Executive Producer/Writer Julie Plec Interview THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Season 3

     September 29, 2011


In this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, entitled “The End of the Affair,” family ties will be revealed, relationships will be explained and familiar faces will return, and it’s only the third episode into Season 3. Collider was one of a handful of outlets invited over to The CW offices to view the episode and all of its edge-of-your-seat moments a day early, and see what hints we could get executive producer/writer Julie Plec to tease, in regard to the upcoming season.

While she didn’t give any specifics or major reveals, Julie Plec did talk about how this episode is just the beginning of what viewers will see of the Originals’ history and origin, what these revelations will do to the relationship between Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev), that the chemistry between Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) will be illuminated more as a result, what the true agenda of the ghosts visiting Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is, when Bonnie (Katerina Graham) will return, how things will develop between Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler (Michael Trevino), and that viewers should always dread character deaths. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

vampire-diaries-season-3-poster-04What can you tease about what viewers will see in this episode?

JULIE PLEC: I would say that we get to learn some old secrets, and play with some old friends/foes.

Is this just the beginning of what viewers will see of Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) family?

PLEC: One of the big questions that we left last year with was, “Why did Klaus take such an interest in Stefan specifically, of all people?” What we really wanted to do was show the roots of Klaus’ character, as it relates to his family – the people that he has known for 1,000 years and been with, off and on. There’s this notion of this big, bad, evil, hybrid dick who, like everybody else on our show, is trying to fill a hole that’s been left inside of him, as a result of loss of family, or desire for family, or desire for that brotherhood. This is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of our glimpse into Klaus’ life. It’s not the last we’ll see of his family’s story. There’s so much story there that you could give them their own show, but right now, we want them to have our show and be able to tell that story, in the midst of everything else that we’re doing in Mystic Falls.

With a casting call recently having gone out for the Original mother, do you anticipate introducing the whole family this year?

PLEC: To be perfectly frank, I think that was our intention, until we did the realistic math. We’ve said that there’s seven children. That’s a lot of new people to bring into the story. We’re only about a third of the way through the season so far, in the nitty gritty of what we’re breaking, and certainly the mother is going to be someone that we meet in the past, as will other siblings. We’ve already said that we will see Elijah (Daniel Gillies) again. And, we’re about to start shooting an episode that takes us back a long ways, to the origin story of the Original family.

Is it possible that viewers have already met an Original and not know it?

PLEC: It’s funny, we just had that conversation the other day – the Cylon pitch, as we call it. I don’t want to say no because it’s cool, so you never know. I’m not going to say yes or no. We do talk about the fun of that. We like to, weirdly enough, try to tell as much story without having to go back and retcon it, so I wish we would have thought of it, when we wrote episode one. That would have been so much cooler to go down that road, knowing that we knew that, all along.

vampire-diaries-season-3-poster-01Where will things go now with Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev), after the events of this episode?

PLEC: This episode was a big deal for the Stefan and Elena relationship because, in her plucky little heart, while Elena is very realistic and understands the realities of the world, she’s this overly compassionate savior of her friends and loved ones. I really do think that she believed it was as easy of getting him out of that environment. What he makes very clear to her is that’s just the beginning. Her life will be spent taking care of him and worrying about him, and that’s not a life he wants for her. We’re going to see that theme continue a lot, through this season, as she struggles with her desire to help rescue this hero in her life, and this person that she loved very purely and very deeply, but also the realities of learning the lesson that you can’t necessarily let yourself be consumed, in your own life, by saving someone else’s. That’s a big thing that takes us for a long journey, that begins in this episode and takes us all the way through half the season.

Where does that leave things with Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder)?

PLEC: There is yet to be an admission of that chemistry, from her part. In fact, next week’s episode illuminates that a little bit. A lot has gone unsaid. There’s a big elephant in the room, as far as all these fun, little stolen moments and romantic banter and their dynamic with each other, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed with other people. Now that Stefan has said, “Go away!,” and Elena is back in Mystic Falls, trying to pick up the pieces and get on with her life, it’s the kind of thing that her friends and loved ones are going to comment on. We’re going to have some fun with that.

When will viewers get to see Bonnie (Katerina Graham) again?

PLEC: Bonnie makes her return next week. She returns from summer with the normal side of the family. Bonnie says, “Boy, summer with the normal side of my family is like watching paint dry,” and Caroline (Candice Accola) says, “Well, I’d give a lot for a normal side of my family, right now.” It’s a nice return for Bonnie next week.

With as much as Caroline has grown over this last year, how will the events of this episode affect her?

PLEC: The beauty of Caroline is that she’s a pull-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps girl, and the irony of that is that she thought she learned that from her dad. All her strength and confidence came from her relationship with her father, and now she realizes that, when the chips fell where they did, her mom is there. The surprising person who she thought never got her, is there to get her now. Caroline gets a few good moments in the next episode, where we get to see just exactly how she’s going to channel the experience into action.

vampire-diaries-season-3-poster-05Will Bill Forbes (Jack Coleman) stay in Mystic Falls awhile longer?

PLEC: He’s in next week’s episode. He is somebody who has come in and stirred up the pot, and the fall-out of his pot-stirring carries us through the next episode. It’s a story about a parent thinking they know best for their child. What we wanted to show was this idea of trying to rescue someone who, ultimately, doesn’t need to be rescued.

What can you tease about the ghosts and what their agenda is?

PLEC: What I can tease is that there definitely is an agenda happening with our ghosts that isn’t just, “Hey, I want to make amends with my loved ones.” As we get into the next episode and Bonnie returns, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is holding this secret now, this person that’s been very easy to keep a secret from because she’s been away, a couple months have gone by and he hasn’t fessed up to it. So, at what point did it go from not wanting to let her in on something to an out-and-out lie? We’re going to see the emotional consequences of Bonnie bringing Jeremy back to life. It’s put a rift in her romantic relationship with him. And then, over the next couple episodes, our arc is to see what the ghostly and supernatural consequences are of that.

Is it true that Taylor Kinney (who played Mason Lockwood) might be returning as a ghost?

PLEC: It’s hard to keep those things secret, when he’s gallivanting across Atlanta with the biggest pop superstar on the planet (Lady Gaga). All I will say is that he’s in Atlanta.

The Vampire Diaries 02Are the dead people limited to Vicki (Kayla Ewell) and Anna (Malese Jow)?

PLEC: No, not at all.

Will the Counsel come back at all?

PLEC: There are a couple juicy Counsel moments, coming up next week. For those of you who follow the moves of the Counsel and their glorious incompetences, next week really showcases that beautifully. The big thing is, “Who on this Counsel is not actually somehow carrying a secret for their child, in regard to the very people they’re supposed to be fighting against?”

Because of the title of the show, did you feel compelled to bring Stefan’s diary into the mix?

PLEC: No. A device that we moved past, early on, was the narrating diaries. As Kevin [Williamson] and I like to say, a diary is for when you have no one that you feel like you can talk to. It’s an expression of your loneliness and is a secret that you’re keeping when you feel like there’s no one you can trust to keep your secret. Once Stefan and Elena found each other, they could express everything to each other, so we moved away from framing our episodes with that. But, we still like the idea that there’s a folklore with centuries of storytelling, especially in our vampires, that can still be referenced and looked back on, during times when they didn’t have anybody or still felt like they had to keep things secret. It’s The Vampire Diaries. We will always find some way to give a little shout out to that.

vampire-diaries-season-3-poster-02Are the reveals in this episode the reasons that Klaus eluded to for wanting Stefan with him?

PLEC: Yes.

Do you think Klaus could ever end up friends with these people?

PLEC: The struggle that we have in this show, as writers and as people who really love our actors, is that we have an over-abundance of heroes. When you have to spread heroism across too many players, you don’t get to really dig deep into each of them, as much as you’d want to. In theory, it would be great, in the long term, to see Klaus kicking it at the Mystic Grill with the rest of the boys. I don’t know. There’s also something really alluring about a villain driven by emotion and want – just like the best villains are – who never gets sucked into the whiskey bonding, barside with the rest of our team.

What can you reveal about Sebastian Roche’s character and how he plays into things with the Originals?

PLEC: This was a little tease or taste of that character, which Stefan will start to ask about. People who should be afraid of nothing are afraid of this person, so he’s going to start wondering a little bit about that.

Should fans of the show be dreading any major deaths, in the near future?

PLEC: Always, and I don’t know.

Why can’t Matt (Zach Roerig) just like vampires?

The Vampire Diaries 04PLEC: I know! Matt has an episode coming up that’s so beautiful and so sad and so wonderful. It’s our fifth episode, set the weekend before their senior year begins. It’s an annual tradition of Senior Prank Night, and things go horribly wrong, of course. For Matt, it’s bittersweet. He was a football player. He was just coming out of the relationship with Elena. His friends were good, he had a sister, and his mom was in and out. There was a sense of life that he had, that he’s really lost, over the two seasons of our show. That’s really hurting him, and we really get to explore that, in a beautiful and tragic way.

Will Matt get any ladies in his life?

PLEC: Matt has got to get laid this year, for sure. He just needs that. He just needs love. Maybe after Christmas.

What can viewers expect from the relationship between Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Caroline?

PLEC: They’ve blossomed into this really nice relationship. For me, watching it and looking at it as a fan, I really like them. I like the connection they have with each other. I like this idea that he’s just dealt with his mother discovering that he is a “monster,” and she’s fighting with the fact that her father thinks that she’s a monster, and these two monsters – as labeled by the people that are supposed to love them the most – have found each other. We’ll get to live in that for a little while, and then, of course, as often happens in our relationships, something will go terribly wrong. They’ll struggle this season, as well.

Would you have killed Andie (Dawn Olivieri), if it were not for the Showtime series House of Lies?

PLEC: Actually, no, I don’t think we would have. We knew that she had booked a new series with Don Cheadle on Showtime, and it sounded cool and she’s so great that we figured, “Oh, that’s going to do really well, so we might never get her again.” So, knowing that and knowing that we wanted Stefan to do something very extreme to make his point, the two notions gave us Andie, in that episode. She probably would have been around until the end, as that intrepid reporter who was Damon’s buddy, until the end of time, if she was available.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES episode “The End of the Affair” premieres on The CW on September 29th