Lucy Fry Dishes On Night Teeth, Accent Work, And Why She Loves Playing Vampires – Exclusive Interview
When it comes to playing supernatural creatures, Lucy Fry is a pro. In Netflix’s new vampire-centric film “Night Teeth,” Fry is dusting off her fangs for another round of vampy goodness following her 2014 stint as Lissa Dragomir in “Vampire Academy.” And while the Dragomir vampire princess was just that — good — Fry’s “Night Teeth” character Zoe is bad to the fang.
Fry’s supernatural catalog of work doesn’t stop at vampires, however. She played an alien named Zoey in 2012’s “Alien Surf Girls,” the mermaid Layla in “Mako Mermaids,” and an elf named Tikka in the 2017 film “Bright.” (Fry has taken on a number of human roles, like Poppy in “Mr. Church,” Eve in “Wolf Creek,” and Stella in “Godfather of Harlem.”)
During an exclusive interview with Looper, Lucy Fry dished on her titillating “Night Teeth” role, what she loves about playing vampires, and how she’s finely tuned many accents throughout her career.
Bonnie and Clyde meets badass female vampires
I love this film so much because it has a Bonnie and Clyde setup, but instead of the romance angle, we have two strong women tearing up the city as vampires. How did you and Debby Ryan cultivate that intense yet carefree best friend dynamic? And what most excited you about turning this trope on its head?
Yeah, that was the thing that attracted me to the script — the badass friendship between Zoe and Blaire. And I was really lucky that Debby and I bonded instantly and very quickly found a friendship and a trust and a safety in each other that allowed us to bring that friendship into our characters and go very deep into that reality together.
And I really loved that. She’s done a lot of boxing, and I’ve done martial arts training. So we could kind of have … We quickly did a lot of stunt training together. And we were able to do those stunts and have those badass moments where I think you can see the friendship thriving as we’re fighting, and as we were kind of kicking ass together.
And I think that’s very much like that Bonnie and Clyde thing. And there’s one scene at the gas station where Zoe kind of goes a bit wild, and Debby’s character, Blaire, just knows how to bring her back down to reality and is like right there, sort of backing her up and keeping her safe at the same time.
And I felt that dynamic. Yeah, we found it really fast, and it’s such a treat to play that with a woman and get to explore the friendship in such a fun, fun way. In a way, I don’t know if it felt like turning it on its head as just really going into it and being like, “Yeah, we’re two women, and we’re doing this, and we’re killing it together.” And that was just really empowering.
Working with Alexander Ludwig and Alfie Allen
Definitely. Any interest in the vampire life yourself, or is that better left on the screen?
The vampire life? I think I like the sun too much to be a vampire [laughs], but I also love the moon and the cycles of the moon and night and all of that. So I think the vampire life will stay on the screen, but I’m definitely interested.
What was it like working with Alexander Ludwig and Alfie Allen?
Amazing. They’re both incredible actors, and they both really brought a lot to their characters, who are so different. And yeah, I had so much fun filming the scenes with Alexander Ludwig. We actually have the same acting coach and work in the same method. So when we had our scenes together, they were really charged because we were both using the same process. And it felt like so much fun to have that shorthand understanding together. And he made a lot of jokes and things that weren’t originally in the script. We all loved that.
The four of us, Debby, Jorge [Lendeborg], and Alex, and I, had a blast. And with Alfie too, he came and the scenes where he was there, he was just so poised, and so kind, and so prepared, and so powerful in what he brought to Victor and such a kind, kind human. And yeah, I really, really loved working with him.
The ad-lib life of an actor
Can you think of any specific ad-libbed scenes?
From Alex or Victor?
Either, if both of them did that.
Well, I feel like Alex, he just had some one-liners. His line “surprises are tight” — when I read it in the script, I was like, “How’s that going to work?” And the way he did it, it just really took off. And it’s such an eccentric film, and the way he did it, I was like, “Oh, that’s amazing. That’s so fun.” And so for the rest of filming, we all would make jokes about “surprises are tight.” And there’s even one where they rocked up in the middle of the night, and he’s like, “I’m not that kind of girl.” As if we’re all there to take advantage of him.
[Laughs] And we’re kind of like the characters are in a way, so the joke worked into it. And yeah, he just was very present. In the way that he worked, it was very much just like “let’s see what happens” and … yeah.
From Lissa to Zoe
You’ve now played two very different vampires. What draws you to these roles?
I feel like the magic in supernatural characters — whether it’s vampires or elves or mermaids — there’s something about playing these otherworldly things that is really fun because you not only get to invest in and create the humanity and where they’re at as a being, as a soul, you also get to figure out a physicality in a way that’s slightly heightened. And you get to go into the mythology of it.
And it’s like building a character that’s beyond what you get the chance to experience in your daily life as a human. And it’s really fun to do that. I think that’s why we like to watch that. It’s just that little bit of magic that film can give, and it’s such a treat to get to explore it.
Definitely. What were some of the biggest challenges and differences between playing Lissa in “Vampire Academy” and Zoe in “Night Teeth”? Which character would you rather hang out with?
I would rather hang out with Zoe because she’s so much more fun. She’s got a better sense of humor, and you just need to have a joke sometimes. And Lissa was so long ago, and she was such a sweetheart and a good person. But I think she hadn’t really found herself yet. She was young, and Zoe’s like 200 years old. And she knows who she is, and she’s not even worried. That’s not even a concern in her mind anymore.
Now it’s just “How much fun can I have and how much power can I gain?” And I think those people are maybe a little bit toxic. She’s a little bit toxic, but also super magnetic and super fun to hang out with.
Two vampires are better than one
Definitely. What were the biggest challenges between both of those roles?
Challenges? Well, Lissa in “Vampire Academy,” that was the first film I ever did, so the challenges there were actually just feeling confident on set to play the role and learning what it was like to make a film. And being in London and just all of it were such huge experiences. And I kind of felt like I was just keeping up with the work and learning what this is all about, really. And now it’s a lot later in my career, and I didn’t have any of that fear anymore. So I just had so much fun playing Zoe, and none of it was about “Can I do this?”
It was all about “Okay, how am I going to do this?” And really enjoying being the bad guy in it, really enjoying being sassy, and being fierce and this very grounded energy and the freedom that Adam [Randall] gave me to fully go all out in whatever direction I felt like going in — whether it was screaming at Benny or having whatever physical release I wanted to happen. He was just like, “Go in any direction.” And I’ve never really had that with a character before, that it could be that volatile.
Lucy Fry's accent work
You’ve had to alter your Australian accent quite a bit in your career between the American accent for Zoe, the British accent for Lissa, and the New York accent in “Godfather of Harlem.” What has that process been like, and has it gotten easier the longer you’ve had to do it?
Yeah. I find now the general American accent doesn’t even feel like doing an accent anymore, which is a little like, “Oh, I might be losing my Australian accent.” Yeah. But it’s okay. I guess it happens. And the New York accent, I’ve definitely gotten a lot more comfortable with having done two seasons of that now. I’ve also done a Russian accent, and I’ve done in “Bright” … David wanted me to have a slightly Swedish accent to sound more like kind of that elfish, Nordic thing.
So I’ve done a lot of accents, and it does get easier. You learn to settle into it. It’s just more like that moment of putting in the effort to really learn the accent and settle into it for it to feel natural. Yeah. But I think the more you do it, the more your ear gets trained.
And I really notice people’s voices now. And it’s like doing all that accent work, it changes the placement of sound too and changes the character. And so now when people talk, I kind of hear more about where is it placed. And there’s so much expression that comes from the voice and vocal quality in people. And it’s really interesting to me, listening to the way that people speak for … I become a bit of a nerd about it.
The future of the Night Teeth universe
Are there any accents you haven’t tried yet that you’d love to play around with? And are fans ever surprised when they meet you out of character?
Yeah. When I meet people in New York, “Godfather of Harlem” is very, very successful there compared to other places. And yeah, when people say hi to me in New York, like, “Oh, you play Stella.” And I say, “Hi.” And they’re like, “You’re not from here?” [Laughs] That always makes me happy when they don’t realize that it wasn’t my natural accent.
Especially if they’re natives, that’s good props to you.
Thanks. Yeah, it makes me feel like, “Yes, I did it!” Yeah. [Laughs]
Do you think there’s room for a sequel or a prequel to “Night Teeth,” and would you be game to return in some capacity if given the opportunity?
I think there is definitely room for a sequel and a prequel. I think they’ve been alive a long time. So if you wanted to go to the point where Blaire and Zoe meet, or Zoe and Victor are in Europe or wherever you want to go, you could.
There’s a lot to explore. And I think where it ends, where the structure of the gangs in L.A. has been upended, uprooted, changed. That how that then affects maybe the global or even just national vampire circuit. There could be bigger ramifications to explore. So yeah, it could be interesting.
Fitting Zoey Deutch in a pair of fangs
“Night Teeth” puts a fascinating spin on vampire lore. What do you think sets the film apart from the deep catalog of vampire content that’s come before? And what do you think will excite vampire fans most about the movie?
I think that the thing that’s the most exciting about this is the way that it’s sort of … The spin on it is that it’s a gang-run vampire system that has to stay hidden from humans, but that they’re really running the show in L.A., in this instance. And I think that’s really interesting because of that, the history of power with vampires and how they would keep all of that wealth and power within their species. And I think that’s a really interesting aspect.
And then also just how much fun it is that you’re going into it from Zoe and Blaire’s perspective and from Benny’s perspective, who is such a bright, kind, caring human — and getting sucked into this world with these very crazy, eccentric women. And I think the irreverence of that is really fun. And I think that people who love the vampire genre will enjoy the playfulness that’s in this.
Definitely. Are there any of your former co-stars that you’d love to see in any possible future “Night Teeth” films? I’d personally love to see Zoey Deutch take on a super evil vampire.
Yeah. I agree with you with that. She would be amazing, yeah. And Zoey Deutch would be a great, amazing vampire because in “Vampire Academy,” she wasn’t playing a vampire. She was playing the human one. So that would be really, really cool to see her as a vampire. She would make it really funny too, I reckon.
A few dozen decades of Zoe
Did you come up with a backstory for your character? Because we don’t get to see too much of where she was at beforehand. Did you create a backstory in your head? Where do you think she comes from, outside of her Bowie infatuation?
Yeah, I did, I envisioned … It’s really fun that with a vampire, you can imagine any kind of origin story. And I imagined her starting, being turned in a church in the Middle Ages in Europe, Eastern Europe, making her way across to England, and then coming to America and meeting Victor in America. And raging with him across the Wild West, picking off humans as things were wild out here then, and kind of going out raging with him on a kind of honeymoon to World War II where the chaos … I imagine them just thriving in chaos. Whenever humans were killing each other, it’d be the perfect time for vampires to have a blast.
And then from the ’50s, they came back to America and that things have been fairly calm for them. And they got a little bored, and that’s when Zoe became friends with Blaire, formed more spark in her life. And this friendship that’s been her biggest gift until this point when now they’re getting a little bored again, and they need to take the power in L.A. because after sitting around being content for a while, she needs to mix it up.
Vampire fans can tune into “Night Teeth,” now streaming on Netflix.