Interview with The Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec
Executive producer Julie Plec lets us in on the rest of the season of The Vampire Diaries, including Elena's emotional roller coaster and the resolution of unfinished relationships.
The Vampire Diaries is on hiatus until April 18, but I think you'll agree it feels like so much longer away. With all of the unanswered questions looming as the finale grows near, we couldn't wait for the show to return. SheKnows sat down with executive producer Julie Plec to get all the juicy details about what you can expect this season and beyond.
Elena will get worse before she gets better
SheKnows: A lot of people want Elena (Nina Dobrev) to turn her humanity back on, but what do you think of the new, meaner Elena?
Julie Plec: As a writer and as someone who loves doing new things and finding a fresh voice, we love it. We love mean Elena because it's different. It's a fun sparkle. She's nasty, she's uncompromising and unforgiving, and it gets worse before it gets better for sure. Every time I see a cut of the show I feel it's so new and fresh. Now I also know you run the risk of alienating people who are traditionalists and purists who like their heroine to be clean and pure. It's not something that we would leave her there forever. I think it's all part of the journey. When we decided to turn Elena into a vampire we didn't want it to be easy. We didn't want it to be a cakewalk. We needed her to run the whole roller coaster of emotions and of that experience of stuff so she wouldn't just be, "Oh I'm a vampire, now let's party and I'm happy." We knew we wanted to take her as dark as we could take her so that's where she is now, but we do the roller coaster. We end up down one hill and up another.
SK: It's obvious Elena is going to go down a darker path. What's in store for her?
JP: What's in store for her right now is, honestly, you've got these two boys who more than anything want her fixed. In the next episode they recruit some of her friends, as well over the next couple of episodes, in an attempt to get to her any way they can emotionally, whether it's through nostalgia, memories, through sneaky tricks of confronting her with things she has had feelings for in the past. Really building up to a hardcore intervention where they're just grasping to do anything to break through to her.
SK: So far we've seen vampires, werewolves, hybrids, witches and warlocks. Can we expect to see any other supernatural creatures in the future?
JP: You know, we keep trying to think of those and weirdly enough, we find ourselves stumped more often than not. There's our favorite story of Season 1: we tried to make Matt Donovan's mother a succubus and we shot it and we wrote three scripts about it. When we saw it for the first time we realized this isn't right. This doesn't feel like part of our show. It doesn't feel like we're in the right scientific world. I'm not saying we'll not ever see other creatures, but definitely thus far, we are staying grounded in that one zone.
The dead may return
SK: Are any characters who have previously died going to return to the show in a more supernatural way — specifically Jeremy?
JP: Given that the season is about Silas's desire to break down the vamps of the other side and unleash all the supernatural beings back onto Earth, I think I feel pretty safe in saying his plan will not be completely foiled. With luck, our heroes will be able to triumph and not bring on the supernatural apocalypse. I definitely think we'll see a few familiar faces before the season's out. I think that it's possible, as we try to win Elena's humanity back [by] facing some of her past stuff that represents humanity could be glimpsed again.
SK: Elena isn't the only person struggling with a dark side; it appears Bonnie may be going down a dangerous path too. What's in store for her character?
JP: Bonnie is in the middle of a very dangerous path because in her search for a mentor, and someone who could help her understand her magic and how to use her magic properly, she unwillingly got manipulated and controlled by an adjunct of our big bad. What she wanted to do and what she was hoping to do was to be able to overcome that control. When we pick her up on Episode 19 when we come back from our hiatus, we'll see the extent of the control that Silas may still have over her and what that does to her. Ultimately, Bonnie is always going to walk a straight line and do the right thing, and when she's not in control of her own magic and behaviors it really puts her in a place that she's gonna fight really hard to get out of.
What's next for Klaus
SK: We've heard that in order to film The Originals, Joseph Morgan is leaving The Vampire Diaries. He plays a pivotal role in the series. Is Silas going to kill him? How is Klaus going to die?
JP: No. Klaus will step away from Mystic Falls to pursue a mystery that will take him to New Orleans. The idea being that though he won't return to live in Mystic Falls necessarily, should the spin-off move forward, it certainly won't be the last we saw of him in Mystic Falls. We'll see more of him over the course of the season. Of course, if the spin-off doesn't go to series, he'll be right there wreaking havoc with Caroline.
Klaus is immortal. The only thing that could kill him is a white oak stake. If he ever dies, then all of our heroes die with him. That definitely ensures his longevity.
SK: How is the spin-off show The Originals going to stand apart from The Vampire Diaries?
JP: It's all born of a very similar world of tone and grounded in human emotion: love, family, loss, betrayal, friendship. I think if anything it's much more of a deep operatic family supernatural drama. The original family and their dynamics with each other is what's driving the series, the center of which is Klaus: mercurial, egomaniacal, temperamental and unpredictable. It's about understanding what makes him tick and his siblings trying to figure out how to keep him in line.
Who will end up with who
SK: If you had to pick, what would you like to see happen in regard to the relationships on the show? Would you pair Elena up with Stefan (Paul Wesley), Damon (Ian Somerhalder), or neither? Would you like to see Caroline and Tyler reunited? What about Bonnie and Jeremy?
JP: I would never be so masochistic as to say that out loud because I would be slaughtered by Twitter fans. I want the show to continue to excite, interest and intrigue people. I want people to come at it and see if their favorite relationships will work out or not. I don't have a dog in that fight in that my job is to tell good love stories. I'm not trying to perpetuate my own agenda of who should be with who.
I think Caroline and Tyler have a lot of unfinished business. He was ripped away from her pretty suddenly and had to disappear, so I would never want to believe that it's the last of them we'll see together.
Bonnie and Jeremy have the greatest obstacle now in that he's inside the dead, but she definitely didn't get the proper closure in that relationship either. It's something people wouldn't mind seeing if there was an opportunity.