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Karen Cliche Interview

We would like to thank Karen for the time she spent answering our questions and we wish her the very best for the future!

How did you get the part of Essie Rachimova?

I auditioned the old fashioned way for Vampire High. And actually when I was cast, they dyed what was then my platinum blonde hair BLACK. The director thought it would suit the darkness of Essie better. Well....... a couple days later, the L.A producers saw me and flipped out! This is DAYS before we were about to start filming, and told me I had to go back to blonde. Now, anyone who knows anything about hair knows that going from black to blonde, takes up to a year to do, if you do it safely (not going bald!). But I had a couple days, if I wanted to keep my job. So... count it.... 18 hours over 2 days later, we stripped my hair of the color until it was a greenish tint, then added some bleach to it to result in the strawberry blonde color I have in the beginning of the show! Yes, I cried, yes I lost a lot of hair. It was horrible! But it was all worth it.

What attracted you to the show and your character? 

What attracted me to the show was of course the originality of it. I love characters that get to evolve, and this show had so many possibilities for that. Taming our instincts, and learning about love and emotions. And especially with Essie, she had the most unraveling to do, and I love stripping away a character and revealing the softness underneath the hard stuff! I love playing these types of roles, obviously!

If the show had had another season, how would you have liked to see your character progress? 

Well, I would definitely have loved to see Essie be more vulnerable, and almost goofy underneath the stuck up-ness, to add some humor to her. We all are multi dimensional, and I would have loved to show so many surprising sides to her.

What was your favourite episode and why? 

I loved my scenes with Karl (Paul Hopkins) because first of all he is a great actor to work off, and we had great chemistry. They were the only times Essie was soft and sweet (near the end), and I thought their love was special. But most of all was the episode where Essie develops a disease where she ages very quickly and is near death. Just the whole make up job they did on me was so cool! To see yourself so old! I would run around on set and try to kiss people in all my granny splendour!

How did you feel about your character’s wardrobe? (Scared the hell out of me)

Ah, the wardrobe. I am very open to what the wardrobe designer has in my mind for the character, so I went along with it with pleasure! I thought as outrageous as they were, it was so suiting for Essie to try and upstage everyone else! And it added to me getting into character, I thought it was so fun. Sorry it scared you... you weren't the only one. The cast and I used to have quite a laugh about them!

Do you still keep in touch with your Vampire High


We all keep in touch every so often. I actually just saw Ilona (Merrill) last weekend. It is hard because we are in so many different places usually! But we all have so many fond memories of that time together.

Would you do more Vampire High if the series was revived?

I certainly would consider doing more Vampire High if everything felt right at the time!

Vampire High has attained something of a cult following. In your opinion, what is it about the show that gives it such appeal?

Oh, I didn't know it had a cult following! But its great to hear! You know, I think it is one of the best shows I have ever worked on. The writing I thought was great, and the stories were relatable for such a wide age range. I think the characters are so interesting and different. And of course them being vampires certainly adds to the intrigue!

What are you up to at the moment?

Well at the moment I am sifting through a few projects. I got married a few months ago, so I am still relishing in the newlywed phase!

All the best, keep smiling, Karen!