Count Dracula, Mina Murray, Jonathan Harker, Renfield and the other familiar characters from the world’s most famous vampire story will return to the pop-culture forefront on Friday, when NBC launches “Dracula” as a weekly series. In this latest spin on Bram Stoker’s vampire classic, Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as Dracula, with Jessica De Gouw as Mina, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Harker and Nonso Anozie as Renfield.
“‘Everybody knows about ‘Dracula,’ don’t they?,” De Gouw said. “When I was in drama school in Australia, we did a stage version of it, and I played Renfield, of all things. That’s a little different to our show.
“Actually, when I did it at university, I thought Renfield was the most exciting character, and I didn’t care so much for Mina, but, reading this script for the show, I think Mina is very, very interesting. Mina’s got a lot to offer, and I was stoked to play her.”
This new iteration of “Dracula” puts a fresh spin on the material. Dracula, aka Vlad Tepes, is forced to join forces with his nemesis, vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann), to topple a shadowy organization called the Order of the Dragon. To do so, Dracula poses as American entrepreneur Alexander Grayson, who supposedly aims to bring science to Victorian London.
Meanwhile, Dracula makes the acquaintance of Mina, realizing immediately that she is the reincarnation of Ilona, his greatest love from centuries earlier. The problem is that she’s engaged to Harker, an ambitious journalist intrigued by “Grayson’s” sudden presence in London. Then there’s Lucy Westenra (Katie McGrath), Mina’s best friend, who harbors romantic feelings for her.
Haven’t heard the name Jessica de Gouw? Don’t worry – you will. A little more than a year after graduating from performance studies at Curtin University in Western Australia, 25-year-old de Gouw packed her bags for Los Angeles – promptly scoring the role of the Huntress in Arrow, the acclaimed new series based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow. The network apparently liked what it saw but got in too late. Earlier this year, de Gouw was cast opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula, the new series from NBC, which is halfway through a six-month shoot in Budapest. And there’s more to come.
Tell us, how does a girl from Kalamunda in Perth’s hills end up in Hollywood?
I have no idea! Through a series of crazy events.
You moved there not long after graduating from drama school. Now you’re starring in two big TV series. Seriously, how does that happen?
It’s pretty wacky. I graduated and then moved to Sydney. Then, in July last year, I was like, ‘I’m going to go to LA.’ I moved – and I haven’t really been home. It’s been a pretty crazy adventure.Continue Reading
This time last year Perth-raised actress Jessica De Gouw didn’t think life could get much better. The rising starlet had scored a role in ABC1 telemovie The Mystery of a Hansom Cab but little did she know that in 12 months time she would be living in Budapest and cosying up to a Hollywood hunk on a television drama set.
“It’s pretty wacky, I have to check myself everyday it’s like ‘OK, I’m in Budapest but I’m from Perth, what am I doing here’,” she tells AAA over the phone from Budapest where her new show Dracula is being filmed.
“It’s been an adventure. When I think about where I was this time last year, I was in Melbourne shooting a little telemovie for the ABC which then I thought was huge. I was like ‘Oh my God, this is all I ever want’, and now I’m in Budapest playing with vampires and all of that.”Continue Reading