Vampires are back in the zeitgeist (Did they ever really leave?). Everyone’s favorite storied bloodsuckers are making a resurgence in media, and networks like Syfy are bringing undead tales with heart and humor to the table. Syfy’s latest offering, Reginald the Vampire, is a perfect cocktail of bloody fun and genuine depth. Based on the Fat Vampire series by Johnny B. Truant, Reginald the Vampire follows Reginald (Jacob Batalon), a newly-turned vamp who tries to navigate the elitist vampire community with his sire Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles) and crush Sarah (Em Haine) by his side.
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Georgia Waters, who portrays Penelope, a refined and proper vampire who works for Angela (Savannah Basley). You might know Georgia from her role as Eliza in Freeform’s Siren or as Rose in the 2020 horror flick Toys of Terror. We chatted about her influences when approaching Penelope, her favorite scene, what audiences can expect in the last few episodes and more.
This interview is condensed for length and clarity.
Melody McCune: Let’s talk about Reginald the Vampire. How did you get involved with the show?
Georgia Waters: I just auditioned. It was quite wild. I remember I had to do it all remotely. Usually, I would do it with my partner, but I’d just dropped him off to go to the airport. I had to record the other lines myself. It was a mess, but it worked. Sometimes, the most challenging situations turn out the best.
MM: Did working with the fangs on the show help you get into character? Were they difficult to maneuver?
GW: We didn’t have them the whole time. We only have them when we bite. I think the most challenging scene was the vampire orgy scene. We had to be kissing as well. I had never done something like that before. That was harder, as is speaking with them. You end up having a bit of a lisp.
It’s against the vampire glam personage and takes a bit of navigating. I’ve used teeth before when I was playing a mermaid in Siren. We had to have teeth for all the underwater scenes.
MM: Speaking of the vampire orgy scene in episode two, what was it like filming that?
GW: I was nervous because I hadn’t met some of the cast members until that day. I was like, “Oh my goodness, what will this be like?” I hadn’t done intimacy scenes like that before. A lot of my characters haven’t been involved with those kinds of storylines. Luckily, everyone was so lovely. We had an intimacy coordinator, and it was all very calm. We went over what we felt uncomfortable with or any insecurities. We had a lot of pants and backless bras. I wasn’t that exposed. I felt well taken care of. It’s a vulnerable thing; you don’t feel comfortable doing those scenes.
MM: I’d be remiss if I left out that restaurant scene with Penelope and LeBron. What was that like? Was there a lot of collaboration, or were you told to go for it?
GW: We met with the director a couple of weeks before to block it out. We met in one of the conference rooms in the hotel we were staying in, and we got a table and chairs and were like, “Okay, how do we go about this escalation from sitting down to suddenly vomiting?” It was fun playing with that. When we went in for the actual filming, we knew there wouldn’t be that many takes because once there’s vomit on you, you can’t do it again.
Luckily, there was a collaboration, like, “How would you move across the table or foods?” On the day, we didn’t know what foods we would grab. That was all a surprise. Poor Sean [Yves Lessard]. I think he got the brunt of it, but I don’t think they showed the extent of the vomiting we filmed. Sean shared a video of what it looked like, and it was pretty wild, so those interested should head to his Instagram.
MM: What do you use for the vomit?
GW: I think it was a vegetable smoothie. It smelled like vomit. When we were covered, it just stank.
MM: When getting into character for this role, were you inspired or influenced by vampires from pop culture?
GW: Definitely. Penelope is much more of a traditional vampire. She turned in the Victorian era. I leaned into the more traditional versions [of vampires]. As the series goes along, you see more of the charming awkwardness come through, breaking down her need to be perfect all the time.
MM: You definitely see that, especially in the later episodes with Angela. You see that awkward timidity.
GW: Penelope is drawn to power, and being a woman in the Victorian area, women had no power. Only as a standard vampire do you get that power. Angela is the woman she’s trying to impress. Similarly, you gravitate toward the bullying, and you’re like, “Oh, they’re the powerful one. I’m going to try and impress them all the time.” It’s fun to show more of a vulnerability and human side. That’s what makes her more interesting.
MM: Do you have a favorite scene from your time on the show?
GW: The vomiting one was interesting to film. They’re all quite fun and different. There was a scene when we (Penelope and LeBron) are listening to Mike (Ryan Jinn) telling Angela what he had seen. Even though we weren’t doing anything in the scene, we had so much fun being these incompetent vampires. There are some fun scenes later on in the season. Every day was a lovely day on set; all the directors and cast were so good to work with.
MM: Describe this show using three words.
GW: Heartwarming. Cheeky. Reassuring. It celebrates everyone.
MM: Is there anything you can tease for the rest of the season? What can we expect going in?
GW: A lot happens. It doesn’t all stay in Akron. There are some wild sets you get to see and wild storylines. If you think it’s been an adventure so far, it gets even crazier. It also explores more of what it means to love yourself and be a good person. I think people will love watching it.
MM: What else is on the horizon for you, career-wise?
GW: At the moment, I’m auditioning for new stuff. I did a comedy miniseries with Ryan, who plays Mike, which is for YouTube. Getting to do more comedy was definitely fun. I’m focusing on my own writing. My love is historical dramas, so I’ve been working on that. Even once you’ve got your finished product and you’re speaking to producers, from that point to getting things made is such a long process. But it’s one that’s important to me.
MM: Thank you so much for chatting with me, Georgia!
GW: Thank you, Melody!
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