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On Vox: The Appeal of Vampires

I've not dipped my toes into the "Twilight" phenomena, which seems perhaps too chaste, but all the way back to Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi through Anne Rice's Lestat, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, Willem Defoe and now up through True Blood, I've always loved a good vampire story. I'm clearly not the only one. 

What's the appeal of the vampire?

Stephen Moyer, the actor who plays Bill on HBO's "True Blood" has a theory:

“The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that?  It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?... It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”

Rape isn't "charming" Stephen. But putting aside your unfortunate (and antiquated) choice of words, I believe what you're saying about some of the appeal of a show like "True Blood"" does actually come from a female desire (fantasy?) to be both adored and protected and "taken" by a force of pure animalistic passionate hunger.

There are plenty of similar themes of the civilized man with the hunger of a beast waiting to come out at night or with the proper provocation in art, mythology and in popular culture.

HBO knows what they're doing mixing power and sex appeal: remember "Rome"?



Originally posted on patty.vox.com