Thursday, May 30, 2024

The cast of Ever Dark on how they brought the gay vampire story to life

Vampires have always had a powerful place in media, whether it’s because of what they represent in gothic texts and how that’s evolved over time, or simply because their portrayal of hot, ethereal beings has got a vice-like grip on us. Regardless of our reasons, vampires and the stories that revolve around them are beloved.

With vampires being as popular as they are, it’s no surprise then that Ever Dark from Raythe Reign was such a big hit that it became a foregone conclusion to bring it to life via an audiobook format. Instead of putting the pieces of characters together as fans had done so before, now the cast of Ever Dark could bring the words right off the page.

The cast consists of 5 different voice actors; Edward Fox as King Daemon/Lord Balthazar/The Narrator, Adam Riley as Julian Harrow/Christian Thorne, Hannah Hart as Fiona Darksilver and Sophia Strange, Bruno Devant as Caemorn Losus, and Jay Thelyss as Arcius Kane.

We sat down and talked to 4 of these voice actors about what it means to be part of the cast of Ever Dark, how they get into the role of their characters, and what about this vampire story that makes it so compelling.

Hi Adam, what is the difference between voicing Julian and voicing Christian?

Julian is a much more impulsive character who is often driven more by his heart than his head. He’s definitely pretty self-serious with a flair for the dramatic, and I think that comes through in his tone. I’ve given him a bit of a southern dialect and rasp, to reflect this intensity with which he lives.

Christian is much more scientific and head-based with his decision-making. Calling him a “nerd” is far too reductive, because he does have a lot of complex emotions in this story – but I feel he has a bit of vocal levity and bounce to him compared to Julian. His tone is a lot brighter and more curious.

How do you get into the role of both Julian and Christian? Is there any difference in how you prepare to step into those two roles?

Physically I find I carry myself differently for these characters. Julian is very emotive and grounded, I try and keep him physically more rooted and calm. Conversely, Christian I carry much higher both in my range, as well as physically. I find it helps to exaggerate gestures with Christian, as he can be quite lively and passionate with his questioning of the world around him.

Ever Dark cast
Julian Harrow
Do you relate to the two protagonists in any way that makes it easier to play these two Roles?

I definitely related more to Christian initially, so found stepping into that voice and mindset to be a bit easier – but I’ve grown to really love voicing Julian, who is quicker to fully embrace the situation they are in, and lives his life a bit more intensely. They really represent two sides of my personality quite well, the impulsive, passionate extrovert that I wish I could be (in Julian), and the cautious introvert that I am (in Christian).

What is your favourite thing about Julian and Christian and how does it affect the way you voice them?

My favourite thing about Julian and Christian is their friendship! They complement each other really well, and bring out the best sides of one another, like best friends should. It’s a really  compelling relationship, because there’s so much history there. They’ve been through such trials  together, there’s a profound trust there that I’m really drawn to. Some of my favourite chapters to read are just casual catch up conversations between them, because their dynamic is so easy and comforting.

Jay, could you tell us more about your character, Arcius Kane? 

Arcius is a Confessor, a priest of sorts, who is extremely thoughtful and fiercely loyal to Balthazar. He left the warrior’s life behind for a more zen approach to existence as a vampire, still  sporting the physique of a barbarian, with the temperament of a monk. He acts as both a voice of  reason and comfort to a few of the characters over the series. 

How did you get involved in the Ever Dark project and what made you want to step into this  role?

I auditioned for the role and ended up crying and begging for the part. Turns out pity wins over bribery. The character was such a great mix of wisdom and humor that I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

Ever Dark cast
Arcius Kane
What preparations did you need in order to step into the role of Arcius Kane?

I listened to a lot of Scottish voices, watched a lot of Scottish films just to get the voice down.  He’s a kind soul with a lot of patience; before a recording it’s important to relax, pat my dog and talk to him as if Arcius is talking to Balthazar. Give him scritches if he needs. I’ll let you decide who I’m referring to.

What do you think fans will like the most about your character? 

I hope they enjoy his humour and his mix of thoughtful wisdom and irreverence. I also hope they’re excited to see what happens next!

Hannah, could you tell us more about your two characters, Fiona and Sofia?

Like most of the motley crew that find themselves at House Ravenscroft, both Sophia  Strange and Fiona Darksilver are outsiders. They live on the periphery of Vampire society, never quite feeling like they belong.  

Sophia has a wiseness that belies her youthful appearance. She’s old, she’s seen everything, and she manages her Seeyr gifts with grace. Sophia has the innate ability to truly see a person for who they really are. It’s like she looks right through a person and understands their heart and soul. It’s her ability to see through a person that makes so many Vampires uncomfortable in her presence. They want to take advantage of her Seeyr abilities but being under Sophia’s scrutiny must be like standing naked in front of a crowd.  

On the other hand, Fiona is naive despite her Amazonian stature and high position in The Order.  She’s almost childlike in her beliefs. She follows somewhat blindly until it’s impossible to ignore what is going on around her. That’s not to say that Fiona is slow. She is incredibly intelligent, she just finds comfort in order and tradition and when those are taken away from her, it’s like a free fall to reality. She keeps her blinders on for comfort’s sake.

King Daemon
King Daemon
How did you get involved in the Ever Dark project and what made you want to step into this role?

Edward Fox and myself narrate Raythe Reign’s Cinders and Ashes Series. Our relationship with Raythe started a few years ago. We’ve really just clicked with the Raythe team. So, when they reached out to ask if we might be interested in working on the Ever Dark Podcast, we jumped at the opportunity. I don’t think we would have considered taking on a project of this size without the Raythe Team’s amazing support, vision, organization, and talent. I think Raythe Reign and Her Grace Reads Studios are just a good match. We work well together. 

I usually take on the role of Producer when Edward has the lion’s share of narrating to do. Trying to keep us on schedule, direct our co-stars, co-ordinate with our proofer and editor, and generally try to keep our heads above water. Otherwise, I voice most of the female roles in Ever Dark.  Kelly Micheals has been helping me out with some characters. She’s so talented! I’m thankful that she is taking some time out of her busy schedule to help me out.  

What is your favourite thing about your two characters, Fiona and Sofia? 

I love Fiona’s vulnerability. There is no subtext with her. She wears her heart on her sleeve and I can relate to that. Her awkwardness is also touching and sometimes hilarious. Fiona wants so badly to be loved. She tries so hard to be perfect to gain the love and respect that she craves without ever realizing that she is already loved and respected. It breaks my heart a little bit somedays. 

I love Sophia’s sense of fun. She goes through her second life with a sense of humour. I like that.  I often use humour to deal with difficult situations so I can relate to that. I also think she uses her joie de vivre to cope with her Seeyr gift. She is able to manipulate the world around her to suit her needs. Like I said earlier, I think she uses her manipulations for the ultimate good but I  sometimes think about what she might be like as the villain. Can you even imagine? She’d make a great baddie.

Bruno, could you tell us more about your character, Caemorn Losus?

Caemorn is initially shown as the villain of the piece and then it’s slowly revealed that he might have been manipulated into the actions he’s taken across the first half of the story and it’s all set up for a redemptive second arc but he still plays things close to his chest and enjoys knowing more than the other characters; or at least pretending to and showing off that he does, so you’re never sure what his next step might be and if there’s another betrayal in him or if he’s really seen the light. But not the real light, vampire after all… 

How did you get involved in the Ever Dark project and what made you want to step into this role? 

Surprisingly for me and all who know me, I was actually recommended through a colleague to the casting director and producer of the series, and I say surprising because I’m useless at networking and this is the first time knowing someone helped me and allowed me to knock on the door, otherwise I would have sailed by and not seen it.  

Caemorn Losus
What preparations did you need in order to step into the role of Caemorn Losus?

Sometimes the recordings happen in a big batch and you just run through the whole thing until your voice gets tired. Other times there are a few weeks between sessions and I need a reminder of the voice I was using for the character, a big running start at it, and a patient voice director.

What do you think fans will like the most about your character? 

Like any good villain, you have a bit of sympathy for him because you get to see the “origin”  story so to speak where he was motivated into his original course of action and how Caemorn was betrayed himself. As fun as that is, Caemorn then becomes a driving force for Christian’s story later on, so intertwines himself into the main narrative, all the while sniping from the outside of the main group with sarcasm and objections even when his opinion hasn’t been asked for. What’s not to like?

Listeners who find themselves itching for something new in the vampire world, but with a gay twist, can find out more about the Ever Dark series via YouTube and Raythe Reign’s official website

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