Just Jared Jr: ‘The Originals’ Interview: Phoebe Tonkin on Elijah’s Desire to Protect Hayley, & More
Phoebe Tonkin opens up about The Originals in this brand new JJJ interview!
The 24-year-old Australian actress stars as Hayley, a werewolf who happens to be carrying the baby of an Original vampire/hybrid named Klaus (Joseph Morgan).
While the Original family, especially Elijah (Daniel Gillies), is working together to protect her and the unborn, there’s a war brewing in the Quarter between the witches.
Not to mention, self-described vampire “king” Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) is unaware that a werewolf is in town, a fact that certainly can’t stay secret forever, right?
JustJaredJr: So let’s talk about Elijah and Hayley first. We definitely see something between them…
Phoebe Tonkin: I think Hayley’s main priority right now is her child. I don’t think she’s really looking for a relationship with anyone. At the same time, Elijah’s doing something that she’s never experienced before, which is being respectful toward her, caring for her, and protecting her. I think that’s intriguing to her because she’s had all these men in her life who dispose of her or treat her badly. You know, her foster parents kicked her out. So I don’t necessarily think she’s attracted at the moment to Elijah romantically, but she has genuine respect for him and his protecting her and the baby.
JJJ: As with with most new characters on The Vampire Diaries, Hayley had some haters at first. Do you feel like fans are warming up to her on The Originals?
PT: Definitely. I think it was hard on The Vampire Diaries because there are so many characters and you only get so much screen time to show amount of your story. But on this show, there’s a lot of time to explain backstory and really see Hayley as a character, and not just a character who does actions to other characters. She actually has her own plotline and I think that’s why people are warming up to her. We’re finally getting to know her and understand her.
JJJ: Agreed. Will we be learning more about her family history? That’s the whole reason she came to New Orleans.
PT: Yeah, we’re just starting to film now, you’ll start to find out exactly what happened, where she comes from, why her parents gave her up, why her foster parents kicked her out. She has a really interesting backstory that we’re going to delve into.
JJJ: Any flashbacks yet?
PT: I haven’t because it’s more way, way back with the vampires, but I’m hoping we’ll do flashbacks to when Hayley was a child and what happened to her family. I think that would be really cool.
JJJ: We’re also loving the growing friendship, if you will, between Rebekah and Hayley.
PT: I think the two are very similar and they’re relying on each other for support. They are the two females in this crazy, powerful three of men, at least in the Originals/Marcel storyline. They come from similar backgrounds. They both had a tough upbringing. They have trust issues, and they’ve been isolated from their families. They are both quite feisty. I like that they’re not going at each other and that they’ve become sort of a team.
JJJ: You have known Claire for years. What’s it like actually having screen time together as these characters?
PT: It’s really fun. It’s hysterical. It almost seems weird, but by now we’re used to it. We’ve already done two seasons of a show together. It’s a lot of fun and it’s nice that when you’re so far away from home, you have someone there.
JJJ: You’ve been perfecting the American accent with all these American roles. Has it gotten easier?
PT: Kinda. Especially being around everyone. There’s also other people from Australia, and then New Zealand. I swear everyone on this show is foreign (laughs).
JJJ: So true! So what do you love most about playing Hayley?
PT: I like how feisty Hayley is. It’s like the opposite of how I am. I’m so timid. I’d like go in a corner and cry rather than confront someone (laughs). But I like that Hayley, especially with Klaus who is terrifying, she stood up to him. If he’s not treating her right or he’s saying something that’s out of line, she stands up to him. And I like that about her.
JJJ: In this crazy supernatural world, it almost seems as though she’s the most normal, often calling out how ridiculous some situations are. We love that.
PT: Even though she is one of the supernatural characters, she’s kinda of the most human character out of all them because she still doesn’t really understand what this world is and why she’s here. I really like playing that element to her.
JJJ: And how did you react when you found out she was going to get pregnant?
PT: I was shocked. It was like the last thing I would have thought would be the storyline for the pilot. It was exciting.
JJJ: So is Hayley going to be contained to the Original house for a while?
PT: At the moment, she is. But hopefully she gets out soon.
JJJ: Obviously, a lot is weighing on the fact that Marcel is in the dark about Hayley. Will we see that play out soon?
PT: We haven’t explored that yet, but Marcel definitely doesn’t like werewolves, so we don’t want Marcel to find out that Hayley is not only here, but she’s carrying a hybrid baby (laughs).
JJJ: Would you say he’ll feel threatened by that when he finds out?
PT: Definitely. Marcel is threatened by anything that can take away his position of power.
Published November 4, 2013