'Vampire Diaries': Sara Canning talks Aunt Jenna's future, Uncle John's return, and Elijah sticking around -- EXCLUSIVE
Image Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CWSeason 2 of The Vampire Diaries has brought more action for Michael Trevino (Tyler) and Candice Accola (Caroline). Could it be Sara Canning’s turn next? The actress who plays Jenna, Elena and Jeremy’s aunt, says a significant storyline is on the horizon for the character. Will it involve her finally finding out that vampires, werewolves, and witches have been in her house? Okay, that she still can’t say. “Truthfully, I have no idea,” she admits. “I’ve gotten that feeling before and it hasn’t come to fruition. They say, ‘It could happen in two episodes, or it could happen in two seasons.” (That, we can confirm: Exec producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec will tell you they change their minds about when Jenna and Zach Roerig’s Matt will finally join The Knowing on a week-to-week basis. Do Canning and Roerig have a bet on who finds out first? No, she says. “But we were thinking of making T-shirts that said Team Oblivious Human. I think Zach and I have the same attitude in that we think it’s pretty cool that we’re two of the only characters left that don’t know. There’s still a huge question mark on how our characters will find out and how their lives will be changed, and we still get to have the fun of playing that when a lot of the cast has already gone through that.”)
So what can Canning tell us about how Jenna gets more screen time in the second half of season 2? Well, look for things to get interesting when Uncle John (David Anders) returns to Mystic Falls. (That’s by February, Plec says.) “We’ve seen to what degree already John affects Jenna. We know they’ve had a past relationship. We know that he’s making trouble for her in terms of guardianship of Elena and Jeremy. He just kind of irks her in every possible way. But I think the more significant thing that we’re gonna see is the tension that it puts on the relationship between Jenna and Alaric (Matt Davis),” Canning says. “In the first season, that was a lot of Oh, he’s got a dead wife, or so Jenna thinks, and he was dealing with Isobel returning as a vampire. It’s just been a shenanigan of a relationship from the get-go. But now they’ve kinda got a nice thing going, and I think they’re really crazy about each other. But the major thing is the secrets that Alaric is a part of that Jenna is oblivious to. I don’t think John is going to make their relationship an easy thing. He’s got his own motives. He may need to use Alaric in some of those motives. So we will see. The great thing is that we’ll see Jenna become more involved because he’s back, and because of what’s going on between him, and Alaric, and Damon, and Stefan, and Elena, and everyone else in the world who knows there are vampires.” Producers won’t confirm when or exactly how Uncle John returns — does someone reach out to him or does he come to them? — but if has knowledge about the Originals, Elena and Co. will have to listen. (Pause as we stop to think of Uncle John and Damon, who’ve tried to kill each other, reuniting: “They have to figure out how to work together, unfortunately for both of them, and there’s a lot of double-crossing that could go on,” Ian Somerhalder tells us. “You never know what’s around the corner. Uncle John is not wearing that ring, and Damon would love to do nothing more than just literally rip the guy’s head off. But he can’t, because that would pose even more problems.”)
Speaking of the Originals, we know Elijah (Daniel Gillies), who’s posing as an author researching small towns, has already met Jenna, who got roped into playing Historical Society hostess in the last episode. Will they be seeing more of each other? “Yes,” Canning says. “When Elijah first comes to town, they have a pretty introductory kind of ‘hello, what are you up to here, this is what I do’ relationship. But we’ll see that grow into something else. And that is all I’m saying.” Could it turn, gulp, romantic? “She’s been with like every other guy who comes back to town,” she says, laughing. “My dad, every time he watches the show, he’ll call me right after and say, ‘Really? Another guy?’ Which is pretty funny. He’s like, ‘What is going on with your character? She has been around the block.’ Elijah is very charming. That would put her in a weird position, because we all know what his deal is, and I’m sure he’s not gonna tell her. That’d be fun.”
Our fingers are crossed for Elijah using Jenna, and for Jenna having more sex scenes with Alaric. (Sorry, dad.) Canning’s not sure when Alaric and Jenna will be shown post-coital again. “Any more awkward, ice cream bowl, pantsless scenes? I don’t know yet. I can just say that scene was superfun to shoot. I think Matt Davis and I have the most fun when we have to address a really awkward scene,” she says. “I think if we had our way, they would awkward their way through everything in life. If they do have more sex scenes, I hope it’s just like ridiculous. We see a lot of passion on the show, but it’s nice to see the real human side of how things can get between two people as well. Maybe they can hold down the fort in that spectrum.” Fun fact: Canning was originally supposed to be wearing a bra and panties in that scene. “I actually walked into the fitting before I read the script, and there were bras hanging everywhere, and I was like, ‘Okay. What’s all this about? Why is there a bunch of underwear for me to try on?’ It’s funny that that’s sometimes how we find out about scenes like that. But then we ended up trying on the man shirt, and we thought this seems more like Jenna. We thought that was almost more intimate.” Plus, it was a legitimate excuse to have Matt Davis shirtless.
So in conclusion, being a clueless human on the show does have it perks. It’s something Canning has been thinking a lot about recently: “Even though Jenna isn’t involved in a lot of the mystery that goes on in the town supernaturally, I really think she’s one of the most mysterious characters on the show right now, because we haven’t seen a lot of her life. We’ve only seen her dealing with Elena, Jeremy, John, and Alaric. We never really see Jenna on her own. We know that she’s getting her master’s. We don’t see her doing those things. She’s out of the house very often, so I’m often wondering where is she? What is she up to right now? What I’m really excited about for the rest of the season is the fact that I think I will be surprised by Jenna.”
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