Interview: Niko Ceci of Netflix series I Woke Up a Vampire

I Woke Up a Vampire - Courtesy Netflix/The Forward Group
I Woke Up a Vampire - Courtesy Netflix/The Forward Group /

Netflix series I Woke Up a Vampire made its season two debut earlier this month. The series is the story of Carmie (Kaileen Chang), who discovers on her 13th birthday that she is part vampire, which makes navigating her teen years even more complicated. She trusts her secret to her best friend Kev, played by Niko Ceci. 1428 Elm had the opportunity to talk to Ceci recently about his multiple performing talents, what it takes to gain so many credits in voice acting, and what his dream jobs would be.

1428 Elm: Niko, tell our readers about I Woke Up a Vampire and your role in the series.

Niko: I Woke Up A Vampire tells the story of 13-year-old Carmie Henley. On her 13th birthday, she starts experiencing strange sensations. For example: she can run very fast, jump really high, and most importantly, she has fangs! With help from her best friend, Kev Gardener (who is my character) they navigate this crazy new world and come to find out that she is a Vampling (half human, half vampire). Carmie and Kev are now faced with the challenge of her being a Vampling while navigating the teenage struggle of high school. My character, Kev Gardner, is Carmie's best friend. He is a comic book aficionado, a passionate writer, an expert on EVERYTHING supernatural, and a quirky, but funny, person. Kev has dedicated his life to studying Octavia Rhodes's (“Blended”) comics. When Kev finds out that Carmie is a mythic, he is nervous because he knows what she will have to go through, but he is also a little bit excited because he has prepared for this moment.

1428 Elm: You have quite an impressive list of voice acting credits, how did you get into that line of work?

Niko: My amazing agent, Megan Mcgregor, has been my ride-or-die. I signed to InVision Artists when I was very young and never looked back. She will send me auditions and I work very hard to ensure I am showing the casting directors my best tape. You need to remember this: If you book 1 out of 50 auditions, you are doing AMAZING! I am so grateful for every opportunity that comes my way and truly believe that no role is too small or not important enough.

1428 Elm: What have been a few of your favorite projects that you have worked on and why?

Niko: My favorite project I have worked on has to be I Woke Up A Vampire. Not only is it my most iconic role to this day, but it was definitely my favorite experience. This role was my first opportunity to be a lead on a series. Not to mention it's Netflix! I was able to fully create a character and grow with him. I was also able to form everlasting friendships and work with amazing producers and directors! 

Niko Ceci of I Woke Up a Vampire
Niko Ceci - Courtesy David Leyes /

1428 Elm: What are some roles that you could never conventionally play (because of age, race, gender, or other restrictions), but you’d want to play anyway? 

Niko: My favorite movie from 2023 was The Little Mermaid live-action with Halle Bailey! If Disney were to look for the little merman, I would FREAK out! I absolutely love Lin Manuel Miranda and his music, which is a big reason why I love this adaptation! I also think it would be so cool to act in an entire movie underwater. Although, it would be a challenge - I’m up for it!

1428 Elm: You are an actor, dancer, and singer, plus you do voiceover work. Which of these talents do you enjoy the most, and why?

Niko: I love all of the arts! I wouldn't be able to pick one because I love all of them for different reasons. I love acting because it allows me to be creative and play different characters that will alter my life and give me a new perspective. I love singing because it is like therapy to me. Sitting down and writing music is such a calming activity and allows me to be in touch with my emotions. And, I enjoy dance because learning choreography challenges me and forces me to step outside of my comfort zone. 

1428 Elm: What would be your dream acting job on a particular film or tv series?

Niko: There are so many projects that I would love to work on! If I had to pick one, It would be Harry Potter. I have been a fan since I was a toddler and I continue to enjoy the franchise today! I would literally freak out if I got an audition for a new Harry Potter movie. I feel like there is something so magical about the books and movies, and I would love to create that sensation for viewers and fans! 

1428 Elm: If you could work with any director, who would it be and why?

Niko: If I could work with any director it would have to be Tim Burton. I am such a fan of Tim’s work and dedication. He has created so many iconic series and films. Some of my favorites are Edward Scissorhands, The Corpse Bride, Wednesday, Alice and Wonderland, Beetlejuice and Planet of the Apes. All of these masterpieces show his attention to detail and pure talent for filmmaking! 

1428 Elm: What would you say is some of the best advice about the industry you’ve ever received and why?

I Woke Up a Vampire
I Woke Up a Vampire - Courtesy Netflix /

Niko: I have received so much amazing advice in my career already. I would have to say the advice that I live by is, “The audition is the job.” What this means is, every time you receive an audition you need to treat it like you already have the job. You need to put your everything into the character and show the director how much you want it. 

1428 Elm: Do you have any other work coming up soon that you are allowed to talk about?

Niko: I’m excited to share that I’m coming in for season two of an anthology series on Apple TV+.  My episode has many plot twists and will keep you guessing. I cannot say too much just yet, but you can stay up to date on release dates by following me on social media. Insta: @niko.ceci, Tik Tok: @officialnikoceci. I am also currently in the process of writing new music that is expected to be released by summer 2024.

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