Julie Plec – The Vampire Diaries – Comic Con 2014
Interview By: Lynsey Tamborello
Q) How did the cast feel about the storyline coming from the other side instead of seeing what is going on in Mystic Falls?
A) It depends on who you ask. I think that everybody had their own individual opinions of not wanting to lose elements of the other side. Others were like, “Let’s be done with it. Death has stakes,” which is our intention as well. You can flip a coin and get all kinds of opinions about that.
Q) Having had so many deaths on the show, do you ever worry death will lose its jeopardy?
A) When we first started bringing people back to life, that was the very first thing that we talked about. I have said a lot over the years that yes, it does make you question if what you are seeing is permanent so therefore for the critical analysis you could say that death does take the realistic stakes out of it. As a fan, when characters die it is devastating. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. And it takes something away from your enjoyment of the show. With “Game of Thrones,” you’re like, “I’ll never watch this show again! I can’t believe it!” Then, two episodes later you’re like, “Oh, I don’t even remember that part.” So, they manage to do it well. They have a younger demographic, but I, personally, love killing people. I love to believe that it is permanent, but every now and then we just miss somebody. Alaric would be a perfect example. We were never going to have him again and then we got the opportunity to have bring him back. We made it happen.
Q) Talk about Alaric’s new storyline.
A) He is back in town, but not in actual Mystic Falls obviously because no one can be in Mystic Falls if they are supernatural. He is back and he has managed to find himself a nice little teaching position at Whitmore. He compelled himself a nice little position. In fact, it is a position that used to be held by Grams and then later Professor Shane. We like to joke that it is the defensive job because none of the teachers have been able to survive.
Q) What can fans expect from the season premiere of “The Vampire Diaries?”
A) I think what is fun about doing a time jump is that the first episode is all about revealing small little nuggets of surprise of where everybody is, who they are with and how they feel about each other. Especially for us, our characters this year have all come off with very profound and ultimate loss. The other side is gone. So, everybody has had to spend these four months coping in different ways and everybody is doing that differently. Some people are surprisingly close together and some people you thought could never part has torn them apart. So, the first episode will be about seeing where everybody kind of landed.
Q) Please tell us about some of the new characters that are coming on to the show.
A) With Colin [Ferguson], people keep calling him a new villain, which is not entirely true. I think he may do some things that are not popular with our heroes. I think that his intentions are good and I think that he is a man who has a vested interest in Mystic Falls as a non-supernatural community. So, he is going to do what he can to ensure that it stays that way. I’m excited about that character because I think it is going to be a lot of fun. We have Jodi Lyn O’Keefe joining us as a doctor at the university hospital. Now that the show is growing up and our teenagers are growing into an adult world, it is so much easier to play with more adult stories and characters. We have got big plans for her and also for Chris Wood who is joining us. He is a devilish crazy person who is going to be very, very complicated person to deal with for our heroes. Then, Gabrielle [Walsh] is playing Sarah who rolls into town and you kind of think she is innocent. As usually true with our show, there is usually a story there. There area lot of new people, but we do that every year. We like to populate the world with new people to provide a story conflict and have potential villains.
Q) What is Caroline like this season?
A) Caroline, more than anybody, is really struggling with what has happened. She lost Bonnie and her best friend lost Damon. Her two best friends (Stefan and Elena), frankly, lost Damon. She lost her home and her mom is still the sheriff of the town where she can’t step foot in. She is taking it the hardest and she can’t let go of it. So, her journey in the beginning is going to be about how to pull myself together and create a life for myself outside of a world that I am so familiar with, this Mystic Falls. It’s sort of like a paradigm for the second year of college when you finally start detaching from home and you stop going home every week to do laundry. Caroline needs to pass through that phase and make some adult choices.
Q) Will Jeremy have a greater storyline this season? He seemed sort of pushed to the side last season.
A) Jeremy is never pushed to the side. We do stories that feel right for the moment. He is obviously struggling tremendously. Bonnie dead broke up with him over the phone. She told him she wasn’t going to make it through the day and he couldn’t get there on time to save the day. I can’t think of a worse way to be dumped by then having your girlfriend die. So, we’ll see him reverting back to that Season 1 troubled kid. Jeremy has grown up past that, but he’s acting out. He’s living in Mystic Falls and as Elena says, “Get your shit together or I’ll come home and kick your ass.” He’s like, “Well, you can’t exactly do that. Can you?” She’s trying to be a parent and a sister to Jeremy when she can’t even physically put herself in the same space as him will be a part of that complicated dynamic.
Q) How did the idea for Jeremy and Bonnie breaking up that way come about?
A) That was me. Honestly, it was because they had had so many goodbyes already. There were so many near deaths or actual deaths. So, I thought, “How twisted would it be to rob him of that this one final time?”
Q) Where do Damon and Bonnie stand?
A) Damon and Bonnie…If only I could tell you…What is fun about Damon and Bonnie is that they are somewhere. They are together. It is a complicated scenario. It is some place very different than we would all expect. They have to learn how to deal with each other, which for those two especially is never easy. They are going to develop an awesome comradery in spite of these very difficult circumstances going on. I think Kat and Ian are looking forward to playing it and we’re looking forward to seeing how it plays out.