The Originals: The Vampire Diaries Cast Interviews
By: Lynn Barker
Set in New Orleans “The Originals” focuses on the Mikaelson siblings: the world's original vampires: Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt). It was revealed on “The Vampire Diaries” on April 25th, 2013, that recurring character Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is pregnant with Klaus' child. Now Klaus must take down his protégé, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), who is the boss of New Orleans in order to re-take the city which his father Marcel once ruled. The child is a first to be born to a hybrid (part vampire, part werewolf) and a werewolf (Hayley). New Orleans is a melting pot at war with witches, werewolves and vampires at each other’s throats.
In Pasadena, Ca. the cast; Joseph, Claire, Charles, Phoebe and their producer Julie Plec let us know what is in store on the new show. Daniel Gillies who plays Elijah, wasn’t there because he was finishing up a role on “Saving Hope”.
Q: Julie, Can you talk about the differences between this show and “The Vampire Diaries” series?
- Producer Julie Plec: You don’t have to be a “Vampire Diaries” fan to “get” the new show. There will eventually be cross-over episodes between the shows. Our audience grew up with "The Vampire Diaries” which was more of a coming of age story about first love and the struggles of being a vampire. And this is a show about embracing vampirism. It's about reveling in it. Some of these vampires are a thousand years old so it’s about the power struggle over the family community and the supernatural community of an entire city.
- Joseph: It’s like The Lost Boys movie; party all night and sleep all day. So, I like to take that vibe into it. But it's really less about the guilt of being a vampire and more about really reveling in that, and plus we're in New Orleans. So you put us in that decadent situation and we have a lot more vampire parties and crazy kind of indulgence in our natures.
Q: Claire, Rebekah has been staked so many times by her brother yet she still loves him, but there's also a love for Stefan. What's it going to be like for you having to leave that? Will you cross back and forth?
- Claire: Rebekah's history with Stefan has sort of come to an end, I think, in the romantic sense, and she moved on to the quarterback Matt Donovan. I think she's been through them all now. So that was the last one. And they traveled together over the summer to Europe.
- I think she realized that her bond with her family is stronger than anything else and any fantasies she has about marrying the high school football star. So she's moving to New Orleans, and she's really going to try and reconnect with a newfound independence that she's gained on "The Vampire Diaries." But I hope we'll be able to go back and forth and I can still have a little dalliance in Mystic Falls every now and then.
Q: For Joseph and Charles, we're used to Klaus being the most powerful and being able to just rip heads off so is it going to be a challenge to establish you guys as power struggle equals when we're used to Klaus having no equals?
- Joseph: Well, we're used to Klaus kind of coming in with the "bull in the China shop" mentality and dominating like a one man army, but Marcel has an army of vampires so he has the numbers. He's running the city, and he has the witches under his control.
- I don't really know what the secret weapon he possesses is, but I know that he has control of all the magic in the city, and he has all of his inner circle of day walkers, of vampires, and all of these night walkers who are trying to earn their rings to become day walkers. So that in itself is a challenge for Klaus. And I think he's going to have to employ a little bit more of his manipulative backstabbing methods to get where he wants to be to take back the throne rather than charging in there and being torn limb from limb by a thousand vampires.
- Charles: Yeah, plus Marcel is a pretty popular guy in New Orleans. I don't think you earn any points for killing the most popular guy in New Orleans.
- Joseph: He’s far too popular.
Q: Phoebe, can you talk a little bit about the biology of werewolf hybrid pregnancy and if that means that Hayley is going to be running around in a pregnancy suit the entire time?
- Phoebe: I think it's going to be quite a slow burn of a pregnancy. I don't think Hayley will even be showing for a little while. I mean, I'm just assuming this, because it's such an anticipated development. I’m hoping so. It's hot in Atlanta. I don't want to be wearing that big belly for too long.
Q: And Phoebe, you’ve done two witch shows (“The Secret Circle”). Do you have a fascination with witches?
- Phoebe: No. I think I just get cast in these supernatural, magical worlds. I was a mermaid, as was Claire. And then I was a witch. And now I'm a werewolf. Actually, I'm really fascinated with witchcraft and all that. So it is really cool. These shows, they really do their research. It's nice to be on a show about it because I like watching them.
Q: Claire, Rebekah's a bit of a drama queen so we can't really envision her patiently sitting around waiting to see what happens with her brothers. So what will be up with her in New Orleans?
- Claire: She always gets herself in trouble somehow, so I think she's going to cause a little riot. She never enters anywhere quietly. She pulls up in town in a hot red sportscar in a mini-skirt.
Q: Maybe the most dramatic thing Rebekah could do, and probably the most annoying thing to Klaus, would be to get involved with Marcel.
- Charles: (perking up) That would be interesting!
- Claire: Yes. You may see something there. Don't give it away, but definitely in the small amount we've already shot, you know, he's so talented, and we have a really great chemistry.
- Joseph: You can’t imagine Klaus is very understanding of this relationship, condoning of it since he’s a little possessive of his sister.
Q: Julie, can you talk about Daniel’s role as Elijah since he’s not here? What is in store for him on the show?
- Julie: Elijah has been labeled the noble brother, the moral brother, the man of honor. And so his goal, as the eldest remaining brother of this very, very deeply fractured family, is to try to bring them together and try to find redemption for this one (pointing to Joseph Morgan). And he's driven by that need and sees, in the baby, that redemption. And so he is driven from a place of emotion and the power of family. Klaus is driven from a place of power. So there's going to be a little conflict.
- Joseph: There is. I think it's common knowledge now as well that the first episode is going to be a retelling of the back door pilot (from “The Vampire Diaries”) only from Elijah's point of view. So we're going to see all the little bits in between, the bits we missed, only it's going to continue a little further on in the story. So we really get to see what he's about from the beginning and what his motives are.
- Claire: He's really integral to the story because he's the glue that binds us. And he's always been that way. And I think you really see that, coming from "The Vampire Diaries," when we have the flashbacks. I think he's going to be the one who makes this successful or not or who makes this family bond strong again.
Q: Phoebe and Claire, you were in an Australian show about mermaids together “H2O: Just Add Water”? Talk about that.
- Claire: Yeah, I mean, we were so young, and we had absolutely no experience when we started. We had no idea what we were doing.
- Phoebe: We learned what a mark was together. I remember, like, our lovely director Colin was like, "So this is where you stop and start and say your lines."
- Claire: We'd stand behind each other and block each other from the shot. We had no idea what we were doing. So we really learned together and grew up together, and it's so wonderful. We actually just shot our first scene together a couple of days ago. We were like schoolgirls. We were so excited. It’s been wonderful, and we have that rapport, and we have such a history of working together.
- Phoebe: We kind of jumped straight from high school into that show. It kind of felt just normal. I think that's why, even now, when we see all these special effects and people are walking around with blood, we're like, "Aah, we've seen it." We were in, like, a dolphin tank for three years. This kind of world is just normal for us.
Q: For Joseph and Charles. You have a great rapport in this. Charles, did you have to audition with Joseph and was that rapport there right away, or did it grow as you worked together?
- Charles: I've known Joseph for a few years.
- Joseph: We used to play poker together. He took my money every week.
- Charles: But knowing Joseph and knowing how, the first time I met him, we, like, geeked out. He showed me his camera and we geeked out over photography.
- Joseph: It's so much fun on set. We actually got told the first day to stop ad-libbing at the end of the scene. "The scene needs to come to an end." And we just kept adding lines. Each of us wanting to have the last word of the scene, like, kind of back and forth. So it's a lot of fun. It's just happened kind of naturally, luckily, for us.
Q: But on screen it will be Klaus vs Marcel?
- Joseph: Yes, incredibly complex and, therefore, rewarding to play. It's not just "I want to be king, so I want to kill him." There's a struggle within myself over my friendship and feeling betrayed and the jealousy and wanting what he has, but also admiring what he's done with it since I've left and wanting that acceptance. It’s something that Klaus has always wanted.
Q: Claire, Rebekah has always been surrounded by brothers her entire life. How are we going to see her respond to Hayley's pregnancy, and could we possibly see her want to connect with Hayley on more of a sister level?
- Claire: I really think so. Over the course of "The Vampire Diaries," Rebekah's character had an arc from snarky mean girl to kinder, softer, a little more redeeming. And I think she feels protective of Hayley. And she has a bond with her that she hasn't really ever had with someone. I think she probably always wanted a sister.
- Over the course of the series, that there will be a connection there. And Rebekah always wanted a family, and she wanted a child of her own, and it was a really strong theme in the last season of "The Vampire Diaries." So I think that's going to carry onto this show, and she's going to really feel a bond with this wolf/baby.
"The Originals" premieres on The CW October 3rd!