many, many way we are incredibly alike. Ray told me after offering me the role that he had found it hard to find a ‘Lina’.
SY: Why do you think there is such an increased interest in the vampire genre lately, as seen with the recent success of ‘The Twilight Saga,’ ‘True Blood’ and ‘The Vampire Diaries?’
VS: Vampires have that sensual, classic edge… It’s like when you really, really want something that is completely forbidden, it makes you want it more and more. And once you get a taste, that’s it!
SY: Besides acting in movies, you have also attended the prestigious Arts Educational School of London, and have performed in several stage productions, including ‘Alfie’ and ‘Brighton Rock,’ at the renowned Almeida Theatre in London. How is singing and acting on stage different from acting in films?
VS: Completely different. It really takes some getting used to! You have to adapt and adapt fast – there is a beautiful intimacy about the camera which I love. And of course there are always more chances to get it right which I wasn’t used to. On stage if you make a mistake you just have to ride over it, there are no second chances!
SY: Do you have a preference of either acting on stage or in movies, and if so, why?
VS: They are both so different, it’s so hard to compare. In many, many respects nothing compares to being in front of a live audience. But, I did theatre since three and I came to Hollywood to do film, so I am happy to be fulfilling my goals.
SY: You moved to Los Angeles full time last year, after being born and raised in Berkshire, England. Do you find that there are better acting and singing opportunities in L.A. than in London?
VS: Yes! There are many more projects in LA in singing and acting. What happens here counts and I wanted to be a part of that and make my mark.
SY: You also have an interest in racing cars. Have you ever considered doing that professionally as well?
VS: No! Purely a hobby for me!
SY: What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing acting and singing?
VS: Stay true to yourself and your goals and be persistent!
Written by: Karen Benardello