Just as vampires will not go gentle into that good night, the genre built around these charming blood suckers, too, continues to thrive. October 3rd marks the debut of The Originals—a spin-off of the CW’s hugely successful Vampire Diaries and a show that promises to delve even deeper into its predecessor’s bawdy backstory.
Centered on the “original” vampire family and set in the labyrinthine streets and wet hot sensuality of New Orleans, the series features some of The Vampire Diaries’ most seductive main characters, namely vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus (Joseph Morgan), who plans to re-crown himself king of the city he once called home. But there are also a number of talented (and ridiculously good looking) newcomers and occasional Diaries guest stars taking central roles in the show, including Claire Holt, who plays Klaus’s saucy sister Rebekah; Phoebe Tonkin, who portrays Hayley, the sexy werewolf who becomes pregnant with Klaus’s child; and Eka Darville, who takes on the brooding, volatile vampire Diego. We talked with the three stars—who, coincidentally, are all born and bred Australians—about playing out fantasies in the deep American South.
How much did you know about your character when you joined the show?
I actually didn’t know a lot. I had faith that it would be good. I knew about the show and I really didn’t care if I was going to play a vampire or a werewolf or a witch—I just wanted to be part of that world.
You ended up a werewolf. How is that?
Hayley is super fun to play. She’s been abandoned by her parents and she has this kind of sad, lonely childhood. She meets Klaus and they have an intense sexual chemistry. They have a kind of booty call one night, and one thing leads to another and we find out that she is pregnant with his child. So we all learn a big lesson there.
How does one go about preparing to play a pregnant werewolf?
[Laughs.] Well, I was a nanny when I was younger, so I feel like I have that maternal instinct already built in. I’ve worn various stages of fake belly—from three months to six months to nine months. I took photos and sent them to my mother and said, ‘When I see you in a few months remind me that I have something to tell you!’ But emotionally it’s an interesting part to play. She’s still dealing with the shock of being in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, so we try to approach it as you would whether or not she’s a supernatural creature—the way you or I would try deal with that situation.
Can you give us any juicy details about Hayley’s arc?
Well, Hayley is now in New Orleans, still looking for answers about her family. Meanwhile, when she’s there, the local witches discover that she’s pregnant and decide to use her to get Klaus to do what they want. They try to put Hayley’s life and her child’s life in jeopardy, so that Klaus obeys them and does what they say. That’s about all I can give away!
You moved from Australia to the U.S. in 2011 and starred in The Secret Circle on The CW. How are you enjoying working in the States?
I love it here. There is a dream of going to L.A., but no one gets on that flight unless they really feel prepared and really put their all in. Because you can’t just drive a few hours and see your family; you are really sacrificing a lot when you make that move. You come to work and put in everything you’ve got, because no one wants to get on that return flight without a job under their belt. My parents traveled a lot, and their biggest advice to me was that I would never regret traveling. So if anything, they’re happy that I’m not sitting in my little town in Australia doing the same thing everyday!
Published September 2013