On The CW series The Originals, now in its final season, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is missing and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is back in New Orleans, bringing him face to face with their daughter, Hope (Danielle Rose Russell), who hasn’t seen her father in years. At the same time, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) is back to try to ease tensions between the supernatural factions.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Charles Michael Davis talked about the fun of juggling two TV series, with The Originals and the TV Land series Younger, taking in every minute of the final season of the story he’s been a part of telling for five seasons, whether there’s still hope for Marcel and Rebekah (Claire Holt), the Marcel-Klaus dynamic, the bond with Hope, a sassier Josh (Steven Krueger), directing another episode this season, and getting closure for his character.
Collider: As an actor, what’s it like to have two very different TV series, at the same time, with The Originals and Younger? What have you most enjoyed about getting to explore two very different characters, in two very different genres?
CHARLES MICHAEL DAVIS: That’s a good question. It’s just a trip for me, being an actor and going from one series to the other, in between breaks. I’m a series regular on two different shows, which is really cool because I remember when I wasn’t a regular on anything.
And you’re like, “Okay, now I’ll take two.”
DAVIS: Yeah, now I know how Daniel Gillies felt. It’s cool because they are completely different. One is an hour long, and it’s dark and real dramatic. The other one is a half-hour, it’s light, and we literally shoot in daylight. We shoot Younger in the actual city of New York, and it’s a thrill for me to take the train into work. It’s cool to do a drama and a comedy, at the same time. It’s crazy, but they both have great crews, great cast, great writers and great showrunners, which makes it easy. Both of the characters – Marcel and Zane – are ambitious, and they both have blonde love interests. For Younger, I literally have half the work.
Does it feel different, when you know that you’re shooting the final season of a series that you’ve been on for five seasons. Do you try to take in every minute, even more so than usual?
DAVIS: A little bit. We’ve done a great job of really appreciating each other, the work, and everything, as a cast and crew on The Originals. When we found out it was the last season, it was nice because we didn’t know, after the fourth season, if we would come back and there was a lingering, awkward tether to Atlanta. And then, we found out that we got a fifth season, and we knew it was going to be our last. That’s a rare thing, to know it was gonna be the last. So, we partied it up at Comic-Con. We enjoyed each other’s company, but we also did what we normally do, which is show up prepared, do great scenes, compliment each other, and help each other out. It was nice to have that last season.
And then, the show comes back and Marcel finally gets his moment to propose to Rebekah, and then it all goes to hell.
DAVIS: Yeah. I was wondering how they would bring Marcel back. I thought it was pretty brilliant, and it gives the fans that almost moment. But if they were happy, then there would be no drama, and we need some drama.
Were you ever like, “But, this is the last season. Can’t he just have his happiness now?”
DAVIS: Well, it’s not over yet. You never know.
Do you think, at least at this point, that Marcel is done trying to make things work with Rebekah, or would he still be willing to try again?
DAVIS: Are you kidding?! He’s so passionate about her, even when he gave the ultimatum. She pushes his buttons. Where else would he go for that?! They’re never done with each other.
Do you think he saw her no coming? Do you think he at least had some doubt?
DAVIS: I would have to say yes because he made a card that said no. Why would you even put that out there?! What’s the pathology behind writing two cards? It’s funny, I didn’t even think about that until you said it. On set, I should have said, “I’m not holding up this card! It’s ridiculous!” I guess that’s the difference between Marcel and Zane.
Do you think that Marcel has missed having Klaus around, or is he not as happy to see Klaus as Klaus seems to be to see him?
DAVIS: Definitely, they miss having each other around. How could they not? They’re family. You just go through your periods. I was watching My Next Guest with David Letterman, and he was talking to Jay-Z. He said, “Kanye [West] is like a brother to you, right? Are you guys still brothers? Are you friends?” And Jay-Z beautifully answered it by saying, “Do you have siblings?” He said, “Yeah.” He’s got a couple of brothers. He goes, “Are you close with all of them? I’ll let you know when we reconcile.” And the conversation just ended, right there. Klaus is Marcel’s brother, so he’ll always be around. They’ll always be brothers.
What can you tease about what’s ahead for them, this season?
DAVIS: I feel like they’ve had their thing, for the past four seasons, especially in the third season. There’s only so much friction between them, like an earthquake, before it finally erupts. They had that in Season 4. So, it’ll be slightly more cordial. There will be less friction between the two, which is a different dynamic. I don’t think they’re gonna butt heads as much because it’s not about them. It’s about Hope.
It seems like, right now at least, Marcel is trying to avoid facing the fact that Hope could be a real danger to everyone and everything. Why do you think that is? Do you think he sees a bit of Davina in her?
DAVIS: Yeah, I think so. And even with Davina, I think it was definitely more about their relationship. There’s a kinship there, where they recognized each other. They seemed like kindred spirits. And definitely, with Hope, there’s that same feeling. When Marcel and Hope first meet each other and he says, “Did you go get me some blood?,” and she goes, “I’m seven, not stupid,” it’s awesome. It reminds him of how he was, when he was a kid, and that’s such a rare thing. So, I think he’s more invested in her, as a person, and not necessarily in the power that she has. I think it helps that Marcel is also the most powerful being now, so he’s not really worried about being destroyed.
Over the seasons, I’ve really loved the dynamic between Marcel and Josh, and it’s especially fun this season because Josh has been on his own for a bit and he seems to have gotten a little bit sassier with Marcel. What can you say about their friendship, this season?