Tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m. ET) brings the moment we’ve been waiting for all season: Tyler’s first full moon transformation. “Moment” is deceptive — it’s such a long process that actor Michael Trevino was encouraged to watch videos of wolves feeding and howling and women giving birth to prepare for shooting it over two days. We caught up with Candice Accola, who, as his suddenly loyal friend Caroline, had a first row seat.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Watching Tyler and Caroline watch his uncle Mason’s video of his own first transformation was brutal last week. What was that like to film?
CANDICE ACCOLA: We didn’t watch the video, that was all filled in during post-[production]. So, yes, that made it very interesting. We were just staring at a blank screen. Trevino actually went in the day before and watched Taylor [Kinney] shoot the beginning of his transformation. In this week’s episode, Tyler goes through the transformation, and you will see everything. As an actor, and as a person, Trevino was put in a very vulnerable place. He’s not wearing a lot of clothes and he’s going through pain. It’s a very, very long process. The viewers just got a taste of it watching Uncle Mason transform. And Caroline’s focus this entire episode is to help Tyler get through the transformation alive, and help him so he’s not alone and so he doesn’t hurt anyone.
What was the hardest part for you filming it?
Just watching him. There are people — even last night over dinner, one of the women who works in wardrobe said, “Yeah, I just wanted to stop in and see how everything was going, and after one scene, I was out of there.” There’s a lovely parallel between Caroline and Tyler being friends and Caroline’s watching him go through this horrific experience, and as an actor and a friend, watching Trevino just really bare everything like that. The screaming and the crying –it’s the guttural screams that get you — it’s one of those things where you’re like, “That’s awesome. That’s great,” but it’s so emotionally and physically exhausting. Please make a note that all the chains that he wore when he’s walking around are real chains. For two days straight he had these pounds worth of chains literally weighing him down.
Did the two of you do anything to celebrate when filming was done?
[Laughs] He’s a cookie monster. He’s a total chocolate chip cookie-aholic. He’s shirtless for most of it, and boys being boys, they want to be extra, extra fit for those days. He skipped eating the chocolate chip cookies over and over at lunch. And finally, he was wrapping up that day, and we went to lunch and it was like sugar white chocolate cookies, and those are not the ones that he wanted. So I asked catering if they wouldn’t mind baking him his own chocolate chip cookies. So that was a good celebration. And then production got him a giant pepperoni pizza. Everyone just shoved warm yummy food toward his dressing room, very motherly.
It’s like my sister, years ago, dieting for her wedding, and then going through the McDonald’s drive-thru immediately after the reception.
Isn’t that funny? It’s like, “The pictures are done!” Exactly. It’s the same kind of thing. Celebratory meal.
Where will Tyler and Caroline’s friendship go post-transformation?
The biggest thing to remember is that Caroline has been lying to Tyler. So even though there has been a really wonderful friendship that’s grown, it’s based off of lies to protect him and those around him. He thinks that she’s the only vampire town. He doesn’t know that werewolves can kill vampires. There are lot of things that she’s kept in the dark from him, and secrets don’t stay secrets in Mystic Falls very long. When that comes out, that’s going to affect their relationship, for sure.
Looking ahead: We haven’t seen Caroline’s mother in a while. Is there any story line brewing there?
No. You will see Sheriff Forbes, but there’s not a lot of interaction between Caroline and her mom. That is a story line that will need to be told. But actually, [actress] Marguerite MacIntyre hurt her leg, so she’s having to rest for a little while. She’s just physically not able to be here. So there will be a temporary absence of the sheriff, but she will be back as soon as she’s up and running. I think she tore a ligament or something in her leg, and she had to have surgery. It was one of things there where she was like, “Yeah, it just kept bugging me and bugging me,” and finally she went in, and she was like, “Oh, that’s why it’s been hurting to run and go to spinning class.” Yeah, silly. She’s resting and getting better.
Fans enjoy the unlikely friendship between Caroline and Stefan, because it’s always nice to see him smile. If they weren’t facing the Originals and werewolves, what might they do to bond? Bon Jovi is touring again.
[Laughs] Oh, man. I don’t know if Caroline rocks out to Bon Jovi much. But I think if there were no stress of life and death situations, I think Caroline would probably get Stefan out dancing somewhere or so something messy, like paintball. Anything to have fun. Those old vampires need a little reminder that it’s okay to run around and be like a kid sometimes. It’s inspiring. I think that’s what Caroline would do, something to bring out the kid in Stefan.
I love how fierce Caroline was in that scene when she had to separate Matt and Tyler the night Tyler’s curse was activated. Will there be more badass moments for Caroline?
Yes, there is more physical stuff. The stunt work has been very fun at work recently. You’ll see Caroline get physical very soon. [Laughs] Wink face.
I know the cast now has a gym on set, but I’ve heard Trevino say he hasn’t actually seen anyone use it. At least he hasn’t.
That’s what’s so funny. [Laughs] All first season we complained, “Here we are in the South with all this yummy food,” and everyone put on what I like to call a little Southern Comfort, including myself. We were like, “That would be awesome if they built us a gym.” So they built us a gym, and I don’t think anyone’s even stepped foot in it. Everyone’s really conscious of it outside of work. All the boys take their kickboxing classes, the girls do yoga. I can’t believe I pay someone to make me want to cry and vomit about three times a week just to feel good on the inside. [Laughs] Most importantly, with all this stunt work that everyone’s doing now, you just want to be prepared and feel strong within your body and within yourself that you’re gonna physically be able to do what they’ve presented to you. But yeah, no one’s stepped foot in that gym. Once you get to work, they get you all dolled up in hair and makeup, and then you sit around for X amount of hours, but you can’t just mess up all the hair and makeup department’s work, because then it takes all that time to rest. So the gym kinda sits there taunting us.