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Interview with a Vampire: ‘Moonlight’ Transcript, Part 2

Last month I interviewed 'Moonlight' creator Trevor Munson about his new book and how it spawned the show. Below find the transcript. If you're a 'Moonlight' fan or not, clack on!

(Check out part 1 of the interview)

Munson on Moonlight

While I liked the novelistic Coraline, she is a more traditional vampire in the TV show. So, how did you sit down with Ron Koslow and transition these characters, who are so stark and violent, over to the more romantic Moonlight we have today?
CBS liked the idea of a vampire P.I., sort of the basic world. They wanted it to be more elegant, more romantic. So, Ron and I figured there had to be a cool romance. We got to talking about it. We quickly figured out Coraline wouldn’t work for that as she was too much of a femme fatale. There was a period in early meetings where we were sort of stumped about it. I mentioned how Mick saves this little girl in the book. I had sort of loosely just thought of incorporating that little girl into the next book which I thought about calling it Guardian Angel where he watched over her as she grew up just sort of as a distant protector and because she was this link to his humanity. And, I thought at some point when she becomes an adult there could be some sort of romance. That was as far as I thought it.

I mentioned it to him. He said he thought that was the way in to creating the series. We modernized all of the stuff in the book would have to happen in the ’50s and ’60s we set it in the ’80s. As far as Coraline, our initial concept of the show – one thing we liked a lot because of the long lives of the vampires. There were ways to hop back in time and sort of view all these different eras in time. Initially, that was our vision of the show. We would do more of that. We do more of something that happened in the past and bring it into the present sort of like the book model and allow us to explore a lot of different time periods. And that’s what we did with Josef. And it seemed to make more sense to give Coraline an even longer life and a different history and let that unfold over the course of the series, as well.

Are there even more elements that you would carry into Moonlight from Angel of Vengeance?
I wanted him to always take his blood with the needle. We got it into the pilot — the first episode — and then it never happened again. We actually shot it in the pilot, Mick’s scene of his monster version of himself, but the special effects didn’t turn out well. I wanted there to be a monstrous component as that’s how Mick sees himself. I like the idea of seeing the monster inside. I fought real hard for the hypnotic gaze, but they convinced me it would make things to easy for Mick.

I feel I have to ask this about the Beth connection. On the one hand it’s nice that Mick followed Beth through childhood. Yet, at the same time … he followed her through childhood.
I know. There’s always that creepy double component. Kind of the creepy May-December. [laughs] So, what’s the question?

That was kind of it. I was trying to ask without asking. [laughs] So, thank you for answering.
My basic theory is something beautiful as opposed to creepy and it’s completely up to the individual interpretation. The one thing that I think that is really romantic potentially about becoming a vampire is that what if that one person that is right for you wasn’t in your time? What if you would have lived and died never met them and by becoming a vampire it allowed you to meet that one soulmate or that one true love. And, that was the template behind that.

When Mick is with the producer in the book, I think “finally, we’re going to get some guy on guy action.” In the television vampire world, male vampires only feed on female victims; but, food is food. A scene I liked in Moonlight was the interaction between Jason Dohring and Alex O’Loughlin where Josef gives Mick back his vampirism. If the show had continued, would you have gotten even darker into vampire lore and deeper into playing with sexuality in vampire lore?
I don’t know if that was ever a plan. I do like when things are messy and unclear. There aren’t any hard or fast rules when you’re taking about survival. I like seeing all sorts of things and all sorts of characters.

I know you had the Lonestar State of Mind in 2002. But, what gave you the idea of shopping the novel around in getting the show going?
I had worked in Hollywood for a few years. I felt I spent lot of time trying to get jobs I didn’t necessarily want. The reason I wanted to become a professional writer was to tell the stories that were in me to tell. So, after the movie was made and I had done a project for New Line and I had some surplus money. I decided to remove myself from Hollywood a little bit. I bought  a house in Arizona and just taking a year or two to  really – I wrote some screenplays, I wrote a couple novels, I wrote a children’s book and seeing what would happen. At the end of all that, I had projects in varying degrees of readiness and I had to start all over. I decided maybe I wanted to write novels and sell them to the Hollywood marketplace and adapt my books into scripts and be involved with Hollywood at a distance.  When I actually had the idea of Angel of vengeance, when I got to the end of that one, I decided I would immediately adapt it into a feature. And that process got the show started.

And, you mentioned this in other interviews. But do you watch any of these brand new shows that add to vampire lore?
I watch some True Blood. I have some actor friends and some writer friends who are on that show. I watch quite a bit of that, although I haven’t read the novels. I have not seen the Vampire Diaries. It sounds like people love that one pretty good. I haven’t read the Twilight books, but I saw the first two movies.

You have the book with Titan.  But, what else is on your plate going forward?
Really, that’s the only vampire-related thing — see how the book does and maybe sometime down the line get[ting] to write sequels would be fantastic – my goal. I also have a pilot set up with Sony that’s described as a paranormal Criminal Minds and we’re waiting to hear back.


Photo Credit: Warner Home Video, Marc Blacwell

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