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After Syfy aired Van Helsing‘s Julius-centric backstory episode, OMFGTV got in touch with his portrayer, Aleks Paunovic (“War For the Planet of the Apes,” “Dirk Gently”) for more intel.
The season’s third installment, titled, “Love Bites,” opens with a flashback to 1936, before Julius had been turned into a vampire. Julius had been a boxer who threw a fight to get money to pay off his mother’s health bills, but was betrayed by the people who were supposed to be paying him. Aleks was ecstatic when he read the script and learned of his backstory.
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“I was excited, stunned, blown away and stupidly grateful!” Paunovic tells us. His gratefulness extended to the producers and writers who he credits and is thankful for for providing Julius with an important storyline for Van Helsing‘s second chapter. “I loved how the first season was progressing, and to trust me with such a massive character arc in season two is a true testament to Neil LaBute and all of the writers.”
After the flashback, human Julius ends up following Vanessa and Dylan around, looking for forgiveness for what he had done as a vampire. “This season, Julius is all about atonement and making things right.” Julius does what he can about Dylan, but she still does not survive the episode. “For him to try to help Vanessa with Dylan, and the subsequent events that follow, he ends up absolutely crushed. Julius definitely has some guilt for what has transpired, but now he just wants to be there for Vanessa.”
The snowball fight scene between Vanessa, Dylan, and Julius was probably the happiest scene all series, until it takes a turn and Dylan burns up in the sunlight. According to Paunovic, the snowball fight scene was completely improvised that day! “We weren’t anticipating any snow that day, so when we went to set and saw how much snow there was the writers decided to incorporate it. They said, ‘Let’s work with this! Why don’t you have a snowball fight?!’ It was completely unexpected and honestly, one of the most fun scenes I’ve shot in the series.”
Now that Dylan is gone, Julius’ main objective is to win Vanessa over, to prove himself a true ally. “Julius and Vanessa go to a place where Julius is essentially doing whatever he can to get her trust him, and see that his intentions are authentic. He wants her to feel that they are in it together.”
As for what’s coming in this week’s episode “A Home,” Aleks couldn’t say a word. “I wish I could tell you but I can’t…. There are some exciting revelations so I can’t say much, but I can tell you to watch it!”
Van Helsing airs Thursdays at 9pm on Syfy.