Executive Producer’s Julie Plec & Caroline Dries spoke with TV Guide about this weeks episode.
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Executive Producer’s Julie Plec & Caroline Dries spoke with TV Guide about this weeks episode.
Recently both Julie Plec and Caroline Dries spoke with Collider recently and spoke about bringing Damon & Elena back to the same page, getting rid of the other side and just how much longer the show may go.
Just when you finally get Elena and Damon almost back on the same page again, Kai gets in the middle of them. What can you say about how that will play out?
DRIES: Kai has a very specific need for Elena, which is that he has absorbed magic from the Traveler spell, and that’s way more magic than he’s ever had rippling through his veins. His goal, which he’s made very clear from day one, is to merge with Jo. But what he comes to realize is that he’s never had this much magic before, so what if he touches Jo and she eviscerates. So, he’s trying to learn how to hone his magic, and he’s using Elena as a crash test dummy because she can’t really die and he can keep at it. And Damon wonders, “Where the heck is my gal? She never showed up. What’s going on?” So, he makes it his mission to find her. As they finally do come face to face and reconnect, we get to play at the story that would have happened, if Kai hadn’t grabbed her. We show the beginning stages of the Damon-Elena relationship that we’ve never seen before, with beats of them trying to figure out where to go to dinner, what to do on a date, and really simple, human things that we’ve actually never gotten to witness in their relationship. It’s a story that reminds us why we love the Damon and Elena relationship. It reminds us that it’s a simple love story.
Was one of the advantages of taking those memories away the fact that it could allow Elena to find her own inner strength again?
DRIES: Yeah. As a feminist, I think you never want to have your characters defined by the relationships that they’re in, and it did give her a chance to be a sophomore in college without a boyfriend. She didn’t get that before. Who is she, as a student? Who does she want to be when she grows up, even though she’s never going to grow up? What are her career aspirations? Who is she besides Damon’s girlfriend, and besides being the object of his eye? It was fun to just see Elena as a growing woman.
Can Damon and Elena ever have more than one moment of happiness together, before it all blows up in their face?
DRIES: No, and that’s what you’ll find out. Their attempts are pretty funny. Their attempts at planning a date and the scenario it’s all happening in is so chaotic. But then, they remember to take these moments and really appreciate that they have each other. It actually hangs a lantern on how special they are to each other, when they only have these glimpses to be together.
During the panel you guys mentioned that we’re going to see Elena and Damon happy for a bit, but sort of the nature of the show is that’s probably not going to last too long. Talk a little bit about striking the balance where fans get to have their moment and see their favorite characters happy without losing the drama.
PLEC: I think because every other relationship is in a tumultuous place right now being able to take one couple and allow them some happiness will be fun. It will be fun. I always talk about Meredith and Derrick from Grey’s Anatomy, and I loved them the most when they sort of opened and closed each episode with them in bed, happy with each other, and you didn’t need to insert extra conflict into them, because there was plenty of conflict in the show. So they were this port in the storm of conflict.
Bonnie and Damon never liked each other, until they were really forced to depend on and be there for each other. And Caroline and Stefan gradually developed such a beautiful friendship that viewers just wanted to see more and more of. When did you start to realize that you could take both of those relationships in the way that you have?
DRIES: We saw the Caroline and Stefan one a few seasons ago, when he was teaching her how to control her vampirism. She kind of replaced Lexi in his life. She became that girl that would talk back to him, but there wasn’t a love chemistry between them. They were just friends. Now, she’s growing up and she’s realizing what she’s looking for in a partner, and Stefan has all of those qualities because he’s a really great, awesome guy, and it’s harder for her to just be friends with him, as she’s made clear. With the Damon-Bonnie thing, they’ve just always worked as not liking each other. They’re just the Bickersons, and that’s their dynamic, period. But when we decided that it was time for Bonnie to have to make this sacrifice and get whisked off, who better to put her with than the person she doesn’t want to be with, and vice versa for Damon. And then, all of a sudden, this great chemistry emerged. They still bickered the whole time that they were in the prison world, but you saw that they really care about each other. Damon’s arc will be, “How do I get my friend back?” He doesn’t even admit that he’s her friend, but we all know that he has a soft spot for her now. Fans want them to get together, but we’re going to keep it platonic. There’s just a deep friendship there. Damon has spent more time with Bonnie, on screen, than he’s spent with Alaric or the sheriff, or any of his other buddies. It’s probably the most earned friendship on the show. It was really defined when Kai came into it because the dynamic of that triangle is, “I can make fun of my family, but you can’t make fun of my family.”
With everything Bonnie has experienced in the prison world, how will that change her, if/when she ever gets back to her friends?
DRIES: We’re going to see Bonnie continue to try to adjust to life in the prison world. She tried to have Christmas, and it just made things worse for her. She’s going to have a birthday in the prison world, which is going to be worse. She’s really going to hit rock bottom before she pulls herself up by the bootstraps and says, “You know what? Let me get out of here!” She will finally find her way back, and it will come at the perfect time for our friends, who are in need of a friend rejuvenation and beautiful reunion. So, she comes back and is emotionally scarred from it. She doesn’t want to admit to that. She just wants to be like, “Great, I’m back! Let’s do this! Here are the clothes I left behind. Here’s my music. Let’s go to a party!” But, that’s not how reality actually works. She is scarred by it, and it will be a big issue for her. That feeling of being left behind is something where she’s like, “Never again!” That’s her motto.
What do you get out of writing for the same actors for this long?
PLEC: It’s perfect. TV writing, for me at least, is half original voice and half an embodiment and a representation of the spirit of the actors you’re writing for. Because they’re the ones – when you create the character you’ve got nobody in your head, or you’ve got like, Jennifer Lawrence, in your head. And then they come in and fill the role, so you’re listing to their voice, and meters, and patterns, and seeing what makes them sparkle and what their sweet spot is, and the more episodes you do the more you find yourself writing right into that pocket for them, and the more you get to know them, the more you write them in your head as well. So it’s a perfect way to feel comfortable with a character long term, because it’s a symbiotic relationship between the fictional character and the actor portraying the fictional character – at least for me. I like to delve into both of their worlds.
This show has passed the point that most shows never get to, with six seasons now and the renewal for a seventh. How much longer do you see it going?
DRIES: Every year, I’m like, “I don’t have any more ideas!” And then, we’ll think of something like Elena compelling Damon away and Kai, and there’s a whole season, right there. So, I’m going into Season 7 with that mind-set. We’ll think about it and, hopefully, we’ll strike gold again. We work with 10 really, really, really smart writers with big brains and a lot of ideas, so somebody has gotta think of something. Julie [Plec] would never let the show drive itself into the ground. If we’re out of ideas and we’re honest about it, we’ll end the show.
How do you balance between having a long term story plan and knowing where your headed, but also taking things as they come and letting the story open up naturally?
PLEC: Yeah, you always open up as you go, because you can get in the middle of a storyline that you thought was going to be great and whether you made a bad casting decision or the other writers just didn’t latch onto it, it can kind of fizzle and then you have to find your way out of it faster than you want to. There’s a lot of storylines over the years where you feel like it’s maybe meant to be more important than it ends up being, and that’s because we jump ship and you gracefully extricate yourself from that as well as you can.
In a recent interview with TV Line, Originals star, Charles Michael Davis, dished on whats coming up for Marcel.
TV Fanatic: This week’s episode looks like a really good one for Marcel and for the viewers that have wanted to see more of his backstory a little bit.
Charles Michael Davis: There are some flashbacks in it which everyone loves.
TVF: How do the flashbacks link back to the present day, where there’s so much going on?
CMD: Everyone is trapped in the compound because the spell and they’re fighting off hunger. And they did a great job of crafting the story from World War I, which we always just kind of wanted to do [and] I was always wondering how they were going to put it together. And so we get to see the flashback when Marcel is fighting off hunger, it will take him back to World War I, and we’ll get to see how he was becoming a leader and sort of fighting off internal and external forces back then.
TVF: How would you say the Marcel we see in the flashbacks is different from the Marcel we’ve gotten to know in the present day?
CMD: I think his hair’s longer. [laughs] When I played it I wanted him to be a little bit more emotional, a little bit more raw, a little bit more to himself, I’m not quite concerned with what’s going on with everybody else…it’s like his growing teenage years.
You know, leaving home and branching out and finding who he is, as opposed to Marcel in present day in more of a mentor to the vampires, like Gia and Josh [and] pretty much the father figure to Davina so he already has responsibilities outside of himself, but in World War I he’s just dealing with himself. He has a different energy about him [and] a different way he kind of carries himself.
TVF: I feel that we’ve known he was in the war but will we see the decision making in that? I’m assuming it’s something he chose to do.
CMD: Yeah. And that’s something that we’ll find out and you’ll get to see in [The Originals Season 2 Episode 11]. Marcel deciding to go off to war and what it means with breaking the news to The Original family. But yeah, that was one of his decisions and I know we saw the return from war in Season 1. When he returns he has a warm welcoming, but anytime a parent has a kid that wants to go off to war, it’s sort of like, “Okay, well I respect your decision. Don’t take drugs. We’ll see you when you come back in the one or two years.”
TVF: Exactly. Don’t get killed, that sort of thing. How was it to shoot some of the World War I scenes with the combat?
CMD: Everyone was really excited about it. When we finally got on location, we had trenches built into the ground that were 6 or 7 deep down and we had mortars. It was kind of like in Tropic Thunder where you just want to blow things up and 15 mortars going off and we’re just walking through all these explosions. [The special effects advisor] gives a big speech beforehand for the safety meeting where he tells everybody, ‘whatever you do, don’t look at the explosions, you will go blind.’
TVF: Is it safe to say there was some serious choreography working around all those explosives?
CMD: We walk the path so that we wouldn’t get blown up. There was this great focus on set from everybody so things didn’t need to be said more than once or twice. We didn’t have to do any extra takes. We treated it like we were shooting a film. So everyone was really, really, really focused and came with like, defensive purpose. Even when we had to get our wardrobe dirty rather than have them dust us down, everyone was like, “No, it’s cool, I’ll roll around in the ground.” Like, ‘I’ll do what I need to do. We’ll make it real.’
TVF: Back to the present day, we saw Marcel getting a little bit busy with Cami in the beginning of the season but not much has happened since. Is there any romance heating up for him?
CMD: I think he’s taking a liking to Gia, so I don’t know if anything is quite romantic just yet but I think that he liked Gia from the start with how she was a warrior. And then as far as Cami goes, I think they’re obviously both a little preoccupied. You can’t even get out of the compound. There’s no making whoopee there. So there’ll be romance in the future maybe but not in the near future.
TVF: From what we saw last week, the vampires and werewolves are really starting to go at it with each other. Will that continue this week?
CMD: Yeah, for sure. Being trapped in there with time running down and also the hunger increasing, you build a lot of tension and so you’ll see that. So the whole episode will be filled with this sort of rising tension of everyone losing it on the inside and just wanting to eat Kol or Kaleb. Then you got the werewolves in there.
TVF: How did you feel challenged differently in this episode and moving forward?
CMD: This upcoming episode was a big turning point for me creatively about some things that I’ve kind of been sitting and wanting to do and so they became real and everything else has just been icing on the cake. It opens up more possibilities now, especially now, not dealing with the Rebekah storyline as much and also losing New Orleans to Klaus. It’s a rebuilding period. We have a third season so I’m pretty excited about that.
TVF: Looking ahead to later this season or even season three, what would be your hope for Marcel?
CMD: I’d like to see him build up to his inner circle again, to see him really become even more of a leader and see him patch up his relationship with Davina. I’d like to see him really go make a play again for New Orleans, like 100 percent, fully in. And then maybe if he got some super powers, I’m always game for that.
TVF: What super power would you like?
CMD: I don’t know, I mean, they already have mind control. I guess he doesn’t need claws like Wolverine. If he could shoot laser beams out of his eyes that would probably be helpful. But other than that, I don’t know. I guess he already is kind of a super hero.
TVF: I’m thinking like maybe we need to get you a guest spot on The Flash and get the laser beams shooting out of your eyes.
CMD: I guess that’s my new mission is to get a crossover on The Flash. I talked to Justin Baldoni about a crossover with Jane The Virgin. Use some of the guys that were in his proposal video, show up at the hotel, Marcel and Klaus are checking in, just randomly checking in and then that’s it, that’s the only scene.
ETonline sat down with TVD star Ian Solmerhalder and co-executive producer Caroline Dries at the TCA Winter Press Tour last week to get the scoop on what’s next for the star-crossed vampires as they navigate through their newest jaw-dropping obstacle: the awkward first date.
Throughout the first half of Season 6, Damon and Elena have been forced to fight for their love. They’re not just getting their happy ending handed to them on a silver platter. And despite the agony, it’s creating a “worth the wait” type of scenario. This was an observation that 36-year-old-actor, Ian Somerhalder, wholeheartedly agreed with.
“Actually that’s a really awesome observation,” Somerhalder said. “They haven’t just been handed this. In the past we’ve fast-forwarded through a lot of the cool, gushy parts that you would typically see in a new love story, so I think that Damon being in this space of who he loves genuinely gives him a sense of purpose.”
“When an audience sees that sense of purpose in Damon, I think it makes them very happy. And I enjoy it as well,” he continued. “And I think that the one thing that [fans] can expect again, because it’s The Vampire Diaries, for every minute of screen time of happiness, you’re going to have five minutes of drama, f—ked up, and people trying to kill us.”
Fans were devastated at the end of the mid-season finale when Damon and Elena were this close to rekindling their romance — only to discover Kai’s wicked plan to steal a magically invisible Elena away from the Salvatore house.
“I knew the fans would hate that and I’m so happy that they did,” executive producer Caroline Dries said with a laugh. “I just remember when we thought of that, it was perfect — let’s just ruin everyone’s hopes and dreams and let’s add mistletoe to make it even worse.”
Calm down, Delena fans—don’t’ be grabbing those torches and pitchforks just yet! Dries promised that there’s a bigger plan in the works and the outcome will be worth this tortuous wait. “I always want to say [to the fans], ‘Trust me. We know what we’re doing. We know what we’re doing.'”
And what they’re doing is setting up a side of Damon and Elena’s relationship that viewers have never seen before: the adorable dating phase. “It’s more of that courting period of, ‘Do we go on a date?’ ‘Where would you want to go?’ the EP explained. “When you see Damon be a normal, human, twenty-whatever-year-old, it’s refreshing and fun, and what we don’t normally get to see.”
Dries teased that Delena fans should get ready to feel some “butterflies” as Elena attempts to re-fall in love with Damon. “As they re-connect — she’s been compelled to forget that she loved him —those feelings are still in her,” Dires said. “So it’s like what do we do? We don’t just jump into bed together. We’re going to be normal so, ‘Should we go out to dinner?’ It’s like the fun kind of boring stuff that you would never want to tell but now it’s interesting because we’ve never seen it before.”
Somerhalder spilled that he believes it’s “important” for the Damon and Elena fans to focus on the positive side of things. “That glimmer of hope usually turns into some really gnarly things but it’s a give-and-take,” he said. “I think that there’s some really great stuff coming up, some great Damon and Elena stuff.”
Bonus Scoop: For those fans who are wondering if Damon could have any deep-seeded romantic feelings for Bonnie, Dries was quick to shut that thought down. “I think it’s a deep profound friendship that he even doesn’t admit is a friendship,” she said. “I know there are a lot of eager Bamon fans out there, but for now no. His eyes are on Elena 100 percent.”
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