Klaus has this bratty, middle child-syndrome kind of deal. Does Klaus’ family dynamic relate to your own in any way?
No, I just have one brother, younger than me. I didn’t grow up in that way, and my parents stayed together and were very loving. One thing I can relate to is the closeness and the value of family. We moved to Wales when I was quite young but we frequently visited the rest of my family especially my mother’s side. Woe to anyone who does them wrong.
Speaking of Klaus’ siblings, there were two others who were killed off on The Vampire Diaries. Now with the spin-off, is there any regret in doing away with those two brothers? Is there any chance we’ll see them in flashbacks or in the present even?
It’s not my decision to regret. [Laughs.] We always hear whispers of storylines to come, and about 50% of them pan out. The writer’s room constantly adapts and changes things and goes with characters that are making an impact and kills off characters that aren’t, latching on to certain storylines and working around other actors’ schedules. There’s all these factors that come into play.
But there’s possibilities to bring them back in a 1,000 years worth of flashbacks, and secondly, we are a supernatural show. There’s always a chance an incantation can be found, or some kind of loophole that the witches never saw coming.
You mentioned being a big fan of this horror. It’s so popular right now. What would you say The Originalsbrings to the table that other TV dabbling in the supernatural doesn’t?
We’re a more adult show than the show that we came from. The city is very much a character. We’re very into the reputation that the city has for decadence. And then the idea of a war, I feel like we’re among the most epic shows in that respect. We’re dealing with these beings who are a thousand years old, these Originals. They could only have existed in Mystic Falls for so long before it became a little ludicrous, in my opinion. The stakes are so high for creatures like that. They need to be involved, they need to have epic action, they need to be involved in a war for their species. What we’re really trying to do is grow the scale a bit.
We’re still finding our feet too, don’t get me wrong. We’re a first season and I feel like episodes 14, 15 and 16 are the best we’ve done, and it’s because we’re starting to find our tone, our groove and step out on our own. To say, this is the show we are, and it’s a little darker, a little more psychological than its predecessor.
If I could separate The Originals from The Vampire Diaries in a nutshell I’d say that The Vampire Diaries is more coming-of-age, and we’re more these monsters reveling in who they are and what they are. It’s the end of days for us Mikaelsons. They’ve come to New Orleans to eventually self destruct, to kill each other or love each other, but it’s all going to happen in that city.
You’ve been playing this role for a couple years now, your biggest role to date. You also just won the People’s Choice award for Favorite Actor in a New Series. Now that your fame is blowing up, have you had any crazy run-ins with fans?
The fans are so incredible and so incredibly determined. In New York, I was late for an event for the Upfronts. I was with my girlfriend and there were a lot of fans of various shows camped out outside the hotel, so you’d get a lot of people shouting for photos as soon as you walked out. I was so late so I jumped into the car they provided, and we were just trying to make it there. And a couple of these girls ran down the road after the town car, just running through the streets of New York, and they kept running.
And we kept going for six, seven blocks, and it was like, they’re still there! Then we stopped at a light and I thought, “We’ve gotta get out and take a photo with these girls because this is crazy.” That they would want that so much was so bonkers to me. That was a moment of realization for me that people really like this show.
Full interview here.