Note: After reading this interview, be sure to check out our review of the Vampire Diaries series premiere.
Screen horror runs in actor Steven R. McQueen's blood. His grandfather – Hollywood icon Steve McQueen – made his debut in the sci-fi horror classic The Blob. And Steven will make his own fear-filled feature film debut next April in Piranha 3-D. But, in the mean time, he'll deal with fanged creatures of a different sort on the small screen, as one of the stars of The Vampire Diaries. The TV adaptation of the bestselling series of young adult novels, Diaries premieres this Thursday, September 10th on the CW.
Earlier this summer, I caught up with the actor on the Piranha 3-D set in Lake Havasu , Arizona; where I asked him a few questions about his role in what could be the next paranormal teen romance hit.
Can you talk a little bit about Vampire Diaries? A lot of the books' fans are looking forward to it.
Yeah. I just saw the pilot, it's awesome. I play a kid, Jeremy, Elena's younger brother, who is a character that wasn't in the book. They added it. He's pretty much a very destructive kid, he's got addiction problems. He's got a lot of different problems and he finds different ways to vent his pain than most would. He lashes out at everyone around him; and when all this vampire stuff starts happening… My character, he's not a vampire, but he's got all the attributes: he's pale, he looks like he hasn't slept in a while. So he becomes the guilty-seeming figure when he's mad. But a lot of vampires are naturally beautiful and look very together and are trying to get away with everything. I'm the rebel without a cause. [Laughs.]
You're in every episode?
Yeah, yeah. He's a great character; he's got a lot of layers. It should be fun.
How do you think this is going to differ from some of the other vampire dramas we've seen lately?
There's a bunch of different forces in it that different people at different points in their lives will be able to relate to. There's the main girl and then these two vampires, one good and one evil. It's just that attraction of what we should be attracted to and aren't, and what we are attracted to but shouldn't be. It's just her choice between those things. My character, who is not sure where he's at mentally, rebels against the world. I think at some point everyone can relate to fighting and screaming at the top of their lungs while nobody's really paying attention, just seeing the outer destruction. So there's just a bunch of different characters that we'll all be able to relate to at different points of our lives. It's got a similar vampire storyline, but just a lot of depth to it.
In that sense, do you think it will be a little more realistic than the other vamp shows?
Nah, there's definitely mythology in it. The mythology has American meanings. I think we look to what the mythology really symbolizes and portray that a little more; what vampires are similar to in real life. I think they're compared to certain things. I can't really give away the secrets, the writers would kill me. But it's just about where the origin of that really comes from and what we compare to vampires, children of the night who don't quite feel whole, who don't know exactly what's going on. It's very interesting. It's very cool.