Exclusive Interview with Van Helsing’s Aleks Paunovic

Photo Credit: Chris Brown Photography
Photo Credit: Dennys Ilic

He’s big. He’s scary. And he’s on the fast track to superstardom with the numerous and varied roles he plays, including the recent role of Julius in Syfy Channel’s new hit, Van Helsing. As a vampire who must vie for power in a world where sunlight has been obscured, Julius needs to be big and scary to keep his vampire horde in line…but is he big enough or scary enough to keep Vanessa Van Helsing in line?

Tell us about your role as Julius in Van Helsing. What are some of his goals and motivations?

“I think he has a simple goal, and that’s to have all the power as well as to make sure no one has the opportunity to catch him in a precarious position.”

How have you put your own personal spin on the way Julius is portrayed in Van Helsing? Is there any of “you” in Julius?

“Yes, I really look for finding a piece of myself in all the characters I play. I think you find that piece within yourself and put that magnifying glass on it; find the bit and pieces of truth in it.”

Is there any human left in Julius at all, or is the man he once was lost to the vampirism?

“You’re going to have to tune in and watch for that answer.” [wink]

Who’s side is Julius on?

“He’s on the side that will help him achieve all the power. That’s what he strives for.”

And now that Julius has seen Vanessa’s abilities in action, how will that play into his plans as far as Dmitri is concerned?

“Julius now has the secret, and he wants to keep it because Vanessa is the power and Julius wants it. I think Dmitri sees the power that he’s had for so long slipping away.”

You’ve acted in many different genres: sci-fi, action, comedy, even video game…Do you have a particular favorite genre to perform in?

“I love Sci-Fi! It’s such a fun and great way to create, and the fans are next level awesome!!”

Which do you prefer: film acting or stage acting?

“I love film and TV, but I definitely need stage in my life. It’s such an invigorating art form. I love it! It’s live action. I think I love it so much because I come from a background of playing live music and I love the adrenaline.”

Do you have any plans to work with the Soska Twins again?

“No, no plans.”

You are one big dude, both in height and build! It’s quite impressive what good shape you are in. However, as far as your stature goes, do you feel that this is an advantage or a disadvantage in getting the roles you want?

“It’s how I’m built. I think everyone who is in this business had the advantages and disadvantages. I’ve learned that you own your vessel. For myself, I know that I’m going to get typecast—everyone does—it’s what I do and how I do it to change their mind from BOUNCER #1 to lead. You need to be creative and take chances to make your own projects come to life, so you can have the chance to show people you are more than your stereotype.”

What was it like working as a motion capture performer for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition?

“Ohhhh man! So so soooo much fun. You have to understand I got to play and run around and be a video game! The whole team that was a part of that game Animatrik and Coalition treated us actors like gold. Seriously! I’m in a video game!! (laughs). Love it!”

Have you played Gears of War? If so, what’s it like seeing your body transformed into a video game character, especially in today’s world of high-tech, quality game graphics?

“Yeah I have. A friend of mine was showing me how to play it. I am blown away at how good it looks. My buddy had a fun time playing it, and he kept on saying, ‘I’m gonna blow you up buddy!!’ (laughs).”

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