January 28th, 2011 by thetvchick
The Vampire Diaries returned last night and I am so glad it’s back. One of the things I love so much about this show is that despite the fact that there is a big cast, each person serves a purpose. Whether that purpose is to be unaware of their surroundings (poor Matt and Aunt Jenna!), save the day and protect the town (hello, Salvatore brothers) or form dangerous bonds (Caroline and Tyler). It’s a big cast so not everyone gets in on the action all the time, but I enjoy it when they do. One of the craziest moments on the show so far (and there have been a lot) was when Katherine compelled Aunt Jenna to stab herself. Katherine made it clear that no one is safe from her wrath, and it really upped the stakes (no pun intended). When I sat down with Sara Canning (who plays Jenna) on the set of the show, she had a lot to say about the purpose Jenna serves in this crazy town of Mystic Falls, Jenna’s “parental” role, and her relationship with Alaric.
What’s coming up for Jenna? Is she going to continue to stay unaware of what’s going on around her?
As of right now, yes. I honestly don’t know when she’s going to find out. It’d be great to know, but it’s kind of fun to be in the dark and not only as the character but I really don’t know at one point I’m going to get thrown into the supernatural mix of things. But I think it’s really important to the show, and I think Kevin [Williamson] and Julie [Plec] really think it has been important at least up until this point to have some characters remain grounded in reality. Because there aren’t a whole lot of them left that don’t know about what’s going on. So I think it’s a really important role that Jenna is fulfilling on the show. And not only that but her niece and nephew have so much going on and it’s just a whirlwind and so many problems that they’re dealing with every week because of vampire and witches and werewolves and the rest of it that it’s kind of cool that when they go back to their house, they still have the same relationship. [It] is still a challenging relationship with Jenna because of their parents’ death and I think it’s been cool being able to watch that relationship grow and change and develop strictly in a reality based situation without having any outside circumstances or anything to do with vampires throwing anything else into the mix of that relationship. So I think it’s been important that we’ve come this far with them just dealing with her and what she thinks is the reality of Mystic Falls.
Jenna knows a lot about Elena’s family history that we don’t even know yet. Is it possible we might see that come into play?
I think so. I definitely think so. I mean, we’ve seen that Jenna has also been keeping a secret from Elena about being adopted and having to be the one suddenly to tell her about the adoption which is kind of insane. That’s a big thing to have to deal with when she’s not Elena’s mother and she’s just learning about this parenting role herself. I think we’ll see a little more stem from that with what she either knows or doesn’t know. And I think it’s going to really throw Jenna for a loop as well to see maybe she doesn’t know as much about her family’s history as she thought she did. And then she’ll probably feel a little bit at a loss because she’s supposed to be in the position of control and to be an actual authority figure and when they’re a lot of secrets floating around, that kind of challenges her position.
That makes sense. And a really powerful scene this season was the stabbing scene.
The stabbing scene!!
Can you talk a little bit about that and what it was like to film?
It was a blast to film. It was really messy. Really, really messy. But partially because with the blood you never really know what’s going to happen. There was someone lying behind the counter and actually controlling it. We actually did everything in two takes which is really not a lot when you’re doing a stunt. We tried to get it right off the bat, because you only have so many resources, whether it’s wardrobe or blood or timing. So it was really fun to shoot and I think it’s great from a character perspective just because Jenna’s been really safe up to this point. She really has had no involvement in all of the dangerous happenings that have been going on since season one. She’s had a couple run-ins with vampires, but nothing so lethal. So I was kind of shocked and excited when I read that script because I didn’t know it was coming. And it was a big relief to see at the end of that episode that she was actually fine. But it’s cool just to know that Jenna being put in danger really put a spin on the whole Katherine situation because it was the moment when Elena and Jeremy and Stefan kind of say “Whoa, she means business. She’s not screwing around.”
I think like you said, she’d been safe in other ways too. You wouldn’t think that Jenna would be in danger.
Because she seems so separate from everything.
Are they really going to –
Use her as a pawn.
When that happened, I was like “Holy crap, they are going to go there.”
So I kind of felt that way too. And it was exciting because it was great to know that the character of Jenna holds that much stake still.
Especially in Elena’s life because she really cares for her.
Are we going to see Jenna take on a more parental role? They kind of border this sister/parent relationship.
I don’t think that with the second season we’re going to see such an extreme shift that all of a sudden now she’s a mother. I think she’s really figured a lot of things out in season one and really come to terms with what her role is in these teenager’s lives, but I don’t think it’s going to become such a specific — she really does have the same relationship with Elena and Jeremy deep down, there’s just some restrictions on that relationship for their own good and because they’re in high school. She’s become a protector, I think. I definitely think she’s become very protective of them and absolutely wants nothing but the best for them and has the highest intentions for their safety and their well being. But it can’t be ignored that Jenna is still learning a lot about what that role is and she’s still making mistakes and she’s still really young at heart and still figuring herself out and still growing a lot as a person. I don’t think we’re going to see a huge shift but I think we’re going to see a lot of conflict arise in just obstacles in her wanting to do a good job parenting.
And what’s coming up with her and Alaric? Is Alaric maybe going to expose her to some things that are going on?
That’s the big question. That’s what I’m asked most often. And I think that if Jenna finds out, there’s going to be a level of betrayal with Elena especially, but to be dating this wonderful man who has come into her life when she’s had nothing but douche bags running around, horrible guys that she’s been dating, it’s really special. And I think Jenna is at a place where she really wants this to work and I think she’s grown a lot through this interaction with Alaric and their relationship growing. I think it’s changed her a lot as a person in what she expects from other people. And I think it’s just going to be a huge betrayal on his part. I’m interested to see how easy it is for her to trust him after that because yes, Elena is very close to Jenna and it’s her niece but Alaric is an adult and she would expect him to keep her safe and there’s a definite huge danger factor with her niece dating a vampire.
Will we see any more embarrassing run-ins?
Half clothed run ins? God, I hope so because it was just so fun. I think that Matt and I [Davis, who plays Alaric] have the most fun when we’re presented with an awkward scene.
It’s great because it breaks up the tension.
Yeah, and I love that when you get these little moments of comedic relief in the show because there is a lot of intensity but Kevin and Julie are so good at adding these jewels of comedic — that it’s just like (sigh) we can all breathe for a second and remember “Oh yeah, these people are funny,” and they still have awkward things like “Oh I’m wearing my boyfriend’s shirt and no pants and here I am explaining it to my niece.” I hope so. We have a blast filming together and that stuff is so fun to do with Matt because he’s a total goof and he’s hilarious.
And can you tease a little bit of what’s coming up in the New Year?
Well, we’re going to see the return of a character.
Will you and John Gilbert have any interactions?
Yeah, it’s going to throw her off her [game] — she’s kind of on this nice good path with Alaric, things are going well. And maybe things aren’t going to be going so well pretty soon.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 pm on the CW.Tweet