On Season 2 of The CW drama series The Originals, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) can use all of the allies they can get, as they face unfinished business among the Original family. With their father, Mikael (Sebastian Roché), out for blood, and their mother, Esther, trying to follow through on some sick and twisted plan, there is sure to be much backstabbing and deceit before it all plays out.
In Episode 4, “Live and Let Die,” Cami (Leah Pipes) inadvertently lets Klaus in on Davina’s (Danielle Campbell) whereabouts, so she tags along in an attempt to truly understand the deeply rooted hatred he has for his parents. During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, held at the offices of The CW, actress Leah Pipes talked about the unexpected turns of Cami’s journey in Season 1, being in constant fear that Cami is only human, having to contend with the Original family, what keeps drawing her back to the supernatural world, Cami’s relationship with the Mikaelson brothers and Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), what bonds Cami and Davina, whether she could see Cami ever stepping into the role of leader of the human faction, and how Season 2 compares with Season 1. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
LEAH PIPES: It took some unexpected turns. Sometimes they were unexpected for me, and sometimes I knew they were coming, but I really loved the journey that she took. I really love the drama of it. To watch a normal girl go through so much turmoil and come out of it, not just alive, but stronger and so resilient and so independent. It’s a really fun story to play out, as an actor.
How closely did Cami’s arc play out, to what you thought it would be?
PIPES: It was always planned, what she went through, in losing her uncle, and discovering the world through the loss of her brother, and then her uncle, so they did know the arc. Now, in Season 2, she’s like, “I don’t want anything to do with this,” but does she have a responsibility to be involved in this because it’s her family’s legacy? The O’Connell’s have been the human fraction in New Orleans for however many hundreds of years. It’s her duty now, as the O’Connell in the city. Will she take up that torch, or will she run and hide?
Did you have moments that you were truly worried that Cami might not make it to the end of the first season?
PIPES: I have moments like that, all the time. I’m constantly in fear. I’ll go to Julie [Plec] and be like, “Don’t you think Cami should just maybe be all powerful, instead of not powerful at all,” ‘cause I like the people I work with. No. I totally trust the writers. Whatever storyline they have in mind for me and everyone else, I trust is the best storyline to service the show. I’m here to service the show and make it better in any way that I can. So, whatever they have in store for me, I’m willing and happy to do.
When you found out that this would be the season of the return of the Original family, did you worry about how little human Cami might fare against them?
PIPES: Yeah, I know! Now, you’re just scaring me. It’s a lot. Cami is not the only one. There are near-death experiences on this show for everyone, that are definitely coming up. Everyone is looking at their contract like, “Am I the next to go?!” But, that’s what makes it so fun. I love shows that don’t keep the main cast around, necessarily. We lost Daniella Pineda last season, and it was a bummer to lose her, but that death was so epic and unexpected. To have the person that she was fighting for, her niece, then turn around and kill her, you got to see how evil and twisted these witches are. Where you were rooting for the witches at the beginning of the season, all of a sudden, you weren’t rooting for the witches, at all. You’re rooting for the vampires. And then, you were rooting for the werewolves. And then, you’re not rooting for the werewolves. I just love how everything changes, constantly, on the show. It’s really fun to be a part of.
At this point, Cami has no idea that her school counselor is really embodied by an Original. What can you say about that dynamic? Because she’s a smart girl, is she going to start to wonder, if something odd is happening?
PIPES: As smart as she is, it’s hard to even fathom that. She sees that there is a supernatural world, and then there’s her little world. There’s her personal life, and there’s her school life. She said, “I’m leaving the supernatural world, and I’m just going to be a normal girl now.” It’s hard to even fathom. How could you even see that coming? She can’t escape the supernatural world because her world is now the supernatural world. She’s gotten too deep in, and there is no escaping it.
PIPES: There are people that she cares about, like Davina, Marcel, and even Klaus. She said, at the end of last season, what if I can use this secret room and these tools that I have to protect the people that I love? That really is what she believes in. She believes in protecting the people that she loves, and fighting for justice and fighting for the right side of things. The problem with this supernatural world is, what is the right side? What is justice? Who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy? It makes it interesting, for a person who wants to be morally good and believes that everyone can be morally good, to be in such a complicated situation where people sacrifice their morals, all the time, for the good of their family.
Where is Cami at, when we see her again?
PIPES: When we see her in Episode 4, she reconnects with Klaus and she has a run-in with Mikael. Talk about feeling like I don’t have any job security. She has a run in with Mikael and I’m like, “No, can’t she just go back to college?!” It gets a little stressful. No one is ever going to be like, “Oh, it’s great to see you, Destroyer!” No one has ever said that.
It was fun to see Cami team up with the Mikaelson brothers and Marcel in the premiere episode. Will we get to see Cami manipulate them a bit more?
PIPES: Cami can be manipulative, she has discovered, and it’s not like you never do that again. So, yeah! It is so funny because it’s me. When these guys are like, “Oh, she’s just so interesting. There’s something about her,” I’m like, “Thanks guys! Thanks for writing that in! I don’t think anyone in life has said that.” I was not that popular with men, in my personal life, but I’m glad that Cami is so popular. I think they appreciate her strength, and they appreciate the fact that, when something needs to be done, she will help. We’re realizing, this season, that she is very helpful.
PIPES: Yes! She’s the squishy human girl amongst the abs and biceps. When I had those scenes with Charles [Michael Davis], I would have my robe on and he would take off his shirt, and I’d be like, “Guys, can we not! I just don’t want to do this. I want a sex scene with Seth Rogen, next time. Make me look good.”
What does Cami think of Klaus, at this point? Obviously, they have a chemistry between them, but do you think she would ever allow herself to go there?
PIPES: I don’t know. I think she has a lot of respect for him. I think she sees the good in him. I think she believes in him. And I think there is a chemistry there, but it’s a very ambiguous chemistry. She knows he’s very bad for her. She knows he’s dangerous. But he also has a soft spot for her, and she has a soft spot for him. I don’t know if it’s romantic, as much as it’s mutual respect. We’ll see. I think she’s figuring that out, and I’m still figuring that out with her.
Because she does have some guilt, in regard to what she thinks happened to Klaus’ child, does she ever wonder what he thinks about that? Is Cami worried that he might blame her, at all, since she doesn’t know that the baby is still alive?
PIPES: That’s an interesting question. She knows that his relationship with her has gotten to a level of trust. She feels safe around him, and I think she has earned that. I think she is safe around him. He appreciates that she sees good in him, and I don’t think he wants to let that go. I think he does step up to the plate. He’s not the best version of himself, but a better-ish version of himself. Routinely around Cami, you see him vulnerable and you see him kind. And then, he uses people’s blood to paint, but not in front of Cami.
What is it that bonds Cami with Davina, when so many other people are afraid of her?
PIPES: Cami really cares about Davina. I think Cami sees herself in Davina. She sees a girl who is normal, and has found herself in a situation where she really needs to be tough. She’s lost everyone and she’s alone. Cami has so much love for Davina, truly, and sees her almost like a little sister that she needs to take care of. And I think Davina feels the same way about Cami. She sees Cami as one of the few people that she can trust. Even when she has to ask Cami, “Are you using me?,” Cami will say, “I am. I need you for this.” Davina will be annoyed, but at the end of the day, they’re on each other’s side. They’re got each other’s backs.
PIPES: Who owns Rousseau’s? I think Cami can step up and maybe be the owner of Rousseau’s now. Whatever the writers have in store for me, I really appreciate. I would love to see her take a leadership role, but I would love to see her stay behind the scenes and have more of a backseat approach. Notice that the head of the human faction dies. Maybe she’s not at the head of the human faction. Maybe she just goes back to college and stays safe. But, I don’t know. I have no control over that. Whenever I get a script, I’m always so impressed with what the writers have on the page. I’ve learned not to think my storyline is going to be better than theirs. Theirs is always gonna be the best.
What has most surprised you, out of what you’ve learned about Cami, so far?
PIPES: She’s a little slutty. For someone with that amount of morals, she’s quick to jump in the sack. You give her a little bit of booze, and she’s like, “Let’s just do this!” She also drinks a lot when she is stressed. So, there’s a lot of drinking and a lot of casual sex, which I don’t mind, but I thought she was just going to be this sweet, innocent ingénue who is angelic and never makes mistakes. I really love that they’re like, “No, she’s a drinker, and she messes up sometimes. She’s gonna be the rebound for Marcel, and she’s not gonna really care that much because she needs to get laid.”
Maybe it’s just her stress reliever.
PIPES: I think sex with Marcel is her stress reliever. Those abs just put her at ease.
PIPES: Season 1 was really, really great and I loved every second of it, but I have to say that Season 2 is even better. Everything has found its stride and the stakes are higher with Mikael and Esther and the brothers. It’s a lot. It’s complicated, it’s twisted, it’s dark, it’s sexy, it’s romantic. It’s got it all, this season. There is pay-off after pay-off. You read the script, and then it will end and you’ll be like, “Wait a second! No! When is the next script coming out?!” It’s just so good, and you need to know what happens next. That’s how I always feel, whenever I read these scripts.
Which episode are you most excited about, coming up?
PIPES: Episode 205 is going to be a really great episode. I think everyone will enjoy it. It gets really intense.
The Originals airs on Monday nights on The CW.