top of page
  • Writer's pictureMelba Jones

Kate Beckinsale Vampire Movies - the Underworld Series

In the world of vampires and werewolves, Kate Beckinsale's portrayal of the fierce and stunning Selene in the Underworld film series has left an indelible mark on the urban fantasy genre. Her mesmerizing beauty, combined with her captivating performance, has made her character an iconic figure in the dark and gothic cinematic universe. This article delves into the character synopsis, her stunning visual style, the movies' brief summaries, and Kate Beckinsale's pivotal role in their success.

Character Synopsis

Selene is a vampire Death Dealer, a role she takes seriously. She's a kickass warrior in a world where vampires and lycans (werewolves) are locked in an ancient and deadly feud. Beckinsale's portrayal of Selene is both alluring and fierce, embodying the perfect balance of beauty and brutality. With her iconic skintight leather bodysuit, sleek black hair, and piercing blue eyes, Selene's look is as memorable as her character. Her character is a deadly combination of physical strength, agility, and intelligence, making her the perfect vampire warrior.

The Underworld series explores Selene's evolution from a loyal vampire soldier to a character with complex motivations. Her journey is a central element of the films, and Beckinsale's nuanced portrayal adds depth to the character, making her more than just a stunning action heroine. Selene's internal struggle, as she questions her loyalty and confronts her own past, provides a compelling backdrop for the action-packed sequences that define the series.

Stunning Visual Style

One of the standout elements of the Underworld films is the stunning visual style. The dark and gothic aesthetics of the series create a world where vampires and lycans dwell in a constant state of war. This visual theme, under the direction of Len Wiseman and other filmmakers, is a pivotal component of the movies' success.

From the sleek, black outfits worn by the vampires to the gritty industrial settings where much of the action takes place, the films create a moody and atmospheric backdrop for the story. The style is epitomized by Selene's signature look – her form-fitting leather bodysuit and dual pistols make her a striking and iconic presence on screen.

Furthermore, the use of practical effects and skillful choreography in the action sequences adds to the visual appeal. The blend of practical and CGI effects in creating the vampires' transformation and the lycans' physicality adds to the immersive experience of the films. The striking use of color and lighting contributes to the eerie but totally captivating atmosphere of the Underworld universe.

Brief Summary of the Movies

The Underworld film series consists of a total of five movies, each contributing to the intricate and evolving narrative of the vampire and lycan war.

1. Underworld (2003) – The first film introduces audiences to Selene as she discovers a conspiracy within the vampire clan. Her encounter with Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), a human with lycan ancestry, sets off a chain of events that reshapes her world.

2. Underworld: Evolution (2006) – The sequel delves deeper into Selene's past and the history of the vampire-lycan feud. It explores her connection to the ancient vampire elder Marcus (Tony Curran) and her evolving relationship with Michael.

3. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) – This prequel explores the origins of the feud, focusing on the forbidden love between vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra) and lycan Lucian (Michael Sheen). Selene's absence in this installment allows for a different perspective on the conflict.

4. Underworld: Awakening (2012) – Selene awakens from a cryogenic sleep to find a world where humans are aware of the existence of vampires and lycans. She must protect her hybrid daughter, Eve (India Eisley), from various threats.

5. Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) – In the most recent installment, Selene faces the threat of extinction as the vampire and lycan factions seek to capture her and harness her unique abilities. She must navigate a complex web of alliances and betrayals to survive.

Kate Beckinsale's Pivotal Role

Kate Beckinsale's portrayal of Selene is pivotal to the success of the Underworld series. Her dedication to the role, both physically and emotionally, is evident in her performance. Beckinsale underwent rigorous training and maintained a strict diet to embody the character's physicality. Her commitment to the role added authenticity to the action sequences and made Selene a believable and formidable warrior.

Additionally, Beckinsale's ability to convey Selene's internal conflicts and emotional depth adds a layer of complexity to the character. This depth keeps audiences engaged and invested in Selene's journey, making her more than just a one-dimensional action hero.

Outside of her character, Beckinsale's star power and charisma have been a driving force behind the success of the Underworld series. Her ability to draw audiences into a dark and fantastical world is a testament to her acting prowess and screen presence. Her portrayal of Selene has elevated her to iconic status in the realm of action heroines.

A Bit About Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale, born on July 26, 1973, in London, England, comes from a family with deep roots in the entertainment industry. Her father, Richard Beckinsale, was a well-known British actor, and her stepfather, Roy Battersby, was a television director. Kate's early exposure to the world of acting played a significant role in her decision to pursue a career in the same field.

She attended Oxford University's New College, where she studied French and Russian literature. Her academic background and the experience of acting in various theater productions prepared her for the demanding roles she would later take on in her film career.

Beckinsale's breakthrough in the film industry came in the early 2000s with the release of "Pearl Harbor" (2001) and "Serendipity" (2001). However, it was her role as Selene in "Underworld" (2003) that catapulted her to international stardom. Her involvement in the franchise has since defined her career, earning her a dedicated fan base and recognition as a prominent figure in the action and fantasy genres.

In addition to the Underworld series, Beckinsale has taken on a diverse range of roles in various films, showcasing her versatility as an actress. Her filmography includes titles like "Van Helsing" (2004), "The Aviator" (2004), "Click" (2006), and "Love & Friendship" (2016), demonstrating her ability to excel in both action-packed blockbusters and character-driven dramas.

To sum it up...

Kate Beckinsale's portrayal of Selene in the Underworld film series has left a lasting impact on the world of vampires, werewolves, and action cinema. Her stunning visual style, combined with a captivating character, has made Selene an iconic figure in the genre. The success of the Underworld series owes much to Beckinsale's dedication and talent, as well as the striking visual aesthetics that define the films.

Kate Beckinsale's journey from her early acting days to becoming a prominent figure in Hollywood is a testament to her talent and versatility as an actress. Her commitment to the physically demanding role of Selene, as well as her ability to convey emotional depth and complexity, has endeared her to audiences worldwide. The Underworld series, with its unique blend of action, fantasy, and gothic aesthetics, owes much of its appeal to Kate Beckinsale's portrayal of Selene. As a character, Selene is a symbol of strength, resilience, and a sense of moral ambiguity that keeps the audience engaged. Her striking visual style, including the iconic black leather outfit and piercing blue eyes, has become an enduring image in the realm of supernatural cinema. In conclusion, Kate Beckinsale's contribution to the Underworld series has solidified her place as a cinematic icon in the world of vampires and lycans. Her dedication to her character, combined with her stunning visual presence, has made Selene an enduring symbol of both beauty and power in the realm of action and fantasy cinema. The Underworld films will continue to be celebrated for their dark and moody aesthetics, complex characters, and, most notably, the unforgettable portrayal of Selene by Kate Beckinsale.


bottom of page