Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, best known for starring in the Showtime series The Tudors a few years back, will debut his biggest role to date next month when he stars as the famous vampire in the NBC series Dracula.

JRM, 36, was thrilled at the chance to bring the bloodsucker to life.  “When you’re offered iconic roles like this, you take the opportunity to play them. I thought it would be interesting,” he recently told Parade magazine.

“It’s a variation on a theme, which is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We can’t just repeat and give the same story, so there are variations of that. I liked the Victorian setting, so we just brought a couple new elements in.”

NBC has high hopes for the series, given the success of shows like HBO’s True Blood. The same producers behind the huge hit Downton Abbey are backing Dracula, which also stars Irish actress Victoria Smurfit in her first big U.S. role as Lady Jane Wetherby.  The show has its first airing on Friday, October 25.

“Dracula is a completely different experience. I’ve never made a network show before, and let me tell you, it’s difficult,” JRM said.

“It’s a lot of work and a lot of time away and it moves very quickly. I wasn’t really as prepared for it as I thought I was.  I know it kind of looks like fun when you see me there on the tube — and its meant to — but to get it to look that flawless and that effortless and that fun, oh my God, the hours that people put in.”

The Dublin-born actor acknowledged that he can do creepy quite well.

“I play the bad guy because I look like one. People have sort of put me into that thing. It’s not something I would have chosen for myself,” he says.

“Some people say it has something to do with me being a very intense character on screen and that’s usually the bad guy. There’s something in my physicality that lends to it.”