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Let The Right One In's Kevin Carroll On How The Horror Genre Can Uniquely Tackle Subjects Like Addiction - Exclusive

Vampire shows and films have long used vampirism and bloodlust as a metaphor for real-life struggles like addiction and alcoholism. Whether it's Stefan Salvatore's Ripper status when he tastes human blood in "The Vampire Diaries" or Jasper's uncontrollable bloodlust in the "Twilight" series, it's a tale as old as the genre itself.

After all, most genre stories as a whole are more about human elements than the monsters that grace the screen — especially when it comes to vampire tales. And Showtime's "Let the Right One In" is no different. These stories would be fairly dull if there weren't a human element to them. So writers have the task of using the vampire world as set dressing for larger stories about love, loss, family, and the human condition.

"Let the Right One In" invited Looper to the New York Comic Con press room, where we exclusively talked to Kevin Carroll about why he loves darker roles, such as "Lucifer" and "The Walking Dead," and how the horror genre uniquely tackles topics like addiction.

Tackling human problems through the vampire genre

In "Let the Right One In," Isaiah's dad, Frank, has a history of addiction. We asked Kevin Carroll why he thinks it's an important story to tell in media and if he'd be interested in the show putting a vampiric spin on these subjects.

"Sure," he said. "In this country, we've had the crack epidemic, dealing with over-the-counter drug addiction. I love the fact that we can use this art, use our art, [and] use our voices to hopefully highlight, inspire, and help people along the way. If we can do that and put it in the context of vampirism, which seems to have so many people drawn to the genre of it, then it creates a great space to maybe talk and heal and help some people that are dealing with this. At the same time, we get the reward of being entertained."

Nothing tops genre TV

Kevin Carroll seems to be drawn to darker roles. On how this role is different from his roles like "The Walking Dead" and "Lucifer," and if there are any costars from those shows that he want to join this cast, Carroll said, "Oh my god. Yes. I can't call names because I would get all kinds of phone calls if people would [get] mad, but I think that as a genre, this is an exciting way to tell stories." He added, "These worlds give us the latitude to include a lot of human emotions ... It can hold different genres of storytelling and be set in a world of vampires."

On many occasions, dramas set in supernatural worlds showcase human problems even better than stories set in our own world. "It gives us a context to play and expand on storylines," Carrol continued. "It's a very creative space for writers. What happens is it creates a lot of room for you to play and go all over the map emotionally. I love [this genre] for those reasons. One thing that's different about this is, it's been a long time since I've seen a buddy-buddy connection role come along that was not only about the men accomplishing something but had a real, solid emotional component set in it. I hadn't done anything like this before, so I thought this would be an interesting challenge." 

The new series boasts some pretty great writing, too. Carroll noted, "Andrew [Hinderaker]'s a writer, and he's from the theater, so that excited me. Then when I watched the source material, the original movie, I was hooked. I thought the movie was great. It was different. It's ultimately a love story."

New episodes of "Let the Right One In" air Sundays on Showtime.