Vampire Academy fans have had plenty to say on the casting of Danila Kozlovsky as Dimtri Belikov. In the books, he’s Rose Hathaway’s intense trainer who has her panting around the running track, as well as after him.
The character has plenty going for him, as writer Richelle Mead exclusively tells SciFiNow, but she admits it wasn’t a conscious effort to create the reader’s ideal fantasy man…
“He’s quiet and mysterious, which drives a lot of us crazy,” says Mead. “We want to know what he’s thinking, and readers have flooded me with requests to rewrite the series through his point of view, which I’m afraid won’t be happening!
“Dimitri’s also strong, loyal, and intensely fierce when it comes to protecting those in his charge. He’ll walk up against formidable odds without blinking an eye, if someone he cares about or has sworn to protect is in danger. And despite his stoic exterior, we get to see that he has a passionate heart within and is capable of huge emotion when in love.
“Add all of that up, and it’s no wonder he has so many fans! That being said, I wasn’t trying to create any perfect storm of attributes when I wrote him, and it’s been amazing seeing the loyalty of his fan base develop. My biggest goal was creating a romantic interest who could balance Rose. Where she’s risky and impulsive, he’s steady and calm. Together, they make an unstoppable team.”
The pair share plenty of sexually charged scenes together in the book, including the much-talked about lust spell sequence that’s set to be replicated on the big screen in the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel. Mead says actress Zoey Deutch (Rose) and Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri) were very similar to how she imagined the characters…
“It’s really amazing not just how much they look like the characters, but that they actually have their personalities down as well. Zoey has such energy and sass and totally understands Rose’s sense of humour. When she’s in the room, people know it!
“At the same time, Zoey’s got this really strong core of inner fierceness and protectiveness. She was so concerned about me overheating under set lights during my visit and made sure I had lots of water. Back then, I was hiding my pregnancy, so she had no idea how much I appreciated her extra care!
“Danila likewise has that strength and stoicism that Dimitri has, which cleverly hides a wealth of humour and emotion within. The other cast members looked up to him exactly the same way the characters do to Dimitri in the books, with a mix of awe and reverence. And yet, despite their larger-than-life presences, he and Zoey are both so totally down to earth and approachable. You instantly feel comfortable around them.”
Vampire Academy is released on 23 April 2014 in the UK. You can buy Vampire Academy (Book 1) for £5.75 at Amazon.co.uk.