On The CW series The Originals, the Mikaelsons are reunited as a family, after five long years apart, and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) must attempt to reconnect with his daughter, Hope (Summer Fontana), who is now seven years old. At the same time, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) tries to determine the best way to protect the family, which is not something that Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Freya (Riley Voelkel) seem to be able to agree on, all while a mysterious witch plans to sacrifice a group of innocent children, including Hope Mikaelson.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Phoebe Tonkin talked about the mother-daughter relationship between Hayley and Hope, where Hayley’s focus is, now that she’s reunited the Mikaelsons, how Hayley feels about Klaus, Elijah and Hayley’s tight bond, conflict with Freya, how dangerous this new threat is, whether she would be interested in directing (a few of her co-stars have been directing episodes of the series), and which actor from The Vampire Diaries she’d like to see show up in New Orleans.
Collider: What have you most enjoyed about having the five-year time jump this season? What has it allowed you to get to do, that you wouldn’t have been able to without it?
PHOEBE TONKIN: I definitely think it’s been really interesting to show Hayley as a mother of a 7-year-old, and the challenges that Hayley’s faced, being responsible for this human being, who has questions of her own about her own family heritage and her own powers, and things like that. It’s created this really nice mother-daughter relationship that wasn’t necessarily there when she was a toddler.
And it must feel quite a bit different, as an actor, to actually have a child to interact and have scenes with, instead of just an infant or toddler.
TONKIN: That made a very big difference, especially for my character. As lovely as it was, for three seasons, having baby Hope, it brings a different dynamic to the show, having someone that is listening in on conversations and is very much a part of people’s storylines, and not just a sweet little baby in the corner.
Did the five-year time jump feel more like a reset for you, as an actor, and for how you’re approaching your character now? Did it feel like you had to do a lot of figuring out where her head would be, this many years after the last time we saw her?
TONKIN: I think Hayley spent the last five years doing nothing but trying to get the Mikaelsons back. I hope she at least had a couple of fun mini-vacations with her daughter, but I think she spent five years just trying to get them back. After five years of trying, it was such a big relief for her to finally do that, but it wasn’t so much a reset. Five years is a long time to spend looking for someone, or a bunch of people, so it’s just nice for her to have her life back again.
In the five years that we didn’t get to see exactly what Hayley was up to, what did her best days look like and what did her worst days look like?
TONKIN: I think her worst and her best days were probably the same. She was in a lot of pain for five years because she was without the people that she loved, who are this family that she’s become a part of. The best days were probably the days where she was getting close to finding out how to break the curse, and the worst days were probably the days that she felt lonely without them.