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Interview: Adrian Holmes

When it comes to television these days, we rarely get surprised as viewers. When we first heard about V-Wars being another series about vampires, we were skeptical that it would be anything different than what we as viewers are used to seeing.

Well, thanks to the creators and writers of the series, V-Wars took the idea of ‘vampirism’ and gave it an entirely new twist. Leading the team along with co-star Ian Somerhalder is Canadian actor Adrian Holmes.

On the small screen, you may know Adrian from his award-winning work on the series 19-2. He’s also appeared in series such as Arrow, Continuum, Supernatural, True Justice and Letterkenny. On the big screen, he’s appeared in films such as Elysium, Skyscraper, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Red Riding Hood with Gary Oldman.

We sit down with the talented actor to talk about his new Netflix series V-Wars. We discuss his character, Michael Fayne, what it was like working with Ian Somerhalder and if there will be a future for the series after season one.

Pop Culture Principle – The series is adapted from the comic by Jonathan Maberry. Did you get a chance to go over the source material before tackling this role?

Adrian Holmes – I only received the source material once we started filming. I already had my ideas for the character but the books are quite descriptive and paint with a broader brush and more colors. This helped open me up to the world more and flesh out and understand the character even more as well. In the book, my character is an actor and a barista which is very different from what he is in the series. In the series, he is an aeronautics specialist who flies helicopters. I believe he possibly flew in the military and has a tactical background. Hopefully, we’ll get a season 2 they can explore his background even more.

Pop Culture Principle – Fans of the comics are concerned that the show will stray away from the comic. How much will the series respect the source material?

Adrian Holmes - In the source material, Luther Swann and Michael Fayne don’t know each other at all. They aren’t brothers and close friends like they are in the series and that was a change that had to be made for the sake of the show. A relationship and brotherhood between these two were necessary for the series connective tissue.

Pop Culture Principle – In the series, your character is best friends with Luther Swann, played by Ian Somerhalder. You guys have great chemistry on screen together. Can you tell us what it was like working with Ian?

Adrian Holmes – It was a fun experience I can honestly say. We got along very well and we both share a high level of respect for the craft. He’s an alumnus in this genre, who was always available as a resource as well if needed.

Pop Culture Principle – Although this is a show that involves vampirism, V-Wars is not a supernatural show. Would you agree with that?

Adrian Homes – Yes, I would, 100 percent. This series is a fresh new take on vampire mythology. It’s a show that provokes thought and has a lot of social relevance. It is a show about disease that addresses issues like global warming, science, politics, medicine, and racism. There’s a lot there for you to sink your teeth into, pardon the pun of course. 🙂

Pop Culture Principle – There’s a scene in the second episode where Michael runs into a blind woman waiting for a ride. It’s a very deep and telling scene with who Michael Payne still is. How important is that scene to this character?

Adrian Holmes – This is one of my favorite scenes because it really shows Fayne's humanity. It’s the first time you see him controlling his urge to feed as well. Its a scene about two people experiencing loss. It allows the audience to empathize with Fayne and his inner struggle and conflict. I’m very pleased with how that scene turned out.

Pop Culture Principle – Do you think he gets to a point where he finally accepts who he now is and his circumstances and as an actor, how did you enjoy playing that aspect of the character?

Adrian Holmes – Fayne has had quite a busy and exciting life flying helicopters etc. However, I do feel that he has been searching for something more. A sense of purpose. When he gets exposed to this deadly virus that changes him into this new species, he now has a decision to make. To accept his new fate or die. Coming to the conclusion that he has been chosen, by natural selection, he accepts his new position and sees it as just the natural order of things.

Like humans replacing the Neanderthals. Taking on this new mantle gives him that purpose he’s been looking for. To be the leader of the Bloods while enforcing a set of positive values to be followed, “Take pride, give help, don’t kill kids.” It’s a very important moment for him. He doesn’t want to kill but he knows that the Bloods have to feed to survive. He didn’t want them to kill people randomly, but kill those who are vigilantes or trying to harm them. This makes him both a Protagonist and an Antagonist in the story. It was very grounding as an actor to get to this point of development for the character.

Pop Culture Principle – The series has been getting positive reviews from fans and critics alike. How does that make you feel being a part of the series?

Adrian Holmes – I’m just so proud and so happy that the series has been getting this much attention and being so well received. We couldn’t be more grateful, and hopefully, we’ll get another kick at the can with a second season by God's grace.

Pop Culture Principle – You’ve played some great characters in your career so far, but have you ever wanted to play a vampire?

Adrian Holmes – Well I’ve always been one to face my fears. So as much as Vampires scared the crap out of me as a kid, playing a vampire has been on my bucket list. It’s such a cult character and ironically I dressed up as one for Halloween the year prior to me booking the role. I also had the opportunity to work with Gary Oldman many years ago, who I think played one of the best vampires on-screen in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. So, I guess you could say it all came full circle for me.

Pop Culture Principle – For fans who haven’t seen the first season of V-Wars yet, what can they look forward to with the first season?

Adrian Holmes – For the first season, you can look forward to great characters and a provocative storyline. There's action but it’s not a supernatural show. It’s a change from your typical vampire shows in that way. I love the fact that it has a lot of social relevance as well that we can all relate to. It’s exciting, gripping and it will hold your attention and keep you coming back for more.

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A huge thank you to Adrian Holmes for taking time out of his schedule to talk with us. Season one of V-Wars is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.

**Main photo courtesy of Charles Zuckermann**

**V-Wars photos courtesy of Netflix**

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