Kate Beckinsale and 9 Other Actresses Who Have Played Vampires
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.
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.
More famous bloodsuckers, including Salma Hayek and Sadie Frost, up next!