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Ian Somerhalder and Executive Producer Julie Plec on the Romance and Tragedy Awaiting THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

Ian Somerhalder and Executive Producer Julie Plec on the Romance and Tragedy Awaiting THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

Like its supernatural namesake, The Vampire Diaries is the show that refuses to die. Yet, remarkably, for a TV series that’s now in its sixth season — with a seventh confirmed just yesterday by The CW — Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec’s adaptation and expansion of L.J. Smith’s series of young adult horror novels marches forward with a relentless momentum, burning through its story as though each episode will be its very last. According to Plec, however, there’s still plenty of story to come (including the departure of Jeremy Gilbert, series regular Steven R. McQueen), as she explained yesterday on the TCA Winter Press Tour panel she shared with fellow executive producer Caroline Dries and star Ian Somerhalder, a.k.a bad boy Damon Salvatore…

On the increasing moral ambiguity of Damon Salvatore…

Ian Somerhalder: [He’s had] ill intent but for righteous reasons, which, actually, [describes] the scariest type of people if we look into the world today, ultimately. The people that have ill intent but for righteous reasons are the ones that we are really afraid of. But, yes, due to the fact that [he’s] become more centrally located it does lessen the blow a little bit of Damon’s… let’s call it “sphere of influence,” and his ill intent. But it’s for the ones he loves. Now, given that I don’t have to kill anyone, it gives me a little more time to…

Julie Plec: Make sweet, sweet love.

IS: We are trying. Damon is trying.

On whether or not the end game of Vampire Diaries has changed since season 2…

JP: You know, Kevin and I came [up] with and then cried over our perfect ending, sitting in the the lobby of a mall outside the W Midtown, and really stuck to that for many, many years. Now, the show is going to most likely go on a bit longer than we ever could have dreamt of. It has evolved, but it’s still rooted in that same idea. So we are still on the same path.

On where they are going with the second half of the season…

Caroline Dries: Well, speaking of mythology, our main through line of this season has been learning more and more about the Gemini Coven, which is where Liv and Luke came from. We met them last season. And, now, we are starting to learn who their family is, what they actually want. And, then, we met Kai this season and found out that he’s, you know, their psychotic brother who has been in prison for fifteen years. So now that we are halfway through the season and Kai has now absorbed all of the magic in Mystic Falls, he’s super powerful, and he has one thing on his mind, which is, “I want to merge with my twin sister and become the leader of the Gemini Coven.” We’ll watch that storyline culminate with a lot of drama and death.

JP: It ain’t going to go well… We’ve got that. We’ve got Damon and Elena finally working their way back towards each other and trying to reach a happy stasis of functional relationship, which is the one thing that we’ve never actually gotten to play with them. So being able to, you know, see them actually just be comfortable and happy with each other without having to deal with a lot of sturm und drang internally… [There’s] still, obviously, a lot of external conflict, but…

CD: Yeah. I think what’s fun about their relationship, too, is we get to see part of the relationship that we didn’t get to see the first time around because we, kind of played it off camera, skipped four months, kind of like the honeymoon phase of the butterflies and, like, “Does he like me? Does she like me?” That kind of stuff. So we get to see more of the beginning stages of their relationship, which feels new.

JP: Plus many, many other things…

Vampire Diaries 2

On Julie Plec finally directing an episode this season…

JP: For the last four years, people have been saying, “So when’s your turn? When’s your turn? When are you going to do it?” I was, like, “Never. What a terrible idea. Never. Absolutely not. I don’t want to do it.” Then, finally, I realized that in a lifetime, you are lucky if you get one series on the air that lasts six, seven, eight years, and to be able to be the boss, so to speak, and put your hand up in the air and say, “I’d like to try this,” and then to be able to do it… I may never get that opportunity again.

IS: She’s having a blast… It’s really incredible with her ability to know every nuance, every situation, but be able to sit there quietly with her monitor and her Diet Coke and then just really happily watch things, call things out and… this is her team. These are the people that will not let us fail. It’s really special. And thank you guys for letting me direct. It’s going to be such an incredible dream.

JP: You are going to be awesome. You are going to love it too.

On going back to the earlier phase of Damon and Elena’s relationship…

IS: [Caroline] just touched upon that, ultimately there were the three or four or five months that were skipped over, the sort of honeymoon phase. You don’t typically get to see Damon in a space in time where he’s truly happy. He did a little bit in Season 5. Right before I died. Then, also, too, you don’t really get to see Elena very happy, although she tries and has varying degrees of success as far as her ability to just be happy without some crazy circumstance imposing its will on her. I think it’s wonderful to see these two people actually… Listen, it’s great to see anyone happy anytime. It’s a little difficult to want to not see that. How long that will last by virtue of the fact that drama will always ensue, and that’s what creates the dynamics that make this story work… But I think they are very deserving of it. They are extremely deserving of it. I think that this is a time and space where they’ve both been through a lot, and you always want people to win… When you see love, you want it to win.

JP: Love in the rain.

IS: I froze my ass off in that rain.

Are you excited for a new season of The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Coletta Adams says:

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