Co-Executive Producer Michael Narducci Talks THE ORIGINALS Season 2, Original Family Flashbacks, Future VAMPIRE DIARIES Crossovers, and More

     October 6, 2014

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On Season 2 of The CW drama series The Originals, the newly empowered werewolves are controlling the city, leaving the vampires in a very dangerous position.  Meanwhile, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) have vowed to make New Orleans a safe home for their daughter, Hope, but they also have their own inner demons to battle, as she adjusts to life as a hybrid and he finds himself regularly weakened as the werewolves use the moonlight rings forged in his blood.  And if they survive all of that, there is still plenty of unfinished Original family business to contend with.

During this recent interview to discuss the new season, co-executive producer Michael Narducci talked about what fans can expect from the overall story for The Originals Season 2, getting to learn more about the Original family through flashbacks, what Davina (Danielle Campbell) is up to, a possible love interest for Josh (Steven Krueger), where things are at for Hayley and Elijah (Daniel Gillies), learning more about Marcel’s (Charles Michael Davis) background, where Cami (Leah Pipes) fits in, Nina Dobrev’s flashback appearance as Tatia, possible future cross-overs with The Vampire Diaries, and whether anyone will come to suspect that baby Hope is not actually dead.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Question:  What can you say about your overall story for Season 2?

The-Originals-Phoebe-TonkinMICHAEL NARDUCCI:  Our hope was that this would be the season of the return of the [family].  There is a lot of family stuff that we need to get out.  The big theme with this season is the past returning to haunt you, and enemies who are even more dangerous because they know you intimately.  That’s going to be our dramatic focus.  You’ll learn what Davina has planned for Mikael.  Davina has such a strong desire for revenge because of what happened to Tim and how much she hates Klaus.  It made sense that she would channel these dark objects and bring back the Destroyer, Mikael.

How much will we learn about the Original family through flashbacks?

NARDUCCI:  We talked a lot about how Season 1 was this mob drama.  If you’re going to do a Season 2, if the first season was The Godfather, the second season is The Godfather II.  And the thing I love about the structure of The Godfather II is that it takes the story forward and it also explores what happens in the past, simultaneously.  So, there are going to be even more flashbacks this season.  You will get to see more of the Original family, at different ages, throughout those flashbacks.  We’re really excited to get into where this family comes from, why they are the way they are, and what their relationships were like, not only with their parents, but with one another, and how has that led them to be as divided as they are.  There will be a lot of cool stuff.

Are there any particular eras that we haven’t seen before, that you’re excited to explore?

NARDUCCI:  Right off the bat, in Episodes 2 and 3, you’re going to get some flashback stories.  You’re going to get to see a little bit more of how the Originals wound up leaving Europe and coming to America, and what that looked like.  There’s a reference to some things that we mentioned in The Vampire Diaries.  When we first met the Original family in the end of Season 3, in Episode 13 of The Vampire Diaries, Kol Mikaelson is undaggered and walking around.  He’s dressed in garb that looks like it’s from the early 20th century, and he’s been daggered since that time, so what was the story of that and what did that look like? We want to tell a larger picture and bigger stories that gives us an idea of where everybody was throughout their time.  Klaus daggered his siblings for a reason, so what was that reason?  We’ll also be flashing back to the earlier days when they were just normal people.  We might even get a little bit into Mikael and Esther’s story and where they came from.  In Episode 16 of last season, Klaus said, “Something made my father the way he was,” and we want to tell that story.  It’s an interesting part of why this guy goes around hunting his children and calls himself the Destroyer and hating what he is, which is a vampire.  We want to get at all of those things, this season.

The-Originals-Joseph-MorganWhat role will the city of New Orleans play this season, with so many things in disarray?

NARDUCCI:  The first season was very much about the humans, the werewolves, the witches and the vampires, and the Original family caught in between that.  Now, those different sides have a little bit more at stake.  Because Mikael has been brought back by a witch, even he has a certain stake in that particular game.  We are absolutely going to explore New Orleans and that four-sided political agenda.  How can these different people ever live in peace?

Where are Davina’s parents?

NARDUCCI:  Her mother was the one who brought her into the Harvest ritual, and you see her mother die on screen in the flashbacks in Episode 5, “Sinners and Saints.”  Her father, we have never seen, but it seems clear that he wasn’t a big presence in her life, or at least not enough to stop her mother from trying to butcher her in a mystic ritual.

What does Davina being a high school student look like?

NARDUCCI:  If Davina is a high school student, she’s even worse than the high school students in Mystic Falls.  It’s a little bit of a cover for what she’s ultimately got planned.

Will we see more of Josh, and will he have a love interest?

NARDUCCI:  Without putting the cart before the horse, it’s very interesting to me, why Josh is sticking around in New Orleans.  He’s Marcel’s last guy from that old regime and that old community.  He’s trying to figure out what he’s fighting for and what this is all about.  What do we fight for, if not a home, if not our friends, if not for the people we love, both platonically and romantically?  Coming down the line, we are going to tell some really great romantic stories, and Josh has a really great story coming up.  That’s all I’ll say.

What can you say about where things are at for Hayley and Elijah, this season?

The-Originals-Daniel-GilliesNARDUCCI:  Elijah sees how broken and devastated Hayley is, not just by the loss of having to give up her child, but by the loss of her pure-blooded werewolf aspect.  She’s now a hybrid, and what that means is that she’s no longer a pure wolf.  She looked so long and was so desperate to have a connection with her people.  She was adopted and, when she found out she was a werewolf, her adopted parents disowned her.  She spent the time we’ve known her, leading into the pilot of this series, looking for her family, and she actually found them.  And not only did she find them, but they accepted her and welcomed her.  Droves of werewolves were showing up in the bayou because of the promise of this last crescent wolf who was this queen, and she was happy.  In that time jump between Episode 16 and 17, she was with her people.  She saved them.  She cured them from being wolves, 29 or 30 days out of the month.  Now, she’s no longer a part of that, and she’s devastated.  She’s going through all of the after effects that you would expect from someone recently becoming a vampire.  On top of that, you have your wild werewolf impulses.  The instinctive desire to hunt and kill is accentuated by the face that she’s a vampire.  So, she’s a mess, and Elijah sees that.  At the same time, he recognizes that he can only help her so much because he is not what she is.  And the person who is what she is and understands what she’s going through is his brother.  In Episode 2, you’re going to get to see how that plays out.  I would caution against anyone thinking this is going to be some kind of love triangle.  It’s a little bit more nuanced and interesting, from my perspective, than that.  When you’re dealing with someone like Klaus, you have to wonder whether he wants to connect with her romantically, whether it was a sincere desire to reach out to someone who had fallen that he wanted to mentor, or whether it’s a less than sincere desire to manipulate someone else to a place where they can help him get what he wants.  That might ultimately be the same thing that Hayley wants, as far as the safety for the child and safety through numbers and having that werewolf pack on their side.  But Klaus is a multi-dimensional, complex character and I wouldn’t think that he’s necessarily 100% motivated by anything as pure as romantic love.

What can you say about where things are at with Marcel?

NARDUCCI:  There’s some really interesting stuff to be played with the history of New Orleans, who Marcel’s guys are, and how he rebuilt the city.  We’ve learned a little bit about Davina through flashback, we’ve obviously learned a lot about our Original family through flashback, and we have a really good idea for a Marcel flashback that’s gonna tie in some of our past faces.  I’m excited for that.

Where does Cami fit into things, at this point?

The-Originals-Leah-PipesNARDUCCI:  It seems like she’s made a decision to protect herself and get out of this crazy occult world to avoid becoming slaughtered by vampires and werewolves, and it feels like you might not see her for awhile.  But she is connected by her friendships with Marcel, Josh and Davina, who she served as a little bit of a big sister to, last season.  So, when any of these characters gets into trouble, you can imagine that she might be pulled back into the fray.  What’s interesting about Cami is that she still believes that baby died.  She believes that part of the reason why that baby was put at risk, and part of the reason that baby died was that she didn’t act fast enough.  She didn’t embrace the inheritance that Kieran left for her.  She didn’t go into that room and look at all those dark objects and files, and figure out all the information that would helped her figure out who Francesca really was.  I think she feels a certain amount of responsibility.  When we talk about that, it’s a little bit of the Spider-Man mythology.  “If I had just stopped that thief from getting away, he might not have killed my Uncle Ben.”  If Cami had gotten involved in the world, she might have been able to keep that baby alive, from her perspective.  So now, she’s thinking, “If I don’t get involved, maybe Davina is gonna wind up in trouble.  If I don’t get involved, maybe Klaus is gonna spiral out of control.  If I am tried as a psychologist and I have intimate knowledge of what it means to suffer from darkness and evil invading into your family life, I might have a perspective that can help Klaus, and some of the others.”  What better person to have on your show, with all these disparate, conflicted family members than the ultimate family therapist.  So, I think she’s gonna feel responsibility to get involved, and you’ll see that soon.

What can you say about the episode that Nina Dobrev will appear on?

NARDUCCI:  Julie [Plec] has always encouraged us, in the writers’ room, to talk about characters crossing over from The Vampire Diaries, in an organic way.  You might think, “Organic?  What does that mean?”  I thought that.  But what she means is that we want to have these cross-overs take place from a point of story, and what makes the most sense for our story.  We have a storyline in Episode 5 that will involve a flashback to the time of the Vikings, with Nina Dobrev playing Tatia.  There was no possible way to tell this story, if we didn’t get Nina Dobrev.  So, we got on our knees and begged her and begged her.  And she was, to her credit, wonderful.  She had to work double time, driving back and forth between sets.  She got to be in scenes with both of our leads – both Daniel [Gillies] and Joseph [Morgan].  We tell a story that will make you understand her fate, what happened to her, her relationship with both brothers, and why what happened between her and the two brothers is so beautiful and also tragic.

the-vampire-diariesDo you have any other cross-over plans, between the two shows?

NARDUCCI:  That’s a question that’s a bit above my pay grade.  I only get to play in the world of The Originals.  Right down the hall from where our writers’ room is, is the Vampire Diaries writers’ room.  Those people are burning away, churning through story, and they’ve got great stuff planned.  I talk to them all the time, and I’m amazed that, in Season 6, they’re still rolling along.  It doesn’t feel like there’s an easy way to make people drop what they’re doing in Mystic Falls and come to New Orleans.  Certainly, once our storylines get rolling, it’s going to be very obvious that it will be impossible for our characters to take a vacation and go to Mystic Falls.  But we are always looking, if it makes sense for the story, to honor the fact that this is a shared universe.  I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I really liked Tyler coming into our show.  He had a lot of unfinished business, with regard to the fact that Klaus killed his mother.  He knew what was going on with the baby, and his coming there and interacting with the werewolves in the bayou really opened up a whole new side to our show, in terms of the bayou and the werewolves and Hayley’s baby’s blood making hybrids, and all these different things.  It felt right and organic.  So, if we can do that again, we absolutely want to.  In terms of the Caroline-Klaus romance, once things get going on this show, you’ll see pretty quickly that Klaus is going to have his hands full.  If anything, the last thing that he would want is to involve someone else in that.  There is a lot of dirty family business to deal with first.

What has been the biggest challenge in the writers’ room for Season 2, as compared to Season 1?

The Originals season 2 castNARDUCCI:  Klaus came in the end of Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries, so that’s four and a half seasons of mythology to keep track of.  Sometimes that’s really fun and we get to say, “Remember that great moment with Elijah and Klaus talking about Tatia?  We need to use that, expand on it, put a twist on it, turn it on its head, and have it show us a new thing.”  That’s really exciting.  And then, sometimes it’s a lot to keep in mind.  Thankfully, we have a great writing staff.  On The Originals writing staff, everybody really loves The Vampire Diaries and has seen every episode, so we try to keep track of everything.  We may make some mistakes, but it’s always with the intention of telling the best story with these great characters.  Making Klaus this horrific villain who killed Aunt Jenna and Mayor Lockwood, suddenly become a sympathetic protagonist, is a very difficult transition.  So, I love the notion of playing him sometimes sympathetic, seeing where he’s coming from, understanding why he’s driven to do this, and understanding the little boy that he once was, but also getting at this malicious person who is a manipulator that’s out for himself, even if ultimately the thing that he wants most is to protect a little baby, and how can you not sympathize with that.  But he will do terrible things to people, in order to get what he wants.  I think that makes him a pretty interesting character.

Will we see a more level-headed Klaus, this season?

NARDUCCI:  I think that, in the premiere, he was full of rage and painting with his victims’ blood.  If that’s level-headed, then yeah, we’ll see more of that.  And we’ll see this notion of trying to get people to do what he wants them to do, by pushing all their buttons in the right way.  I like that manipulator aspect of him.  He’s going to have to, at some point, confront his father.  There are dangerous and deadly confrontations on the horizon, but at the same time, we’ll get to see a different side of Klaus that illuminates who he really is, as a person, and why he is that way.

Will anyone come to suspect that baby Hope is not really dead?

NARDUCCI:  I think that would be awful, and it would also lead to great dramatic conflict.

The Originals airs on Monday nights on The CW.

Michael Narducci The Originals Season 2 Interview

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