October 21st, 2010 by thetvchick
It’s clearly The Vampire Diaries week here at The TV Chick. I have sung the show’s praises time and time again, and I stand by my assertion that it’s one of the best shows out there. Week after week, there are these amazing moments where I am left with my mouth agape at the screen. These magical twists are all the work of the brilliant executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. They are not afraid to kill off characters, turn others into vampires and werewolves, and even introduce a doppelganger. I recently had the chance to chat with both of them at New York Comic Con. They gave a big teaser about the flashback episodes coming up, talked about the decision to turn Caroline into a vampire, and Katherine’s master plan.
Can you talk a little bit more about the flashbacks that are coming up? Is there any chance we’re going to go back any further than the 19th Century?
JP: Oh yeah. In fact, let’s see, the episode that we start shooting on Tuesday is set, if I’m not mistaken, around 1490. We talked a little bit about that in the panel wanting to show Katherine’s origin story, and it’s cool.
KW: 1492 in Bulgaria. We go back in time and show a lot about how Katherine became who she was. We answer a lot of questions, basically. I don’t know if anyone’s interested about the doppelganger, or how did the line continue if it ended with her. She’s the Petrova. We get into the Petrova line of it all. So we kind of go down that road and we sort of flashback to 1492 Bulgaria. We show how she started, where she went, why they wanted her, why she was necessary to the story of the vampires.
Will we find out what brought her to Mystic Falls in the first place?
JP: Yeah, our plan, you know everything is loose until it happens, but our plan is, our next flashback is to see the story of how she became who she is, and then later in the season to kind of understand how she ended up in Mystic Falls and how that all came to pass. If we can get there, that’s what we want to do, because there’s a lot of story to tell with her, as long as she’s still kicking.
Will we meet her maker?
KW: Eventually. We might go down that road eventually. We have a whole storyline.
Are we going to start to get teases as to what Katherine’s, she must have a massive -
JP: Her diabolical master plan? Yeah. Actually, that all explodes, all that information over the next four episodes. I mean, we just go for it. We always love to talk about what Damon, all of a sudden out of nowhere said there’s a tomb under the church, and suddenly everyone was like whoa hey finally. And that’s what we’re pretty much going to learn. By the time we hit Thanksgiving, you’re going to know a good chunk of it, if not most of it.
Does any part of her plan involve Isobel?
JP: I’m not going to talk about that part.
Is there anyone else who Katherine is working with?
KW: We introduced that in the last episode with Uncle Mason. [But] she answers to herself. That’s not to say that it’s [not] a huge big complicated story. Like I said, that’s one of the reasons for the flashbacks to 1492 is to sort of lay that out.
One of the things you talked about in the panel was introducing Matt’s mom too early. Have you thought about bringing Melinda Clarke back?
KW: Well, you know, it’s funny, Matt’s mother went off and got this job teaching Nikita how to kick butt. So, I don’t know. I would love to bring Melinda back — are you kidding me? We love her. You know how great she is? She’s pretty awesome. Every time I see her, I want to bring her back. I don’t know if we can get her though, because she’s busy.
Will the need for the character ever cause you to pull the trigger and recast?
KW: No, we’re not going to recast. I’m not that guy who wants to fit in “previously on…” I’d probably bring in his dad before I did that. We don’t know who the dad is. The dad could be lizard man. So, we don’t know. There’s so many characters that we can create. What’s fun about Matt right now is he’s sort of on his own. He has nobody. And he’s sort of paving his own way through life. And he’s sort of our human character. Our sad human character who seems to rise above.
What about Alaric? We haven’t seen much of him this season. Is he coming back?
JP: Yeah. He’s very much embedded in the show. We actually just talked to Matt Davis the other day, cause he’s like, “Hey, so, Alaric, not in this episode. Wasn’t in that episode. Did I do something? Are you guys mad at me.” Kevin and I both feel so strongly, that character is…he’s a man, he’s a grown up, he’s got a maturity, he’s got gravitas. It’s a really, really important character to have on the show, and we just have, because his own personal journey kind of arced out with the Isobel storyline and at the end of last season, we’re just biding our time and waiting for the moment to start his new journey, and we’ve promised him that it will happen, and we just can’t wait to get into it.
Can you talk a little bit about behind the decision to turn Caroline into a vampire, which I know wasn’t in the books, and was really sort of a huge game changer for the show. I want to know sort of what went into that decision?
JP: One of our biggest regrets as storytellers is that we have this beautiful ensemble of actors. It’s like 9 or 10 deep at any given point. Series regulars, and really wonderful people and wonderful actors that can get kind of egregiously underutilized, you know, the Alaric question is a perfect example of that, and last year, we found that our guest stars, and our recurring guest stars were getting more episodes and better stories than the cast we very lovingly assembled when we made the pilot. And it’s because when you have characters that aren’t directly tied into your genre storyline, it’s the first scene to get cut, the first storyline to get dropped, it’s the first thing when you’re long to go. Kevin said, we’ve got to, we knew Tyler, we were going to be exploring the werewolf story, and he’s like, I want to bring Caroline in, because she’s so good, Candace, and he said I just think that the same way we killed Vicki, we kind of proved that we’re willing to go there and shock people, we wanted to do the same thing with another beloved character, and really just like twist things up and shake things up. Some people may not like it. I don’t really know actually. I get a good sense that people are digging it, but I love her. I think she’s hilarious, and is such a nice emotional core that she brings to it, and the levity that she brings to it is so great, and what she brings to Stefan and brings him out of his shell, and I love it.
There’s so much story so far this season. Are you confident it will take you through 22 episodes?
KW: Yes. I mean, we are already into the third season. We are actually trying to figure out the breaking point. Where are we going to stop at the end of this season? We kind of know where our season finale. We know what we want the last — I know a couple of the cliffhangers already, at least a lot of them, and I’m trying to figure out “where do I stop?” It’s so much fun. It’s a hard show to write. There’s a lot of mythology. I like slowing it down for the relationship stuff. So you don’t know how far we’re going to get.
In the books, Elena turned. Is that something you’re ever planning to do on the show?
KW: I don’t know when but we have a pitch for that — that would get us in and out of that — but that won’t be this year.
The woman who Stefan brought to Damon for his first kill was a seemingly random woman, but is it possible that she’s not so random?
KW: Maybe. Whenever we create a character, and say “well this character is here for this purpose.” You’re sitting in a room full of writers, and we instantly start thinking about who that person could be — the potential of every character. Like we brought in Lexi to kill. I wanted a character to come in, to kill, to show Damon, to set somebody else up to take the fall — that was the origin of that character. She shouldn’t just be anybody. It should be Stefan’s best friend, and then it would be emotional. So that’s how you do it. So yeah, that person could turn out to be someone very, very important. We actually flash back to that time a little later. That will be another flashback after the Bulgaria flashbacks. We have four planned.
Is Damon going to have relations with anyone any time soon?
KW: Yes he is.
How does the mythology of the show, and with some characters having their mind wiped quite a few times — is there a limit to how many times you can have your mind wiped before there’s not much of you left?
KW: I think yes, there is actually. No one has actually been compelled and compelled and compelled yet — to prove that. But yes, that has come up. We’ve actually talked about the rules. And one of the things that we’ve tried to conscientious of is not give anyone too much power. For instance, Bonnie — she’s coming into her own and she’s learning how to be a witch and how to be a strong witch. But we’re also expressing her weaknesses and we’re sort of showing that there’s some weaknesses involved and she’s got to be careful. And she doesn’t really know. She doesn’t have Master Grams anymore to teach her anything. She’s on her own. She can do stuff, but there’s a price that she has to pay. It’s going to be very interesting. It’s kind of cool.
How did you create, what did you turn to, what was your inspiration for going the route that you’ve gone with the wolves?
JP: Kevin and I made a really, really, really, really, really bad werewolf movie together a long time ago, and learned a lot of very painful lessons. You know, I think we had something like thirty million dollars in visual effects and Rick Baker designing, this wolf, and Oscars on his mantle, and everything we had going for us, and we still ended up with a werewolf that looked like a dog. And so we knew very much that we didn’t want prosthetics, we did not want hair pieces, we wanted to try to go the traditional animal route, [the] more shapeshifter route. And ironically, True Blood made that same decision, and we actually borrowed their wolves because the wolves that we hired were – we couldn’t have the True Blood wolves, that’s just copying – and our wolves showed up and we’re like, we’re not shooting those wolves. Those are a disaster. Let me tell you, the reason why werewolves don’t work often in television and in film is for that reason, because if you put plastic and hair on a kid’s face, he looks ridiculous, if you try to go fully CG, it looks ridiculous, and wolves, interestingly enough, are not trainable, as we learned. And look like dogs when all is said and done. We were like we have to have a real wolf, we can’t have a German Shepherd, and then the wolf shows up and we’re like huh, you look like a German Shepherd. The second part of the question while we’re still talking about it, it was important to us to not just buy into the mythology that’s been out there and the werewolf world lore, because of the fact that our vampire mythology is very different with the vervain and the lapis lazuli and all that, so we thought alright, let’s not get ourselves tied down by any of that, and then we thought it was really great to have our heroes learn, along with the audience, and even some of the werewolves themselves, learn the mythology of the species as they went, as opposed to just coming in on all the information.
Can you talk about what other supernatural beings we might see this season? Are you introducing any new ones?
KW: We have no plans to introduce any more creatures, or things that go bump in the night. Just witches, vampires and werewolves are kind of the thing — I’m not saying there won’t be more of them. Wait til next year to bring in a new creature.
Matt’s lizard dad?
KW: [Jokes about bringing in hot, sexy zombies.]
Anything you can share about what’s coming up?
KW: Halloween’s coming up. We don’t have a Halloween episode, because we had that last year, and a whole year hasn’t passed in our timeline. So we’re doing a masquerade ball. So there’s this big, huge fundraiser/masquerade ball, where everyone — that’s what the clip shows — over the next two episodes.
What about the clip we saw with Jeremy and Damon?
JP: [Jeremy] literally shows up, scene one next week, or two weeks, scene one he knocks on Damon’s door and Damon’s like, “What are you doing here”, and Jeremy’s like, “I have information and I’m ready to share it and Damon’s like “And I’m going to shut the door in your face because your sister doesn’t know you’re here, does she?”. It’s very cute to see, it’s like, it’s this kid who suddenly is feeling more like a man wanting to be part of , showing up and saying I want in and I have valuable information that I’m willing to share. So it’s fun to see.
Can’t wait to see the next few episodes…
KW: I was watching a rough cut of 2-06, and I got to the end and I gasped. And I was like “Oh, that’s a great ending,” and I was like “No! There’s another act!” And I was watching it again and it was even better. 2-06 is fun. I thought it was like a season finale. I know I’m quite full of myself, but it’s nice for me to watch an episode and get excited about it, because I wrote it. It was just such a headache.
At a masquerade ball, someone always kisses the wrong person…
KW: Yeah, exactly. It’s a good opportunity for Katherine to come in and prance around and take care of some business.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 8 pm to the CW for an all new episode of The Vampire Diaries.Tweet