Why vampire stories are big hits?

Before the whole world became obsessed with Edward and Bella of the Twilight series, long before we were introduced to The Vampire Chronicles, many have already dreamt of becoming or at least meeting someone like Dracula.

There have been many different interpretations of a vampire’s fictional life. Throughout the decades or even centuries, vampires are known as night lurkers. They rise at night from their caskets and look for victims. They are bloodthirsty. Dracula, in particular, is known as an aristocratic man. Most stories about him say that he can’t be exposed directly to the sun light as he would burn and turn into ashes.

The ray of the sun is not the only way to kill these beautiful monsters. According to popular stories, they can be killed by stabbing them and piercing the heart using a wooden stake or any sharp silver-bladed knife or sword. Other tales suggested that burning them or tearing their heads off could mean their end. But these are classic literatures. Vampires’ image of sporting a 19th century high fashion, being blood thirsty, and viciously killing their prey are already things of the past, thanks to Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer.

Meyer has given vampire stories a new twist, probably a far cry or even a slap to its predecessors. Vampires can now expose themselves directly to sunlight as they no longer burn, they will just glisten as if their bodies are made up of diamonds. Of course they are still immortal, but media has given being a vampire a new sexier definition—stronger, extremely attractive (usually being portrayed as a teenager or a college student), romantic and sometimes a peace keeper.

Television series and movies featuring good looking and supernatural creatures with fangs are big hit among the public. While contemporary authors come up with sanitized versions of Dracula, many have already joined the bandwagon of Edward, a well-mannered vampire who chooses not to suck blood of helpless mortals.

Probably, that’s the main reason why vampire stories are experiencing great reception more than ever. From being sexual, selfish and evil, as they are depicted in classic literature, they are now described as beautiful immortal monsters that humans long to be.

An interview with a vampire

“They [vampire stories] have survived the test of time. The concept of being vampire is such a great escape of human frailty,” said Pam Ravenscroft, a 200-year old vampire and one of the principal characters in the HBO series True Blood.

The popular fictional character is played by American television actress Kristin Bauer van Straten who is also known to Filipinos cinephiles as Sarah Drake in the Jericho Rosales starrer Hollywood movie, Subject: I Love You.

“Vampires have no money issues ever. They have always seemed to be wealthy and perpetually young. They don’t have to worry about illness. They’re on top of the food chain because they are extremely powerful. That’s freedom. None of us have that kind of luxury,” Kristin Bauer furthered.

Amid having an extensive career as a television actress (she started in 1994 as Miss English in L.A. Law), Kristin is perhaps more popularly known for her role in the vampire-themed television series. In an phone interview with the Standard Today, Kristin admitted that she does not mind being known as Pam, a role she has been playing since 2009.

“It’s an interesting thing. There was some actor who gave a great quote for it that you are sort of discovered only after 20 years in the business. What I love about my career is that I have played so many different characters. I actually consider myself as a character actress and I love the chameleon aspect of it,” Kristin, who was at the comfort of her house in Los Angeles during the phone interview, said.

For the fans of True Blood, Pam is considered one of the most recognizable and admired characters in the series. Pam is known for her morbid sense of humor and “sweet-but-lethal” charm. Perpetually looking like a 19 years old, she prefers black and gothic outfits and supremely confident in her ability to overcome most foes and survive most attacks, even from other supernaturals.

Kristen added that every time she starts on a new role she gets a little information from the episodes and the writers that put the characters in extreme situation where they have to react. Over the years she has put together a model in her mind of what she imagined as Pam’s back story.

“But once they write it, the character becomes much better than what I imagined. Pam is just a truthful character,” she admitted.

In the new season, fans would see more of Pam especially the other side the side of her that Kristin or even the fans didn’t know she had.

“We saw in season 3, when she loses Eric (another principal character) she became more vulnerable. This year she will become more feral and more combative. It’s an interesting season for Pam. She has her on very serious dilemma. When they told me about what’s going to happen with Pam this year, I told myself ‘Oh she’s going fall apart and crumble but she doesn’t.’The way she handled it was interesting and fun to play,” Kristin revealed.

When asked if she were a real vampire, whom would she bite and turn into someone like her, the American actress replied:  “Oh well,” paused for a few seconds and laughed, “Well you know the first thought I had was my husband but I want  turn my dog. But on a serious note, there are some people who I find it so sad when they are getting older, because I think… who will take their place, they are amazing people we have on earth.”

“I would have to say Jane Goodall. She’s an amazing person. She makes planet earth a better place. She’s an incredible lady. She spends every other day travelling the world fulfilling her purpose. It’s funny but I want turn Goodall. Now I am trying to picture her as a vampire,” Kristin giggled.

Goodall is a 77-year-old British primatologist and a UN Messenger of Peace. Kristin considers her as an inspiration as she is, like Goodall, an animal welfare advocate.

See more of Kristin as Pam in True Blood, available on HBO and HBO HD. The new season premiered on Nov. 3 and will be aired every Thursday on the cable channels.

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