All of them have surprised me in various ways. But I knew that this year was going to be aboutCaroline and Tyler — that we were going to have the werewolf storyline. We set it up last year. We said we’re going to do it, so we had to deliver on it. I knew Caroline was going to be a game-changer for me. I wanted the audience to root for her and love her. I wanted her to be the little vampire who could. and I thought she delivered, in spades. And she keeps astounding me. She keeps surprising me. I was hoping she had it in her, and boy, did she ever.
What’s in the future for Caroline and Tyler’s relationship? Will werewolf/vampire tensions drive them apart?
Yes, 100 percent. In the very next episode, things begin to unfold that don’t bode well for their budding relationship. Tyler starts asking questions and we’ll see that blow open. And don’t forget, there’s Matt waiting over there in the middle. So there’s a little triangle going between a human, a vampire, and a werewolf. Tyler got through his transformation, she was there for him. They sort of have this kinship now, of this curse. And now we take it to the next level and play it out. It’s very tragic.
Is it a doomed relationship from the start?
Oh my god. I wish I could squeal and tell you everything that will happen. But over the next three episodes, Julie and I were watching and — it gets tragic.
Will it continue into Season 3?
Well we end a chapter in the next three episodes with regard to a lot of things we set in motion. And then we begin the next chapter, which is leading us to the finale.
Could you kill off any major characters and still have a show left? Maybe not Stefanor Damon, but you could lose Elena or Katherine…
I don’t know if anyone is ever going to buy that we’re going to kill Elena. She is the heart and soul of the show. And I don’t think I would spoil the show by killing Katherine. I think there’s too much juice there. I think that would be almost incredibly stupid on my part. We can do so much with these characters. Elena still has choices to make. There are things to do to these characters that you can still surprise the audience with.
Do you like what Caroline’s character has done to the tone of the show?
I love what Candice has done with the tone of the show. But it’s gonna get tragic. At the end of the season, not everyone will be standing.
You had to write out Caroline’s mother due to a leg injury. Did that interfere with the plot at all?
No, we figured it out. We just wrote her out of, I think, two episodes. We got around it. It was pretty easy.
Will Elena stay single for the rest of the season? What will happen to her romantically?
Is she single right now? Elena is always, no matter how single she is, she’s still standing there with Stefan. They’re a couple who have conflicts and they have a big one looming. They’re starting to truly disagree about how to handle things. But no, I wouldn’t stay she’s going to stay single by any means. I wouldn’t say she’s single now. She may be arguing or disagreeing with Stefan at the moment, but I don’t think they’re too far apart.
We’ve seen Katherine pass for Elena. Will we see Elena try to pass for Katherine?
There are some musical chairs that can go on in some fun ways, and also in some serious ways. We’re going to play some more of that. You’re probably going to see some more of that.
With whom is Damon naked in the bathtub in the previews we’ve seen?
I’m not going to tell you who’s joining him. That scene has not aired yet. It is Episode 13, I think. The thing is, we’ve built his bedroom now and we have his bathroom. It sort of makes its debut in Episode 12 — the next episode. So now we have a gorgeous rain shower and an amazing bathtub. And so, we’ll just think of all sorts of reasons for him to shower and just ponder his life.
In most vampire lore, you don’t see them bathe.
We just thought, he could have his existential crises in a shower and ponder all of eternity while having water cascading down his body. [Editor’s note: Hawt!]
Has any plot development surprised you with the way it worked out on screen?
Katherine. I never expected to see as much of Katherine as we did, because I thought it would be so difficult to film, with the same actress. And scheduling it takes time and money. But she was so delicious and such a great engine for storytelling that I couldn’t stay away. Her performance is what made me say, we’re going there.
Can you say anything more about when we’re going to see Klaus? What episode? Is he cast?
We’re not exactly sure what episode he’ll show up in. But I would venture to say — we have not cast him yet — and we’re heavily casting right now.
Are there candidates or a type you can reveal? A height? A race? An age?
I’ve got to be honest — there are about 100 auditions I need to go home and read through. There aren’t any types — I want that really great actor to surface, and then go, “Wow, I can write for him. He’ll work really well.”
Are you casting a name we already know or someone new?
We’re looking at both — people who might be familiar to an audience. But most importantly, we want the right actor. So I’m guessing it’ll probably be someone we don’t know.
Age-wise, would he be an age-appropriate mate for the characters you have?
Yes. Keep in mind, Klaus is someone who in his history seduced Katherine in Bulgaria. So he would have been someone suitable for her. Not an old man. And by old on the CW, I mean 31. Hey, I’m 45.
Since you’re talking about casting, how do you feel about the article in Newsweekthat said Hollywood is not casting gay actors in gay roles?
I just look at the actors when they come in to audition. Whether they’re gay or not, I don’t ask them. That’s not how it works.
The article’s point is that out actors who everyone knows are out are not getting cast in leading roles. Would it have concerned you to cast an out gay man as Damon or Stefan for fear the audience wouldn’t accept them?
I’m at a place in my life where I’m over that. Bring me the right actor. That’s for someone else to worry about. That’s not my issue. My issue is telling the story, making the best show possible, and finding the best actor who will marry himself to my writing. And I could give a rat’s ass if he’s gay, straight or whatever.
Would network executives interfere?
I don’t know. I’ve never come across this situation. I’d love it and I’m all for it. I’m gay as a goose, so bring it on. Bring me a gay actor who’s perfect for the part, and he’ll get it.
Are there any gay vampires to show up on the show?
All vampires are gay in my mind. We’ve got to get some in Mystic Falls. But I have to kill some people off first. We’ve got to make room for them. I keep envisioning a world in which I can get Caroline’s dad in there. Because he’s a founding family member, and we’ve already established him as being gay. I think it would be great to have a fierce gay man come in there and run that council. I don’t think we’ll get around to it this season. You want to do it right — you can’t just bring him in to bring him in.
Are we looking at a Moldavian bloodbath at the end of this season then?
No, not that bad. The gay thing about leading men and women, that’s a tough and very important issue. I remember the union had a whole panel about that at one point. I’ve got friends who are out there, plugging away.
Jane Lynch was very honest and provocative the other night, because she said she doesn’t think that middle America is ready to accept a gay actor in the leading role. She feels like [viewers] need to be able to project their romantic aspirations 100% on that person. So if they know that actor’s gay, they’re going to have a hard time. She also went on to say that she thought network suits would have that fear.
If you really cast the right actor for the right role, it’s not a problem.
Maybe we don’t have enough out actors yet who fit the leading man persona.
There is a small pool of our actors, I can only think of 3 or 4. And then if you say which one of them is a leading man, then it narrows. Because there is a difference between a character actor and a leading man. The good thing is, I also work for the CW, and they’re all about diversity. They want us to cast them, cast them, cast them. That’s a badge of honor for them. Every time I cast a role, it’s always about where’s the diversity.
Is it more acceptable for vampires to be gay? So you have carte blanche on your show?
I think vampires are gay anyway. Like I think the whole werewolf story is one big coming-out metaphor. So making him gay is almost too on the nose.