Vampire Academy on Peacock, co-developed by The Vampire Diaries creator Julie Plec, is one of the most diverse YA fantasy shows in recent memory.

Shadow and Act recently spoke with series stars Sisi Stringer, Daniela Nieves, Kieron Moore, André Dae Kim, Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Jonetta Kaiser, Andrew Liner, Rhian Blundell and J. August Richards, as well as Plec and co-developer Marguerite MacIntyre, about things that the show is tackling.

“I think something special about this series and what drew me to it was the reality in it– like it was very grounded,” said Liner. And then the scripts that we got, I think that that was something as fantastical as this world is. There are elemental powers, and it is vampires, and it is this and that– and I think that we explore reality and a humanity in a way that I think a lot of other fantastical shows strive for. That’s one thing that drew me to the show….like that mirror to society.”

Stringer said, “That’s very important to us. Like, the fact that it is kind of putting a mirror up to modern-day society and there are a lot of parallels between what’s happening politically in the show and in the world. It’s a lot about hierarchy and class structures and the lack of class mobility and the overlap of the royals or the good vampires and the people that serve and protect them and how those dynamics shift when the conflict comes up.”

Watch the full interviews below: