She is quite the regular American teenager on the hit TV show Modern Family but in the world of Vampire Academy, Sarah Hyland plays Natalie who is a nerd and a little bit strange. What did she like about Natalie Dashkov? Which character is closer to herself, Haley from Modern Family or Natalie? We also asked some questions which you guys submitted. And we found Sarah had zero preparation time to enter Vampire Academy. Wow, such a popular girl!
Q: Was that fun for you to transform into this different world from Modern Family?
It was so much fun. I loved it. I thought that – because it’s so different from anything I’ve ever done. When you play someone like Haley, her standards are a lot higher than Natalie’s. So I’m always worried, do I have dark circles, is my hair OK? Do I look pale? Do I have enough blush or contour? And all that stupid stuff. But with Natalie, I was really able to relax and really focus on the character herself. Whereas, with Haley, that’s something that she would worry about all the time. So with Natalie, it was a lot of fun to go to set and be like, “Whatever! As long as continuity is right, that’s all that matters.”
Q: What did you like about her?
I love that Natalie does have this unique energy. She brings something very different to the movie than any of the other characters and I think that’s wonderful on Richelle and Daniel’s part. I feel like the movie is very comedy driven with action and romance and it has everything for everybody. But with the comedy, Rose Hathaway is very witty and dry and sarcastic and she has this dark, twisted sense of humor, which is very much like Daniel Waters. It’s very Heathers. And Natalie is so all over the place to where it’s this different type of energy. It’s more – I don’t want to say it’s slapstick – but she would definitely be the person who slips on the banana and gets laughs.
Q: Did you read the books?
I was actually in Baton Rogue filming Bonnie & Clyde when I booked it, like less than a week that I flew to London. They were trying to figure out if my schedule would work by the time we wrapped Bonnie & Clyde. So I wrapped Bonnie & Clyde on a Wednesday, I flew to LA on Thursday, did laundry, repacked, and flew to London on Friday. So it was a really fast turnaround for me so I wasn’t able to read the book before we started filming. So I was reading it during filming, so it was hard to read the book while filming because you have this image of Natalie with Daniel Waters. And I had my old image of Natalie in my own head that I wanted to bring certain things to the table. And then it was hard to incorporate a lot of Richelle’s stuff, even though it’s very close to Daniel’s, but it was kind of too late by the time I got to some pivotal moments for her. It was like, “Well we’ve already shot this so oh well. [Laughs].”
Q: Did you have martial arts training in a prom dress for this film?
And four inch heels! I did do training. I did training while we were filming. I did training three times a week and I also did stunt choreography and fighting and stuff like that. I did not have the privilege to do it three months in advance like Zoey did. I wish I did. But it was a lot of fun. I’m not an active person at all. I used to dance when I was younger – like ten dance classes a week. So I was very active at one point in my life and then that just slowly fleeted away. And so it was really great to get back into it. And it was a lot of fun because stunt fighting is kind of like a dance in its own way. So it was really interesting to do that. It was my first time doing anything like that.
Q: The licking blood scene, what was the taste of the blood like? Ketchup?
I actually would have liked it better if it was ketchup. I should have brought that up. But it was like a corn starchy concoction but it was edible and that’s all I really cared about. It wasn’t the worst tasting thing in the world, but it’s not like I was like, “Oh. Can we do one more take? I really want to lick this wall again! It’s delicious!”
Q: Was it gross though when you were doing it?
Well, they (vampires) like blood. They eat it to survive. So that’s like a cheeseburger to them. But I don’t know. The mindset of it was more of “I don’t know whose blood this is and it’s kind of creepy and stuff” so we actually played it a lot of different ways. Mark was very helpful in playing around with Natalie and how she thought of everything. So we played it a lot of ways like “This is kind of weird, Rose. What are you doing? I’m really kind of crept out.” And then we played it in ways of like, “I’m so excited to help! This is awesome! I’m helping Rose Hathaway. She’s so cool!” kind of stuff. So it was really interesting to be able to do something like that. I think the hardest thing for me was the fangs. Acting with fangs is very different.
Q: How many times did you have to lick the wall?
I honestly don’t remember.
Q: How was working with Danila Kozlovsky?
Danila is one of those men who at first you think he is very serious and very Russian and super composed. And then you hang out with him more and he is the sweetest, funniest person. And he is so wonderful. We’ve had some really great moments. Even if we weren’t filming, we would all hang out and as much as Danila could because everything was demanding so much on Lucy, Zoey and Danila. But we had a lot of fun. He’s very playful. I think that’s a good word for him.