In honor of the release of Underworld: Awakening, we've got a whole slew of actresses who have played vampires over the years just for you. Yum.
-Lucia Peters, BettyConfidential.com
Kate Beckinsale Underworld
Poll time: Who out there remembers Kate Beckinsale from her pre-Underworld days? I know I sure do. A London native, Kate studied French and Russian literature at Oxford while simultaneously launching an acting career, which-early on, at least-was heavy on the Shakespeare adaptations and period costume dramas. Oddly, though, it wasn't these distinguished pieces of filmmaking that brought her firmly into the public eye-it was her turn as the action heroine vampire Selene in the first Underworld movie in 2003. Go figure.
And guess what? This Friday, they're releasing the fourth film in the series, Underworld: Awakening! I know, I know-they're still making Underworld films? Of course they are. Moreover, they put out a new one like clockwork every three years. So, in honor of the release of Kate Beckinsale and Underworld: Awakening, here are nine other actresses who have played vampires over the years. Note: You won't find anyone from Twilight, True Blood, or The Vampire Diaries here, because come on. You already know those gals. Who's your favorite bloodsucker? Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments!
1. Chloe Moretz as Abby in Let Me In
We first met little (well, not so little anymore!) Chloe Moretz as a pint-sized badass in Kick-Ass; shortly thereafter, she both scared and moved us as the child vampire Abby in Let Me In, the 2010 English-language remake of Sweden's beautiful 2008 film Let the Right One In. One thing's for sure: You don't mess with Abby… or with Abby's friends. Oh, also, here's wishing a belated congratulations to Chloe for winning the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Star Under 25!
2. Julie Benz as Darla in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Long before Dexter, No Ordinary Family, or A Gifted Man, Julie Benz took the small screen by storm in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Darla. Unassuming-looking (at least, when she doesn't have her vamp face on), yet extremely deadly, Darla later went on to appear on the Buffy spin-off Angel. Lesson learned: If a tiny blonde woman in a plaid skirt tries to get you to break into a school in the middle of the night-don't do it.
3. Kirsten Dunst as Claudia in Interview With The Vampire
I run a little hot and cold on Kirsten Dunst, but Claudia is by FAR my favorite of her roles. Somehow, little 12-year-old Kiki managed to capture perfectly the incredibly adult darkness lurking beneath the child vampire's doll-like exterior in Neil Jordan's 1994 adaptation of Anne Rice's novel. Chilling-and a performance that earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
4. Lena Olin as Maharet in Queen of the Damned
Aaliyah (RIP) was the big name attached to this adaptation of another Anne Rice tale, but Lena Olin really took the vampiric cake as Ancient Vampire Maharet. Once an Egyptian witch, Maharet later saved the world by helping Lestat (Stuart Townsend) defeat Akasha, the titular Queen of the Damned. A Swedish actress with a long and successful career behind her (including many collaborations with directing great Ingmar Bergman), Lena herself is probably best recognizable to American audiences as Irina Derevko, Sydney Bristow's (Jennifer Garner) mother on Alias.
5. Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Til Dawn
From Dusk Til Dawn
Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk Til Dawn is kind of like Reservoir Dogs by way of Desperado and suddenly OH GEEZ THERE ARE VAMPIRES. Santanico Pandemonium may look gorgeous… but watch out. She'll eat you without a second thought. And it won't be pretty.
6. Peta Wilson as Mina Harker in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
For those of you not familiar with Alan Moore's comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it takes a whole bunch of literary characters and makes them into a team of Victorian superheroes. It's awesome. The 2003 film adaptation of it, however, is not. It's got a lot of issues, one of which is the fact that according to the comics, Mina Harker of Dracula fame isn't actually supposed to be a vampire-and yet for some reason, she is in the movie. That said, though, League is one of my guilty pleasure movies (so sue me), and Peta Wilson is pretty badass in it as Mina. Rawr.
7. Dichen Lachman as Izumi in Being Human (US)
Australian actresses Dichen Lachman first got noticed in the Joss Whedon show Dollhouse and has since been making the rounds through the sci-fi world: She had a recurring role on the fourth season of Torchwood, and she's currently appearing in the second season of Sy Fy's supernatural series Being Human. We don't know much about her other than the fact she's a reclusive and ancient vampire who shakes things up when she returns to Boston, but it sounds like a promising storyline. Confession: I haven't actually seen the American version of the show, but I love the original British one, so either way, it's probably worth a watch.
8. Shannyn Sossamon as Coraline Duvall in Moonlight
Admittedly, Moonlight was a pretty terrible television show-there's a reason it only lasted for a season-but it was kind of fun all the same, largely because in addition to the standard paranormal romance tropes, it also had a healthy dose of detective show in it. Shannyn Sossamon (remember her from A Knight's Tale?) played Coraline Duvall, an 18th century French courtesan who turned investigator Mick St, John (Alex O'Loughlin) into a vampire on their wedding night. Presumed dead for over 20 years, she then reappears-claiming to have a cure for vampirisim. The plot thickens!
9. Sadie Frost as Lucy Westerna in Bram Stoker's Dracula
These days, you're probably most familiar with Sadie Frost as Jude Law's ex-wife. In the late '90s, she cut down on the acting to take care of her and Jude's kids-but before that happened, she played the ill-fated Lucy Westerna in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 adaptation of Dracula. You know: The one that starred Gary Oldman, Winona Rider, and (for some strange reason) Keanu Reeves. Yeah. That one. A little weird, but hey, Francis Ford Coppola will do what Francis Ford Coppola will do.
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