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Joseph Morgan of 'The Originals': More flashbacks, fights in season 2

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When The Originals catches up with the Mikaelsons at the beginning of its second season, it’s safe to say that losing Hope hasn’t gotten any easier over the past four months. And not surprisingly, Klaus is ready for revenge. But with two parents and a new brother in town, Francesca isn’t going to be Klaus’ only problem this season.

We caught up with Joseph Morgan, who plays Klaus on the show, to talk about season two, Klaus’ parents, and the ultimate daddy showdown.

EW: I was going to say “Welcome back,” but I think you guys have been back filming longer than most.

JOSEPH MORGAN: We’re filming pretty much non-stop, a lot of nights, a lot of fights. I’m actually on my way to rehearse a huge stunt fight sequence, which is kind of exciting. We’re trying to up the action in season two and make it even more dynamic. It’s hard because I feel like the writers and producers, Julie [Plec] especially, set the bar pretty high in season one, so where do you go from there? It has to escalate, you know?

I don’t know that Klaus can top beating like 100 vampires in that one scene last year.

You know, I did a body count, and I think I killed like 26 in the end. Because they were all laid out and Diego set them on fire in a little scene while Marcel and I watched from the balcony, and I thought, “I just want to count them and see how many I did kill in the end.” Yeah, we’ll see. I don’t know. I think maybe he can top it.

He can do at least 30.

At least 30. We’ll see.

Well, when we pick up four months after the season one finale, one of the big changes is that Hayley is now a hybrid. Will that help her relationship with Klaus in any way? Bring them closer?

In a way, I suppose, yeah. He’s kind of a reluctant mentor. He’s encouraged by his brother to talk to Hayley, to help Hayley, because Hayley’s incredibly lost. I think it’s one thing for Klaus to have to give away his daughter, but Hayley gave birth to her, and it’s sort of another thing altogether, I think, for Hayley. So Hayley’s not taking it very well at all. And Elijah, I think, feels very distant from her and worries about her, and so he encourages Klaus, being the only other hybrid now, to talk to Hayley, to help her understand what it is that she’s going through and how she can deal with the thing that she’s become. So Klaus rather reluctantly does that. I would say that it helps their relationship, but it’s not like everything is just fine after that. There’s a long way to go for all of these characters, I think. They’re truly troubled, these creatures.

Another big change this season is the return of both of Klaus’ parents. We know that both of them present a very real physical danger to Klaus, but which one do you think is more of an emotional threat?

I go back and forth on that. It’s hard to say. I’m going to tell you what I’m feeling at the moment is that his father is more of an emotional threat. As a boy, all [Klaus] wanted was his father’s affirmation, and I think just having that hatred from his father and being made to feel he was weak and not good enough and not knowing why for so long, why his father or the man he thought was his father hated him, I think that was truly disturbing. So as much as he despises Mikael,  we saw back in Vampire Diaries when he managed to kill his father, when he finally managed to put the White Oak Stake in him and Mikael’s body was burning up, he wasn’t rejoicing. He was crying. He was upset, deeply, deeply upset, because he would never get that love and affirmation that he so desperately wanted from his father, and somehow, Mikael still has this emotional chokehold on him.

But Esther is a great manipulator, so we’ll see. It’s funny, I’ve been watching Bates Motel recently, and it’s really interesting to see, especially in the first few episodes, the manipulation that goes on—the guilt-tripping and emotional kind of manipulation from Norma Bates to her son. I was like, “Oh, this is familiar.” It’s a pattern that I think people relate to just to a certain extent of being guilt-tripped by their parents at one point or another, and I think that’s something that really, it still affects him, even at a thousand years old with all of his strength and power, he’s still a little boy when it comes to his parents. He reverts to being that child again in their eyes, and in his own while he’s around them.

Are we going to get more flashbacks that delve into Klaus’ relationship with Esther?

Yes. We’ve filmed some already. His relationship with his parents in general and the truth behind all of those stories and all of that stuff. You know, when we first featured young Klaus and young Elijah back in episode 16 of season one—that mammoth episode where Rebekah, Elijah, and Klaus were all trapped in the graveyard—and we started with young Klaus and young Rebekah and he gave her the chess piece, which Klaus then gave to his child later on, those kids were so good. Aiden [Flowers] is the kid who played young Klaus, and he was so good, I thought, “This is a relief, because he can share a little of the burden.” I knew he’d be back. He was too good for them not to bring him back, so we’re hoping to see more of them as children and really where the roots of the problem started.

And in addition to his parents, Klaus has another brother in town. Will we find out relatively quickly which brother it is?

Yes.

Regardless of whether it’s Kol or Finn, it’s not a good thing for Klaus.

No. I mean, I would say potentially Finn would be a worse thing, but—well, no, he wasn’t on great terms with Kol when Kol died. But I know he mourned Kol. He didn’t mourn Finn.

He also put Finn in a box for 900 years.

Yeah, Finn potentially would be more pissed, I think, but Kol is probably capable of causing more trouble and has the inclination to do so. He’s certainly more vindictive. But the guy who plays said brother Yusuf Gatewood is a bloody fantastic actor, so you’re going to really enjoy watching this guy. He’s really, really good.

Is Klaus’ wolf pack even on his mind at this point?

Not when we find him initially, because all he can think about is his lost child and rightly so, but with Klaus, it’s always a struggle for his identity. He lived thinking one man was his father and trying to aspire to that; he became a vampire but he had this wolf side that his mother tried to suppress and did suppress with that curse, but he’s always been fascinated by the wolves ever since him and young Henrik, his brother, sneaked out to watch the wolves when they were kids and Henrik died. So absolutely, for as long as I’m playing Klaus, I’m always going to play that he’s fascinated with that side. Even today, I’ll go into this stunt fight, and I’m always trying to encourage them, like, “Now, listen, he’s half werewolf, so I want a little of his bestial nature in this fight. Let’s show something a little animalistic about him here.” I want to push for that.

But in terms of story, yeah, I hope so. I think that’s something that’s very much unresolved. He is deeply fascinated by that side, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, at some point, he has to deal with where that comes from; with his roots and his true father’s pack, his birth father and that whole side of him, that whole side of his lineage—that side that he’s rejected and hasn’t touched on for so long because he was brought up by vampires.

Maybe he can call in backup and then his birth father can fight Mikael.

Oh man, that would be a fight, wouldn’t it?

The Originals returns Monday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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