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AICN UK: Britgeek With Molly Hassell, Lauren Versel, And Julie Kroll - Producers Of Amy Heckerling's VAMPS!!


Britgeek here.

Writer/director Amy Heckerling has a slew of pop culture classics under her belt, from FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and LOSER, to CLUELESS and LOOK WHO'S TALKING. But out of her entire filmography, her latest offering may just prove to be her most timely.

Vampires and zombies have been so incredibly prevalent in horror, comedy and, apparently, drama over the last few years that there really isn't much room left for blood-suckers and flesh-eaters on the big screen. Or at least there aren't many, or indeed enough, fresh ideas for them to thrive. That may be about to change, however, with Heckerling's latest effort, VAMPS, complete with fangs and a little lipstick.

I was recently joined by three of the folks behind the movie: producers Molly Hassell and and Lauren Versel, and executive producer Julie Kroll , who all shared a little more info on the film, the great cast and, of course, their favourite vampire flicks.



BRITGEEK: From what I've seen and heard so far, the film seems to be something along the lines of THE LOST BOYS meets BRIDESMAIDS. Would that be fair to say, and just what is the story of VAMPS?

LAUREN VERSEL: It's about two girls living the fun nightlife of NYC... working their night jobs as rat exterminators, dressing up, going to clubs, meeting guys to have one night stands with, but they happen to be a groovy form of Vampire called ELFs: Extended Life Forms. Of course true love and life come and complicate everything.

MOLLY HASSELL: Hmm, that is a funny question. I think the tone is completely unique. I always equate it to Romy and Michelle do NYC – if they were vampires.

JULIE KROLL: I say it's a mix of CLUELESS for Vampires, to a mix of Romy and Michelle... It's silly fun, very cult classic.



BG:  From the hugely successful TWILIGHT franchise to the recent remake of FRIGHT NIGHT, what sets VAMPS apart from other vampire movies?

LV: It's funny, and real... what would it REALLY be like to live forever? How long can you stay young and keep up with the gadgets, music, fashion, dances... what happens when you walk the streets of NYC and remember what things used to be?

MH: It does not take itself so seriously. It is a human look at what it would really mean to be a vampire living for hundreds of years as a young person. It is touching and real but also very funny.

JK: It's silly retro fun.



BG: What attracted you all to the project?

LV:  I love Amy Heckerling and I loved the script. It was a privilege to make a movie with her.

MH: Well, Heckerling is an amazing director – she was a lot of fun to work with and a real visionary. You never know when you are working with someone new how you will react to one another under the stress of making a movie. But, she was so focused and great to the producers that everyone WANTS to work hard for her to help her realize her vision.

JK: I'm a huge fan of Amy Heckerling, so when Molly and Lauren gave me the script, I was so excited. CLUELESS is one of my favourite films, I still quote things from it. Especially when I'm driving with my Father and he questions my driving through a stop sign. “Dad, I like totally paused.”



BG:  Is VAMPS  a chick flick with teeth, or instead very much a film that both men and women can enjoy equally?

LV: Like CLUELESS with vampires.

MH: Well, the girls are hot and the movie is funny. I am a female and don't even understand the men I live with so not sure how to answer this!

JK:  It's got something for everyone, I think it's geared more for a younger audience being females, but some of my male friends would laugh at some of the dialogue and references. So Amy Heckerling fans would dig it.



BG: The film has an all-star cast featuring the likes of Alicia Silverstone, Sigourney Weaver and Malcolm McDowell. What was it like to work with such well known and iconic actors?

LV: It was an amazing experience to work with this wonderful cast. Each one of them were so creative and professional and brought so much to the film.

MH: They were all so lovely. It is an anomaly in this business to make it through a movie with this level cast and come out the other side knowing there was not even one diva. It is a testament to Amy who was a really positive and great force on the set.



BG: Over the last couple of years we have seen more 3D films than I can keep track of, many of which were shot in 2D and then converted into the third dimension in post-production, seemingly as a last-minute opportunity to hike up ticket prices rather than add anything to the viewing experience. THE GREEN HORNET and CLASH OF THE TITANS come to mind. As producers, did the idea of VAMPS 3D ever cross your minds?

LV: Of course it did.

MH: Yes, but it just did not seem to fit the film. It is not a spectacle movie – it is a comedy, you know?

JK: I'm not a huge fan of 3D, I felt the last Harry Potter didn't really need it for example...

MH: If there was overriding evidence that the film was more enjoyable for the audience then of course we would consider it.



BG: What are your favourite vampire movies?

LV:  VAMPS by Amy Heckerling.

MH: THE LOST BOYS was one of my favourites – I even had the t-shirt growing up with the logline. I have seen it [hundreds] of times.

JK:  I'm a huge vampire fan. When on TV, I will watch HOUSE OF DRACULA, THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA, HORROR OF DRACULA, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, SALEM'S LOT, FRIGHT NIGHT, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, TWILIGHT (I'm a sucker for romance). I'm not joking when I say I'm a fan.



BG: When can we expect the first trailer?

LV: Soon!

MH: I would guess in the next couple of months. Depends on when they are releasing it!

JK: Soon.



Thanks, girls! I look forward to hearing more about the film.






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