The Vampire Diaries fourth, and possibly most controversial, season is well underway and the reveals and surprises are coming thick and fast. Klaus lives. Elena’s a vampire, the Council is no more and a new and sinister threat in the form of a vampire hunter has made life in Mystic Falls more complicated for everyone. This week we spoke to Claire Holt about bad girl Rebekah, her split with Klaus, what it’s been like to have H20: Just Add Water cast mate Phoebe Tonkin (The Secret Circle) on set and the ‘big game changer’ coming that will alter the course of both the season, and series, forever.
Screen Spy: Klaus didn’t die at the end of season 3. Were you relieved by the writers’ decision to keep Klaus, and Joseph Morgan, around?
Claire Holt: Absolutely! He’s one of my dearest friends in real life. I think he’s so talented and we have such great chemistry. I just love working with him. I didn’t think there would be a be a chance they wouldn’t keep him around. He’s just too talented to stick around in that box for too long!
Screen Spy: Klaus chose to save Caroline over Rebekah in the season premiere. She’s been essentially disowned by her brother. How is this going to affect their relationship with each other going forward this season?
Claire Holt: Rebekah’s always been there for her brother. Going back to that scene in the premiere she tells him “It’s always been me. Not Elijah. Not Kol. Not Finn. Me.” So she felt incredibly betrayed by him and it’s definitely going to impact their relationship throughout the season. She’s so stubborn and as much as she wants to be a family unit, and she loves her brother, she’s also furious at him for betraying her again. I think it creates a really interesting dynamic for the two of them. As much as I love when Klaus and Rebekah are a team it’s also really great to have those scenes where they’re in conflict as well. So I can tell you, it will definitely play a big role this season.
Screen Spy: Rebekah is an incredibly strong character, but also fragile in many ways. Is this a fun dichotomy for you as an actor?
Claire Holt: It’s so great! Multi-dimensional characters are so fun to play because there are always different aspects to explore. It’s nice to be able to play the tough girl – the badass original vampire – but it’s also great to be able to show her more vulnerable side – which is essentially her human side. I’m very fortunate to have been written a character like that. I think it helps you to become a better actor actually. I love what they do with her. I love that they allow me to explore those avenues with her. No matter how bad a character seems on paper what I always try to do is make them somewhat likable. I try to do that with Rebekah through her more vulnerable moments.
Screen Spy: How hard is it going to be for Rebekah to hold her head up and continue on in High School this year? She’s been ostracized by so many people at this point.
Claire Holt: She’s going to try to put up a bit of a wall and pretend it doesn’t affect her. She’s going to play that mean girl card. But it’s all an act. Obviously, being ostracized like that is going to be incredibly tough for her. There’s going to be some fun elements to it. She can’t really decide what she wants. One minute she doesn’t care. She wants to be the tough bad girl, and the next she really doesn’t, so there will definitely be that dynamic. I got to do some really fun scenes where that whole aspect is played up. [laughing] It’s great!
Screen Spy: Is this all going to change her as a person?
Claire Holt: I don’t know. I would like to think so. I hope so. I hope she tries to form some alliances because it’s going to be so lonely for her if she doesn’t. [laughing] I guess it depends on what direction the writers want to take her in. I’m just excited to see where it goes.”
Screen Spy: I believe we’re going to get to see your old H20 cast mate Phoebe Tonkin soon.
Claire Holt: Yes! Phoebe! My best friend! When I found out she was coming on the show I don’t think I squealed more loudly in my life. Ever. And I was on set. It’s so great.
Screen Spy: Have you shared any scenes together yet?
Claire Holt: We haven’t. Not yet. I’m hoping for some. We’ll see. I’d love to see them become allies. But it’s all up to Julie Plec.
Screen Spy: Episode 4 ‘The Five’ looks like it’s going to be a pretty intense ride. There’s mention of powerful vampire hunters connected with Klaus’ past, and we know that Rebekah will deliver some news that will stun Stefan. What can you share?
Claire Holt: It’s huge! What Rebekah reveals is actually really important to the direction and future of the season ahead. And the series too. It’s definitely going to change the way they all operate and think. It’s definitely a game changer … but I can’t reveal more. [laughing] You really will have to watch this one.
Screen Spy: You starred in ‘Blue Like Jazz’ earlier this year, which seems just about as far from The Vampire Diaries as it’s possible to get. Was that a deliberate decision on your part?
Claire Holt: They’re complete polar opposites. [laughing] Such different characters. One’s a good Christian girl and the other’s an evil vampire who goes around killing people! That’s the great thing about being an actor. I get to play so many different roles. I like to test myself. I think as an actor you have to be able to open yourself to different things. You have to be malleable. I loved shooting that film. It was a wonderful experience.