Welcome to Julie’s Diary! Every week during the season, Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec will add an entry to her diary. From answering burning questions to giving behind-the-scenes stories and more, this is a place for fans to hear directly from Plec about the episode they just watched.
Thanks for watching “Somebody That I Used To Know,” written by Holly Brix with story by Matt D’Ambrosio and directed by Chris Grismer.
In the writers’ room, we’ve been waiting for this episode for a year. Last year, there was a scene at the front door of the Salvatore House where Bonnie got snippy with Enzo that delighted me so much I started quietly shipping this couple. She called him a “ruiner.” I liked their chemistry and the fun potential of two characters who have every reason not to like each other. As Kevin [Williamson] always says, “Hate is just love turned inside out.”
Building a television romance is no easy task. You can slow-play it over many years (Stefan and Caroline, who I started rooting for in episode 202), you can discover it in an instant (Klaus and Caroline, whose amazing chemistry actually derailed any Stefan-Caroline slow-playing for a couple years), you can fight against it as long as possible until fans are quite literally SCREAMING at you because you haven’t delivered on it yet (Damon and Elena). You can be baffled by a coupling that people root for (Bonnie and Kai), saddened by a couple you love that people reject (Bonnie and Jeremy), and when all is said and done, all you can do is write from the heart and hope for the best.
In the case of Bonnie and Enzo, we decided to show them in love with each other as a surprise flash-forward, leaving the audience to wonder how in the hell that happened. I really love the idea of them together. Enzo has so much love to give, but has been constantly disappointed by people in his life. Bonnie, always giving so much of herself to others, deserves the kind of love that is unconditional and powerful and selfless. I love them together. I make no promises about how long it will last, because that’s the mysterious nature of television, but simply put, I love how much he loves her. You’ll get to see more and more of that as we head to the end of the season.
Tidbits from set:
- The first time they rehearsed the New Years Eve scene, Grismer had the Billie Holiday song play out loud for the whole cast and crew while Kat and Michael danced. Everyone was so moved. One of the crew members came up to Holly Brix with tears in her eyes. She wanted Holly to know how much she loved seeing Bonnie get a epic love story.
- The cabin is the same cabin built for Stefan a.k.a. Marty’s no-good-very-bad-horrible day in “I Went to the Woods.” Some paint and a genius redesign by our art department and brilliant Set Decorator Karen Brucks, and it’s a whole new set.
- Co-writer Matt D’Ambrosio had a bout with appendicitis mere days before he was supposed to go to Atlanta to watch filming. After an emergency appendectomy and permission from his doctor, he got on a plane in time for the last half of the shoot. Matt, incidentally, started TVD in season 1 as an office PA in the Atlanta production office. He mentioned his dream of being a writer to producer Pascal, who suggested we move Matt to L.A. to work in the writer’s office when a position opened up. Since then, Matt has been the writers’ assistant and is currently the script coordinator.
- Malarkey taught Kat how to play guitar for her scenes.
- We cast a really big stunt guy to be our vampire in the dentist office and so a special body dummy had to be flown in from Canada so that it would match his actual size. Joe Props had to go and pick the dummy up at the airport as if he were a relative flying in.
- Paul [Wesley] and Matt Davis had a lot of scenes together in this episode where they’d argue and then Alaric would walk away from Stefan at the end of the scene. So Matt got in the groove of ad-libbing “I’ll be in the car” as his parting remark which would make Paul laugh every single time. He’d tell him not to do it and Matt would promise that he wouldn’t, but then he would and Paul would laugh again. He just couldn’t keep it together.