On Thursday’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, titled “The Killer,” Connor (Todd Williams) takes Jeremy, Matt, and April hostage at the Grill, and the Salvatore Brothers disagree on the best plan to save them. It’s an episode that provides a lot of answers about the vampire hunter, Williams says.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Connor is a character who, at the moment, is very easy to dislike. Is there something in his backstory that would surprise us?
TODD WILLIAMS: That’s what this episode is about, basically shedding some light as to why Connor’s doing what he’s doing. It’s not as black and white as, Oh, vampires. I want to kill ’em. That’s it. There’s definitely a story there, and this episode makes him a little more three-dimensional, just in terms of his humanity. You find out more about his relationship with Professor Shane and exactly what they’re trying to get from one another, why they have this alliance.
Connor loves his explosions. Judging from the promo, we’ll be seeing more of that, too.
Look, Connor’s gonna do what Connor does best, which is wreckin’ shops. [Laughs] He’s a man who has a lot of questions that he needs answers to, and the hostage situation is a scenario created to get those answers.
What did you know about Connor when you got cast?
They are very hush-hush over at TVD. When I initially got the audition, there wasn’t much of a breakdown of the character. All it showed was that he was formerly a Navy SEAL and that he was intense. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing on the show until I actually got to Atlanta. I got to sit down with [supervising producer] Chris Grismer and [showrunner] Julie Plec, and they gave me some backstory as to who Connor was, but they’re still finding out things about him themselves. So each episode, I’d find out more information about him, and each time, it just made me more excited because I’ve never done a character like this before. I remember the first week, I’m getting yanked out of the truck by Ian [Somerhalder], and we’re sittin’ there on the ground, and I’m shootin’ him, and I felt like an action star. I was like, this is so fun. I was havin’ such a blast.
Was there a moment when you felt like, okay, I’m really a part of this show now? I’m thinking perhaps filming the shirtless torture scene in last week’s episode?
[Laughs] You know, I think that’s just a thing that everybody has to do on that show. I remember when I was in a fitting, I was talking to people saying, “Is there a shirtless scene coming up?” I had a feeling it was coming up, and I was hearing rumors. So I was hittin’ the gym every day, and then finally when it came up, yeah, I was very nervous. It just seems like a rite of passage on that show — every guy is gonna have to take his shirt off. You just hope that it’s received well, which it was. So mission accomplished.
Will we see Connor tortured again?
You mean on the rack, or just tortured period? [Laughs]
Just tortured, period.
It’s more of an internal torture. No external torture.
Last question: You’ve done a fair amount of TV (The Chicago Code, In Plain Sight, Tilt, Third Watch). Are there any traditions on the Vampire Diaries set you’ve found particularly fun?
Traditions on set… [Thinks] They have Cheesesteak Friday. That’s always delicious. I’d always take two or three of those. I’m a lover of food, so that’s pretty much what’s gonna stick out.
In the issue of Entertainment Weekly out Nov. 16, we’re asking Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec to take on fan questions, comments, and concerns about the current season. If you want to ask Julie something (or even just sound-off about the season) leave a comment below. (Keep in mind: If your comment is selected, your display name will be used.)