Fall TV Preview

Dracula's Jonathan Rhys Meyers Offers 6 Bloody Bits in Advance of His Dark Series' Premiere

Dracula Season 1 Premiere Spoilers Jonathan Rhys MeyersIn the opening moments of Dracula, NBC’s new take on Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale, the titular creature is awakened after rotting in a coffin for centuries.

Feels almost that long since we’ve had Jonathan Rhys Meyers on our TV screens, doesn’t it?

The Tudors star makes his television return with the gothic – and well-known — story about a man cursed to walk the Earth forever, feasting on his victims and subject to the whims of the demon living inside him.

VIDEO Dracula Exclusive Preview: ‘As American as God, Guns and Bourbon’

But the series that premieres Friday night (10/9c), Rhys Meyers says, is much more about his character’s battered humanity than his superhuman abilities. (In other words, don’t expect this bloodsucker to sparkle.)

“He’s been alive for 400 years, which means it’s not the monster that makes Dracula interesting. It’s the human that makes him interesting,” the actor tells TVLine. “They cursed him with still being human, which is a terrible thing: to create a monster and leave this little melanoma, this little cavity of humanity in him.”

Read on to find out what happens when that humanity is stoked, as well as why Dracula is quite the evolved horror project as well as who the fanged one loathes, lusts after, longs for and leaves standing guard when the sun rises.

RELATED | Watch the Dracula Trailer Now

Dracula Season 1 Premiere Spoilers Jonathan Rhys MeyersME, MYSELF AND DIE | Rhys Meyers’ character, Vlad Tepes, is a 16th-century warrior cursed with a demon: Dracula. “This is where the conflict exists,” Rhys Meyers says – but wait, it gets even more complicated: Tepes, whom we see making his entrance into 1896 London society, is pretending to be an American industrialist named Alexander Grayson. Grayson “is Vlad performing as an American,” the actor says, adding with a laugh, “I had to work very hard on the voice, because it’s not like an American of Santa Monica today.”

GRAND ENTRANCE | At a gala Grayson throws for his new British contemporaries, we learn that he’s gunning to take down members of the Order of the Dragon, aka the same organization that doomed him to eternal torment. First order of business: Destroy the source of their wealth by taking out their fossil-fuel holdings; yep, the bad guys in this story are Big Oil.

“It’s like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War,” Rhys Meyers explains. “If you take away the army’s ability to sustain itself, then it can’t fight… So what [Grayson] is doing is trying to deplete [the order]’s army by rocking their finances. If you can’t pay your soldiers, your soldiers won’t fight for you.” An important note: “Grayson has wealth,” the actor says – and we’ll find out exactly how that came to be in future episodes.

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Dracula Season 1 Premiere Spoilers Jonathan Rhys MeyersHAVE WE MET? | Grayson is distracted from plotting his enemies’ downfall when he notices a very familiar face across the dance floor: Jessica De Gouw’s Mina Murray (Arrow), who bears an amazing resemblance to Vlad’s long-dead wife. Grayson takes an immediate interest in getting to know the young medical student – the only female in her class – and in championing her relationship with a handsome journalist named Jonathan Harker (played by Mr. Selfridge‘s Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Rhys Meyers knows that sounds counterintuitive. “I keep her close by keeping him close,” he says. “For now.”

IS IT GETTING WARM IN HERE? | Victoria Smurfit (About a Boy) plays Lady Jayne, a well-to-do woman with a secret that’s connected to the Order of the Dragon. Naturally, Grayson makes her one of his projects, and naturally, that involves the doffing of corsets. “Lady Jayne is the alpha female,” Rhys Meyers says. “Sex is very, very important to her.” (Grayson doesn’t seem to mind, either.)

FRIENDS AND FRENEMIES | Though to the world Grayson seems like just another braggart American, a few know his secret. These include Renfield (Game of Thrones‘ Nonso Anozie), his right-hand man, and Prof. Abraham Van Helsing (The River‘s Thomas Kretschmann) – the latter who is known in the lore as Dracula’s adversary. “They will become so,” Rhys Meyers says, laughing. “That little love affair won’t last.”

THIS SUCKS – BUT NOT TOO MUCH | The premiere features some hard-core fighting and a bit of gore, but don’t expect a Walking Dead-style gross-out each week. “We didn’t want to do too much of the neck-biting killing,” the actor says. “Too much of that, and then people get bored, and it’s not frightening anymore.” Plus, it’s just not Vlad’s style. “I didn’t want to turn him into somebody who’s his shouting, roaring monster,” he adds. “I wanted him to be much more controlled.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jerry says:

    I’m watching the premiere, but the lack of advance reviews doesn’t give me much hope

  2. CBWBDK1 says:

    Can’t wait for this!

  3. Tai says:

    I got to watch this at the New York comic con earlier this month. It was pretty good. It was better than I expected at any rate. I’m going to keep watching. I love Jonathan Rhys Meyers. So the show had me with that. But it was pretty funny during some parts. I’m not really feeling Mina just yet but I’ll wait and see with they one. Overall I liked it. It should work as a limited series.

  4. Pati says:

    I’m excited for this show won’t watch it live since it’s on Friday night but will definetly dvr. Love the cast

  5. liz says:

    I’m not tooooo attracted to the concept, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers is such a ridiculously talented and compelling actor I’ll tune in for that alone. The Tudors was a fantastic piece of television, due largely to his performance. If someone can bring Henry to life, I’m sure Dracula is well within his powers.

  6. Zach says:

    From the review I read, Meyers is outstanding and his American accent is flawless. It said the script was good, but not great.

  7. ScorpionGlow says:

    Can’t wait to see this!! I think we’ve all seen too much vampire related nonsense over the last five or six years, but this doesn’t seem to rely so much on the lore as it does the characters. A character driven show is much more interesting than one that focuses solely on the Dracula lore. Plus, JRM is one of the finest actors. He speaks beautifully and intelligently. He’s incredibly enjoyable on screen.

  8. Apples says:

    Big fan of Meyers but I suspect another dud for NBC.

  9. Esaul says:

    I understand premiering it on Friday night, but why Friday night? Hopefully it has decent ratings, or NBC isn’t expecting big numbers.

    • Aprilcot says:

      My guess is they’re trying to get the Grimm audience. It’s the same demo and Grimm performs pretty well (for NBC, at least).

  10. MLO says:

    Meh. Was kind of interested until I found out it takes place in 1896. Definitely not the impression you get from the commercials. I’m tired of period dramas – there seem to be a slew of them lately. And I find Rhys-Meyers kind of insipid.

  11. B. says:

    Jonathn Rhys Meyers is an extremely talented, intelligent, handsome, sexy actor!! Thank you, NBC, for bringing him back to us in a series.

  12. Shaun says:

    Jessica was pretty bad on Arrow.

  13. Kaycie says:

    Love Jonathen Rhys Meyers. His astonishing preformance in The Tudors was amazing. I will deff be seeing more of Dracula, also looking forward to seeing my favorire actor on the big screen once again. Keep up the good work Meyers :)

  14. Robert says:

    What a refreshing take on the old cult hit Dracula, it proves period drama is a live and kicking. It’s over due time descent budgets are given to these shows on network television. Well done to the Dracula cast and team behind the scenes, lets hope season two is just as intriguing.

  15. vampie fang says:

    Dracula is the breakout sleeper hit of the year 2013. It’s one of the best renditions of this old folklore story portrayed in recent years. I hope the delay in announcement of a season 2 is because of contact renewals & production scheduling with the actors and actresses, & not because of lack of interest in the show from it’s fans. The NBC Dracula face book page has proved success for this drama series by having well over 700,000 “Likes” & it seems to grow by a 1,000 plus every few days. I read that an announcement if there is to be a season 2 will be given sometime in May 2014. It would be wise to allow this show to remain in production for several seasons to come as it is a brilliant show and enjoyable to view. People are so dedicated to bring about the attention needed to help the decision to keep Dracula on air that petitions have been wrote. Fans are signing them by the thousands. The fans are from overseas as well as from stateside. The show is genius, superbly written, and the cast of actors and actresses are a force to be reckoned with. Their performance’s abilities are outstanding. Dracula follows the original story close enough but with a steam punk modernistic approach. Which is clever to keep the storyline intriguing and captivating. The sets are spot on with the time era and full of splendor. The costumes are handsome and glamorous. It’s refreshing to have a show for the mature viewership and one that reaches out to an all gender audience. A show that has none of the following; federal agents, singing comps, absurd and/or obscured talent shows, police chases, fires that are put out in seconds, unfunny comedy situations, gangs & drug lords running amok in neighborhoods, & celeb games. TV airtime has been saturated with all of this for years and it’s tiresome. To have this unique show Dracula for just one season would be unjust to the viewers.

  16. Olaf Clif says:

    Will exist a season 2?