Executive Producer Kevin Williamson Interview THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

     January 26, 2011


The CW’s popular TV series The Vampire Diaries returns on January 27th with all-new episodes that will lead up to what promises to be a dramatic Season 2 finale. No one is safe, as the tension is heightened by the promise of ancient vampire Klaus’ desire to sacrifice the doppleganger, aka Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), and blood is sure to be shed.

In this recent interview, show creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson talked about how they’re expecting some big game-changers and lots of bloodshed before the season is over, how they’re currently going through about 100 auditions for possible actors to play Klaus, that the vampire-werewolf relationship between Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) will get very tragic, and how the doppleganger storyline will be resolved before the end of this season. He also talked about his deal with Warner Bros. and how he’s currently developing some new television series for them. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Question: How far along are you in the writing for the rest of this season?

Kevin Williamson  (1)KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Right now, we’re writing 216 and 217, so we are building up to the 22 episodes. We’re going over the hill and now we’re going to catch the momentum going down, where it’s going to get fast and furious. The last four or five episodes are leading up to the entrance of Klaus and whether he will achieve his whole goal, which is to sacrifice the doppleganger.

Will that be in the season finale, or will that happen prior to that?

WILLIAMSON: I think there will be a little bit, here and there. There are so many different storylines and story components of it, that it gets divided over the last three episodes.

Are the books used as a guide anymore, or are you just completely doing your own thing now?

WILLIAMSON: We’re off and running now. We departed from the books to such a degree that, once in awhile we’ll do a story and go, “Oh, that was in the book,” but it was by accident, or we’ll use the book as a starting off point, or we’ll go reference the book. For the most part, we’re such a serialized show. We started things in motion and now we’re just following that.

Will you have the first show with a vampire-werewolf relationship?

WILLIAMSON: We certainly have a friendship brewing with Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler (Michael Trevino). We’ve already sort of done that. But, whether or not it goes to the next level remains to be seen. Hopefully, that’s what we’ll lead to. If it’s not them, hopefully it will be somebody.

Will the werewolf-vampire tensions drive Caroline and Tyler apart?

WILLIAMSON: Yeah, 100%. In the very next episode, things begin to unfold in a way that doesn’t bode well for their budding relationship and their friendship. Tyler starts asking questions, and we’ll see that blow open. And, don’t forget there’s Matt (Zach Roerig) waiting over there, in the middle. There’s a little triangle there as well, with a human, a vampire and a werewolf. Tyler got through his transformation and Caroline was there for him, and they have this kinship now, of this curse. Now, we take it to the next level and play it out. It’s very tragic. I wish I could just squeal and tell you everything that’s going to happen, but over the next three episodes, it gets tragic.

vampire-diaries-poster-01Will that resolve by the end of the season?

WILLIAMSON: We end a chapter in the next three episodes, with regard to a lot of things we’ve set in motion. And then, we begin a new chapter, which is the next chapter of all this. That’s leading us to the finale.

Is the doppleganger storyline something that’s gone on longer than you thought it would? How much longer will that storyline go?

WILLIAMSON: We always envisioned it to be the season finale and the big sacrifice. We’re going to lead to it. But, we may get to it a little sooner ‘cause there’s so many parts of it and there’s also what happens after. We’re not quite sure where to end the season, with regard to the doppleganger, because there are three or four different endings of it, and beginnings. We’ve already been mapping out next season because we’re pretty sure we’re going to be around, and so we want to make sure we have a place to go with it and that we know where the starting point is.

Is it challenging to keep the tension with that storyline, since you presumably aren’t going to get rid of Elena (Nina Dobrev)?

WILLIAMSON: Well, yes. I don’t know if anyone is ever going to buy that we’re going to kill Elena. She is the heart and soul of the show. And, I’m not spoiling anything by saying that I’m not dying to kill Katherine. I think there’s too much juice there. That would be incredibly stupid, on my part. But, there are things to do with these characters that you can still surprise the audience with. One of the things we did set up – which we wanted to do in the flashback with Klaus and Katerina (Nina Dobrev) in Bulgaria – is that Klaus killed all of her family because she betrayed him. Yes, chances are that Elena won’t die, but there’s several things that could happen. Everyone she cares about and loves could die. And, remember how Katherine got out of the situation. Elena could make the same decision. There are still game-changers that can happen. Will Elena die? No. But, who will die? There will be blood. People are going to die.

kevin-williamson-image-02Have you cast Klaus yet?

WILLIAMSON: We have not cast him yet, but we’re heavily casting right now.

Do you have candidates?

WILLIAMSON: No. There’s about 100 auditions that I have to weed through.

Is there a type that you’re looking for?

WILLIAMSON: No. I want that really great actor to surface and then go, “Wow, I can write for him. He’ll work really well.” We’re looking at people that might be familiar to an audience, but most importantly, we want the right actor, so I’m guessing it will probably be someone we don’t know. Keep in mind that Klaus is a character who, in his history, seduced Katherine in Bulgaria, so imagine someone that would have been suitable for her and not an old man.

Is it ever difficult to let go of particular characters, even though it’s for the good of the drama?

WILLIAMSON: Well, hopefully, we’ll do it in a way that is satisfying and we won’t do it just to do it. We will do it and it will be epic and it will be rewarding, and it will feel good, and it will be sad and tragic, but with every ending will come a beginning. Hopefully, we’ll do it in a way in which we won’t piss everybody off and we’ll satisfy the audience. You don’t kill people to disappoint the audience. You do it so they’ll feel satisfied and have a great experience.

How big does something have to be for you to call it a game-changer?

WILLIAMSON: A game-changer, to me, is something that spins the story in a whole new direction. Caroline turning into a vampire, at the beginning of the year, was a game-changer for our little close-knit group of friends. When Elena learned that she had to die, in order for the curse to be broken, that was a game-changer. Things like that are game-changers. We’ve got a couple game-changers coming.

vampire-diaries-image-candice-accolaHave any of the characters been particularly surprising for you, since you started the show?

WILLIAMSON: All of them have surprised me in various ways, but I knew that this year was going to be about Caroline and Tyler, and that we were going to have the werewolf storyline. We set it up last year and said, “We’re going to do it,” so we had to deliver on it. And, I knew Caroline was going to be a big game-changer for me. I wanted audiences to root for her and love her, and I wanted her to be the little vampire who could, and I thought she delivered in spades. She keeps astounding and surprising me. I was hoping she had it in her, and boy did she ever. But, it’s going to get tragic. At the end of the season, everyone won’t be standing, I’m sad to say.

Did you know, from the beginning, that you would turn Caroline into a vampire?

WILLIAMSON: No. We had always talked about it, but half-way through the season is when I knew. I was so impressed with her, as an actress, and I wanted to make her a vampire, but I was scared it would step on what True Blood was doing with the young girl who is also a vampire, and I didn’t want to get accused of ripping that off. But, when I saw how Candice was creating this role of Caroline, and was so different and unique unto itself, I went, “I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes.”

You’ve had shows that have run a long time and you’ve had shows that were canceled. What is that experience like?

WILLIAMSON: They’re not all winners. Every show is so different, in every good part and every bad part. Sometimes, the show you set out to make is not the show that ends of on screen. It goes through the development process and things change and you make concessions and everything goes in different ways, and then it’s not quite what you had in mind. Because of the network and because of the demands and because of what they want versus what you want, it changes and takes its own shape and it gets away from you a little bit. If you’re on a sinking ship, or I can’t tap dance to work, I’d rather it be over. So many people work so hard on those shows. No one sets out to make a bad show, and certainly I don’t. I pour so much heart and soul and blood into stuff, and so have the other people that work with me. I just know that everything happens for a reason.

Kevin Williamson  (2)Now that you’re nearing the end of the season, are you already starting to line up projects you’d like to do during hiatus?

WILLIAMSON: I’ve got a couple of scripts that I want to get to, but I’m doing the TV thing. I’m doing The Vampire Diaries for the rest of this season, and I’ll be around for next season. And, I did this deal with Warners, so I’m going to be developing some other shows too, in addition to continuing on with my duties with The Vampire Diaries.

What types of shows are you looking to do?

WILLIAMSON: I want to do some genre stuff, but I also want to do some relationship stuff. I’d like to do some more family or adult driven things as well. I have a couple of adult soap operas and a couple of genre ideas that are very genre specific, so I don’t quite know what I would do with those. I don’t know if they’re proper for The CW, or another network. I don’t know. Most importantly, I want a little break after the second season. We are working so fast and furious that I want a break, and then I can figure it all out.

With Scream 4 coming out on April 15th, what do you think this generation’s relationship to horror movies is?

WILLIAMSON: I don’t know. We haven’t had a lot of straight-ahead slasher flicks in this generation. We’re not really doing the teenager horror film right now, so maybe it’s time. I don’t see a lot of them coming out, and the ones that have come out haven’t been that successful.