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[02/09/12 - 08:57 AM]
Interview: "The Vampire Diaries" Co-Stars Ian Somerhalder, Candice Accola, Joseph Morgan & Zach Roerig
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

On tonight's "Dangerous Liaisons" episode of "The Vampire Diaries," the Originals (including the long-thought dead mother who popped up surprisingly at the end of last week's episode) have been resurrected, much to the chagrin of the devilishly controlling Klaus (Joseph Morgan), and they decide to throw a lavish ball for the folks of Mystic Falls. And anyone who is a fan of the CW series knows that big gatherings on the show usually end up more on the newspaper obituaries and less on the society page. However, there's much more going on besides the return of the Originals including a multitude of complicated, romantic threads that have been weaving in and out of the series tapestry this season.

Our Jim Halterman dropped in on the "Vampire Diaries" set in Atlanta, Georgia recently to talk in person with cast members Ian Somerhalder (Damon), Candice Accola (Caroline), Joseph Morgan (Klaus) and Zach Roerig (Matt) about tonight's episode as well as what's to come for our favorite vampires, werewolves, hybrids and the occasional human.

For Accola, an episode like tonight's is something she always looks forward to. "I love big event episodes because everyone does get to dress up," she said. "We've had Halloween parties, we've had a 50s dance, 60s dance and I feel like the tone and the glamour aspect of it does translate in this episode as well but it takes it to a whole new level." With stylized ballroom dancing being a part of tonight's episode, Accola laughed when she hinted that the cast had to learn how to ballroom dance with mixed results but in terms of the story she could only tease, "we're going to see different sides of the characters really come out so I think the viewers will be really excited about that... and we just get to get all dressed up and look pretty."

In a recent episode, Klaus saved Caroline's life after she was bitten by hybrid Tyler (Michael Trevino) and, unexpected or not, fans definitely noticed there was a nice spark between the two. Can we expect more of that in the coming episodes? "You will see Caroline and Klaus interact more," Accola said, carefully, "but this is also the first time that they've ever interacted so... everyone's like 'Oooh, there's spark' but there was one scene! [laughs] The sparks might just be a reflection off the bracelet, I don't know." Joking aside, the actress said that the large number of characters on the show makes moments when they finally come together really pop. "It is an odd thing with these wonderful, wonderful characters developed throughout the show and the series but because there are so many of us on set at once... even Caroline and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) have never been in a scene together, ever! There's all these different characters whose paths don't cross... "

On the potential of the Klaus-Caroline coupling, Morgan said he was surprised with the way fans responded to their first scene together. "I expected a reaction," he said, "but it's pretty amazing." He added that he wanted to watch some of his scenes with Accola again and looked them up on YouTube. "What I found," he said, "was like pages and pages of 'Carolaus'... it was kind of amazing how people latched on to that."

Somerhalder has put more than a little thought into how fans grab onto potential couplings on the show and run with it. "What's crazy is that people look at these relationships, whether it be Matt, Klaus, or Damon, with anyone else. People keep saying Damon and Elena (Nina Dobrev) are going to get together. She hates him. I mean, she loves him but she hates him. Caroline doesn't want to be... I mean even if she's drawn [to Klaus] and he's so charming, she doesn't want to be within 25 feet of the guy."

On the other hand, Somerhalder understands why Elena would be torn between two somewhat dysfunctional vampire brothers even when there are healthier - and more human - options in Mystic Falls. "Not to take anything away from Elena," he reasoned, "but I mean when you're 18 your hormones are going off like solar flares. People around you are dying. You're struggling just to maintain sort of a grip of reality. I think admitting that you love someone that is probably not necessarily very healthy for you is probably pretty normal. I don't envy her for it. [But] it seems like that's what's starting to happen. Everyone is starting to find these different relationships and pockets of connection with very unlikely people."

While fans may have to wait to see if and when Klaus and Caroline venture into a romantic arena, Klaus has plenty to deal with now that his family has been resurrected, including the mother he thought he had killed many years prior. Morgan teased that his usual calm and calculated character might be more than a bit unnerved. "I think there's definitely an element of fear. I think not necessarily sort of afraid of what Elijah will do but what it will mean to Elijah and to their relationship. Their relationship has been founded on a lie that's 1,000 years old now... there's a confrontation coming, I think. It's a huge deal. Plus I put the dagger in him, so there's that whole thing."

The other romantic coupling that has fans salivating is between Damon and Elena. After they shared a passionate kiss in a recent episode, fans were shocked even further when it was Elena who admitted the deed to her former lover, Stefan. Why would she do that instead of keep it a secret? "She was just being honest," Somerhalder explained. "I think that she just wanted to be honest because no one in Mystic Falls is honest. It's like there's so much who-done-it. Everyone's double-crossing everyone. Everyone has all these hidden agendas. I think she doesn't want to be in that... Elena's not even that manipulative. She was saying, 'Look, this happened.'"

Roerig, whose Matt is one of the few remaining humans on the show, expressed that he's fine with the fact that his character is currently not romantically paired right now. "I don't think he needs to be with anyone right now," the actor said of Matt. "I think he's got a very specific duty. I think if he had a woman in his life it would probably cloud that. So, it's okay." That doesn't mean he wouldn't mind hooking up with one of the ladies on the show, and not one of the teens. "I really want to see that Mrs. Robinson storyline. I mean Matt's going through so much... but talking to these single mothers... Carol Lockwood (Susan Walters) now is alone." To that, Somerhalder sang a familiar tune, "Here's to you Mayor Lockwood." Roerig responded by saying "That's one way to get on the Council."

Not all the relationships on the show are romantic, however. The show has recently made a point of showing that Elena and Matt, who were a couple at the onset of the series, have seen their friendship grow stronger. It's obvious to Somerhalder why these characters would be drawn back into each other's lives even if it's no longer with a romantic component. "People that you were very close to in your life, especially an ex or someone, especially if it ended okay," he said. "I mean I'm friends with all of my exes. They're very close to me. That's comforting. You can go sit with someone, have a cup of coffee. There's no hidden agenda... I'm not saying that that's the same spark that they have. But it's also something that's very comforting. Someone who knows you so well. You don't have to put up a whole facade... it's cool that Elena and Matt have that because they've both been pretty screwed." Roerig added, "I think it's just both of them kind of needing a friend."

One regular part of the series that fans look forward to every season are the flashback episodes that explain much of the origins of the Salvatores and always shed light on the goings-on in present day. Somerhalder is very excited for the next such episode, which is currently set to air March 15th. Having just wrapped filming on that episode, he teased, "That episode is going to be incredible. The production design on that episode is absolutely... it's so beautiful. It was like getting back in time again. It was a really interesting historical aspect [and] I think it's really, really telling. You start to be able to depict and decipher how Damon and Stefan got the way they are. I mean you see a lot... you start really putting the pieces together because you know these people now. I really thoroughly enjoyed it a lot."

Since so much of the show is based on whether Elena will eventually choose Damon or Stefan, of the two Salvatore brothers, who does Somerhalder see as the lesser of two evils? He answered with his Damon-grin peeking through, "I think they're both pretty screwed up."

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8:00/7:00c on The CW.





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· VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE (CW)









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