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Q&A: 'Vampire Academy' stars talk about story's jump to the big screen

This Jan. 28, 2014 photo shows co-stars of the film

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This Jan. 28, 2014 photo shows co-stars of the film "Vampire Academy," from left, Lucy Fry, Zoey Deutch and Sami Gayle posing for a portrait in New York. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - For those who have gotten their fill of vampires thanks to the "Twilight" series of books and movies, "Vampire Academy" offers a different world and back story.

Based on the bestselling young adult book series by Richelle Mead, the film, opening Friday, stars Lucy Fry, who plays Lissa, a vampire of royal lineage, and Zoey Deutch, who plays half-vampire Rose, who's bonded to protect her. They attend the Vampire Academy, where there's a hierarchy among students and cliques like any other high school; the difference is that in the supernatural world, you sometimes have to fight to survive.

Deutch, Fry and cast mate Sami Gayle talked about the movie in recent interviews with The Associated Press.

AP: Can people who haven't read the books enjoy the film?

Fry: It was made so people who haven't read the books can really enjoy it, and in that way it describes the world really clearly at the start so you understand who everyone is and go with the story. It's got a lot of punchy humour and it takes the story of the book, and Dan Wood, the writer, added a lot of cheek and pizazz that is in the book but heightens (it).

AP: Will fans of the book series enjoy the film?

Fry: The one thing about an adaptation from a book to a film is it's not gonna be the way that anyone pictured it to be. I know myself when reading a book you have all these details and images in your mind and when you watch the film, nothing's gonna be the same because everyone's imagination is completely different. But the great thing about that is they also see something new and see something they haven't thought of before.

Gayle: If you do the character justice and you're true to the character, hopefully the fan base will love the character.

AP: How does this movie compare with other vampire-titled entertainment?

Gayle: Although it's a vampire film and there's that supernatural layer, I feel that the supernatural aspect of this film is the icing on the cake; that the cake itself is actually the sort of high-school society represented in this film.

AP: How do you think people react when they hear the title?

Deutch: They're trepidatious about the title, it's called 'Vampire Academy,' even the author was like, I didn't want it to be called that, but you know exactly what it's about when you hear it. And when you see it, in my opinion, I've seen the finished product, and it is a fun movie. It is a date movie. It is a charming movie.

AP: Did you understand the popularity of the books?

Gayle: We shot the film in kind of a bubble in London and in studios closed off from any public interaction, so I had no idea, but then ... I had a different film premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and seeing fans there with my picture superimposed with different hairstyles that they thought (her character) Mia might have or going to Comic-Con and seeing that vast fan base there, it was eye-opening and shocking.

AP: Zoey, what was it like playing Rose, the protagonist of the book series?

Deutch: It all happened quite fast. I immediately started training, gym training as well as kickboxing and martial arts. ... Obviously you don't look at me and your instinct is, 'Oh my gosh, she could beat me up. She looks tough,' like, no. So I knew that I wouldn't feel honest playing this part had I not done the work and I did.

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Follow Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar

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