Inside The Vampire Diaries NYCC Press Room with … Steven R. McQueen & Julie Plec

Not only did this Televixen get to see a Vampire Diaries panel at New York Comic Con a couple of weekends back, I also got to chat with the panelists in the Press Room following the panel! The first edition of “Inside The Vampire Diaries NYCC Press Room” features Exec Producer Julie Plec and the very adorable Steven R. McQueen!

In the clip shown during the panel, we saw Jeremy joining forces with the Katherine Eradication Army. What’s in store for Jeremy in the upcoming episodes?

Steven R. McQueen: Jeremy has been pushed around and pushed around, been soft and worn his emotions on his sleeve for so long. You can only have this friction rubbing against you for so long before you become calloused, and he’s calloused at this point, and becomes a little stronger and starts to fight back, rather than letting all this stuff happen to him. He’s going to say – excuse my language – fuck that, I’m going to take control, and I’m gonna take part in this whole thing and help work in a productive manner to get done what I need to.

Julie Plec: He literally shows up, scene one next week, or two weeks, scene one he knocks on Damon’s door and Damon’s like, “What are you doing here”, and Jeremy’s like, “I have information and I’m ready to share it and Damon’s like “And I’m going to shut the door in your face because your sister doesn’t know you’re here, does she?”. It’s very cute to see, it’s like, it’s this kid who suddenly is feeling more like a man wanting to be part of , showing up and saying I want in and I have valuable information that I’m willing to share. So it’s fun to see.

SRM: Thug life.

Has Jeremy forgiven Elena, or are there still some unresolved issues?

SRM: I think at this point, Elena’s the only family he has left. He lost his parents. He’s lost the two girls that he loved. Elena is the only connection to the human world that he has left besides his family responsibilities. So, though he still doesn’t fully trust her, he loves her with all his heart and he’ll do anything to protect her.

Can we expect a new love interest for Jeremy any time soon?

SRM: Yes you can.

JP: You can expect a dabble. With a capital D. That’s all we’re promising. Mostly because we haven’t written it yet. It could possibly be someone we already know.

SRM: Dun dun dun!

As everyone prepares to do battle with Katherine, is it safe to assume that they may have underestimated her power?

JP: Well I think anybody who thinks they’ve got the beat on Katherine is going to be sorely mistaken, but I will say, without giving too much away, that in what they do, they learn just how diabolical she really is and the lengths she’s willing to go to, and yet, when all is said and done, there’s an element, there’s a slight element of victory. That’s all I’m going to say. And you can all read into that what you want.

Will there be more flashback scenes in Season 3?

JP: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Any chance we’ll go further back than the 19th Century?

JP: Oh yeah. In fact, let’s see, the episode that we start shooting on Tuesday …

SRM: It’s the 80s. It’s the Thriller episode.

JP: … is set, if I’m not mistaken, around 1490. We talked a little bit about in the panel wanting to show Katherine’s origin story, and it’s cool.

Will we find out why Katherine came to Mystic Falls in the first place?

JP: Yeah, our plan, you know everything is loose until it happens, but our plan is ,you know, our next flashback is to see the story of how she became who she is, and then later in the season to kind of understand how she ended up in Mystic Falls and how that all came to pass. You know, if we can get there, that’s what we want to do, because there’s a lot of story to tell with her, as long as she’s still kicking.

Will we be lucky enough to see a Jeremy/Katherine interaction?

SRM: Watch the next couple of episodes. Definitely. He gets involved in that world, and if you’re getting involved in the vampire world, you’re bound to run into Katherine, cause she’s kind of the showrunner.

JP: She is indeed.

Any chance that we might get some insight into Katherine’s agenda?

JP: Her diabolical master plan? Yeah. Actually, that all explodes, all that information over the next four episodes. I mean, we just go for it. We always love to talk about what Damon, all of a sudden out of nowhere said there’s a tomb under the church, and suddenly everyone was like whoa hey finally. And that’s what we’re pretty much going to learn. By the time we hit Thanksgiving, you’re going to know a good chunk of it, if not most of it.

Does this plan involve Isobel?

JP: I’m not going to talk about this part.

We haven’t seen much of Alaric this season. Will we see more of him in the upcoming episodes?

JP: Yeah. He’s very much embedded in the show. We actually just talked to Matt Davis the other day, cause he’s like, “Hey, so, Alaric, not in this episode. Wasn’t in that episode. Did I do something? Are you guys mad at me.” Kevin and I both feel so strongly, that character is … I mean, he’s a man, he’s a grown up, he’s got a maturity, he’s got gravitas. It’s a really, really important character to have on the show, and we just have, because his own personal journey kind of arced out with the Isobel storyline and at the end of last season, we’re just biding our time and waiting for the moment to start his new journey, and we’ve promised him that it will happen, and we just can’t wait to get into it.

What led you to turn Caroline into a vampire?

JP: One of our biggest regrets as storytellers is that we have this beautiful ensemble of actors. You know, it’s like 9 or 10 deep at any given point. Series regulars, and really wonderful people and wonderful actors that can get kind of egregiously underutilized, you know, the Alaric question a perfect example of that, and last year, we found that our guest stars, and our recurring guest stars were getting more episodes and better stories than the cast we very lovingly assembled when we made the pilot. And it’s because when you have characters that aren’t directly tied into your genre storyline, it’s the first scene to get cut, the first storyline to get dropped, it’s the first thing when you’re long to go. Kevin said, he’s like, we’ve got to, we knew Tyler, we were going to be exploring the werewolf story, and he’s like, I want to bring Caroline in, because she’s so good, Candace, and he said I just think that the same way we killed Vicki, we kind of proved that we’re willing to go there and shock people, we wanted to do the same thing with another beloved character, and really just like twist things up and shake things up. I think, I mean, some people may not like it, I don’t really know actually, I get a good sense that people are digging it, but I love her. I think she’s hilarious, and is such a nice emotional core that she brings to it, and the levity that she brings to it is so great, and what she brings to Stefan and brings him out of his shell, and I love it.

We’ve seen a more mature, responsible Jeremy this season. Has he abandoned his reckless ways?

SRM: No, he’s just as reckless as ever, just in new ways, you know. Before it was more self destructive, and now he’s going to be a little more outer destructive. He’s kind of causing chaos in the world rather than just to his internal organs.

What influenced and inspired the choices you’ve made in creating the werewolf mythology for the show?

SRM: Teen Wolf

JP: Kevin and I made a really, really, really, really, really bad werewolf movie together a long time ago, and learned a lot of really painful lessons. You know, I think we had something like thirty million dollars in visual effects and Rick Baker designing, you know, this wolf, and Oscars on his mantle, and everything we had going for us, and we still ended up with a werewolf that looked ridiculous. And so we knew very much that we didn’t want prosthetics, we did not want hair pieces, we wanted to try to go the traditional animal route, you know, more shapeshifter route. And ironically, True Blood made that same decision, and we actually borrowed their wolves because the wolves that we hired were – we couldn’t have the True Blood wolves, that’s just copying – and our wolves showed up and we’re like, we’re not shooting those wolves. Those are a disaster. Let me tell you, the reason why werewolves don’t work often in television and in film is for that reason, because if you put plastic and hair on a kid’s face, he looks ridiculous, if you try to go fully CG, it looks ridiculous, and wolves, interestingly enough, are not trainable, as we learned. And look like dogs when all is said and done. We were like we have to have a real wolf, we can’t have a German Shepherd, and then the wolf shows up and we’re like huh, you look like a German Shepherd. The second part of the question while we’re still talking about it, it was important to us to not just buy into the mythology that’s been out there and the werewolf world lore, because of the fact that our vampire mythology is very different with the vervain and the lapis lazuli and all that, so we thought alright, let’s not get ourselves tied down by any of that, and then we thought it was really great to have our heroes learn, along with the audience, and even some of the werewolves themselves, learn the mythology of the species as they went, as opposed to just coming in on all the information.

In the next edition of “Inside The Vampire Diaries NYCC Press Room”, we’ll learn more about what’s in store during Season 3 with Kevin Williamson and Zach Roerig!

Photo by Sheryl DaSilva – Copyright © 2010

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