The new Netflix TV show V Wars stars The Vampire Diaries alum Ian Somerhalder, but it's a very different kind of vampire story. Adrian Holmes stars as Michael Fayne alongside Somerhalder's Dr. Luther Swann in V Wars Season 1, which premieres on Netflix this Thursday, December 5. Holmes plays the very first vampire in the sci-fi series. The origin story angle really appealed to Holmes, the award-winning star of Canada's 19-2 also known for playing Captain Pike on The CW's Arrow.
Adrian Holmes, who also stars in Lifetime's new movie You Light Up My Christmas, told CinemaBlend the surprising way he ended up playing Michael Fayne in V Wars:
It's funny, a friend of mine had an audition for the Luther Swann role and he asked me if I would help him audition. I was reading the Michael Fayne part for his audition. And then it was two weeks later [reps] reached out to me and said I had an audition for Michael Fayne. So it's just ironic that I was exposed to it before I even had the audition myself in helping my friend out.
As we know now, Ian Somerhalder was cast in the role of Dr. Luther Swann, a research scientist. Adrian Holmes plays Michael Fayne, Swann's best friend, who becomes exposed to a virus that was frozen for thousands of years. Because of global warming and the melting of the glaciers, the virus is released to the world.
Through that, Michael Fayne becomes Patient Zero, the very first vampire. As Adrian Holmes explained, the virus connects with a cofactor gene. Everyone has a different gene and if you don't have the particular one, you won't turn into a vampire. But if you do have that gene, you will turn into a vampire. And V Wars introduces different vampires onto the show.
So there's a sci-fi element to V Wars that's different from more supernatural shows like The Vampire Diaries. That's part of what attracted Adrian Holmes to the role. It also helped that he's a fan of vampire movies like The Lost Boys, Dracula, and Blade:
First of all, I love the vampire genre. I think a lot of us can agree with that....That alone, I was hooked. That really attracted me to it. What I really loved about this story is it that it's like an origin story of vampires. Because it's not like traditional vampires that only go out at night, can't eat garlic ... we are a new species.
Adrian Holmes explained more of who Michael Fayne is as a human, before everything happens:
He's a very positive guy, he's a helicopter pilot, he loves the fast life, he drives fast cars, he loves to have a good time. He doesn't have a family like Luther, and so he kind of lives vicariously through Luther's life. [Luther has] a beautiful wife and a beautiful son and that's a part of him that he wishes he had. ... Then he gets exposed to this virus.
Michael Fayne is at the heart of this very different kind of vampire show. As Patient Zero, the first vampire, he's a natural leader of everyone who follows. It puts him in conflict with his human scientist best friend:
And so my life is flipped into a 180 and I'm left into a decision whether I want to accept my new role and take on this mantle or not. And Luther as a scientist is doing everything in his power to not only find a cure and a vaccine for his best friend but also to [help] humankind, humanity, because this is a threat and he cannot have a whole population of vampires. You know how problematic it could be.
Part of what attracted Ian Somerhalder to V Wars is that he plays a human this time -- a good husband and father -- instead of a snarky vampire like he did for eight seasons as Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries.
V Wars is based on the novels and comics by Jonathan Maberry. Adrian Holmes said he wasn't familiar with the books before he came onto the project and got the role. Then he met Jonathan and the author gave him some books.
They're so great. He's such a great writer. The fact that he loves the show is a huge compliment. The fact that we did right by him is such a great feeling in itself. When you've got the author coming to you saying 'Thank you, you guys did a great job'...
V Wars Season 1 will have 10 episodes. One of the episodes was directed by Ian Somerhalder, who is also a producer of the series. Adrian Holmes previously talked about how impressed he was with Somerhalder's directing, since Ian was also heavily involved in acting in that episode. Somerhalder gave more than a year of his life to making V Wars Season 1, and he ended up in the hospital at one point. At least he had backup from wife Nikki Reed who, it turns out, also has a role in V Wars.
Check out the trailer for V Wars Season 1:
Stream V Wars Season 1 on Netflix this Thursday, December 5, 2019. In the meantime, watch Adrian Holmes and Kim Fields in You Light Up My Christmas on Monday, December 1 (aka tonight) at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime. And here are some great Netflix titles that are leaving before 2020 arrives so you should stream them ASAP.