Joseph Morgan first took on the role of Klaus Mikaelson in season 2 of The Vampire Diaries. After episodes of build-up — and a temporary stay in Alaric’s body — Morgan became the biggest, baddest vampire Mystic Falls had ever seen. So big and bad in fact, that two seasons later, he and his siblings would get their own spin-off, The Originals.
Now in season 3 of The Originals, Morgan is taking on a new role behind the camera as a director. “I thought it was kind of funny how I’m coming full circle,” Morgan says. “As a director I’ll go back to Mystic Falls. Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”
Morgan is talking about the fact that in this week’s episode, Elijah and Finn make their way to Mystic Falls in an attempt to save their sister Freya, who has been kidnapped by Lucien. “Andy Lees is one of my favorite things about this episode,” Morgan says. “He’s just absolutely terrific in it and plays a huge part in it.”
Mainly, Lees, who plays Lucien, is the villain of this story, which takes place in the Mystic Falls woods (and presented Morgan with his greatest directing challenge). “We were dealing with one sequence in particular which is sort of the main thrust of the episode which is set in the Mystic Falls woods and it involves six actors and stunts and visual effects and a whole load of drama, so that’s when you’re racing the sun, you have to be really, really prepared.”
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Not a part of that main sequence? Klaus and Hayley, whom Morgan says will grow closer this week. “Last week there was definitely a struggle between them. They each thought they knew what was best for Hope and in general. My episode really sees them uniting and becoming a team, particularly against Kingmaker Land Development. It’s interesting. That was a theme that is throughout the episode: two people who don’t particularly want to be in the same situation together learning to work together and find some kind of equilibrium. That’s the case with Klaus and Hayley, it’s also the case with Elijah and Finn and then Kol and Davina as well.”
Speaking of Elijah and Finn, they will come face-to-face with none other than Matt Donovan when they return to Mystic Falls. And let’s not forget that Matt once killed Finn. Morgan certainly hasn’t. “They interact and in fact, one of the locations that I picked to shoot in with those guys wasn’t originally in the script, but it’s actually the alleyway in Mystic Falls where he killed Finn,” Morgan says. “I thought that is too good an opportunity to miss that these guys meets again there. So yeah I was pleased with that.”
Furthermore, Morgan was very satisfied with the end result of his episode. “We got some terrific performances. I’m so excited to talk to the actors afterward. As I started to work on my director’s cut, I couldn’t wait to see some of those guys and say how great they were in it. That was a really, really enjoyable part for me.”
Now he just hopes they’re as happy as he is. “I’m a little nervous because I do care immensely about what everyone thinks. We worked really hard,” he says. “I hope they feel like it was time well spent, that I did right by them and their characters.”
The Originals airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.