'The Originals' at PaleyFest: Six things we learned
Rebekah fans can breathe a sigh of relief. As far as Claire Holt is concerned, the Original sister’s absence is only a temporary fix. But that was only one thing fans took away from the Originals PaleyFest panel, where cast and crew also discussed Elijah’s journey, the things they aren’t allowed to show on The CW, and whether The Vampire Diaries‘ Caroline might be making her way to New Orleans anytime soon.
Here are six things we took away — plus one bonus tidbit — from executive producers Michael Narducci and Julie Plec, and cast members Charles Michael Davis (Marcel), Leah Pipes (Cami), Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley), Daniel Gillies (Elijah), Joseph Morgan (Klaus), Claire Holt (Rebekah), and Danielle Campbell (Davina).
The series was originally going to be set in Chicago.
When asked about their decision to put the TVD spinoff in New Orleans, executive producers Julie Plec and Michael Narducci reminisced about how Narducci originally “wanted to make it in a pizzeria.” “It was going to be Chicago,” Narducci said. Plec explained that their “original Originals pitch” was to take the family back to the history they’d revealed a bit of in season 3 of The Vampire Diaries, when fans got a glimpse at Stefan’s ripper past with Klaus and, of course, his relationship with Rebekah. But when they realized they were going to shoot in Atlanta, it could cause a problem. “I think we said Nashville,” Plec continued. “Pretty much every city in the United States of America.” But when someone brought up the idea of New Orleans, one trip (and a lack of open container laws) brought about the final idea of moving things down South.
The one thing you will never see on this show is…thrusting.
When discussing the show’s use of violence in relation to its 8 p.m. timeslot on The CW, actress Pipes joked about the one thing she was asked to do recently that was then censored — thrust. “That’s the line,” Pipes joked. “You will never see thrusting.” Plec confirmed that they do try to stretch boundaries where they can and that they do have a little freedom creatively, given the fact that many people don’t watch the show when it airs anyway. But she finished with, “Sorry, no thrusting.”
This show is as much about Klaus’ redemption as it is about Elijah’s undoing.
Moderator Jarett Wieselman asked Morgan and Gillies about a recent line Klaus said to Elijah, which was something to the effect of, “You’re beginning to sound like me.” Was this foreshadowing the end of the season? Gillies confirmed that the show has “always felt to me like the redemption of Klaus and sort of the undoing of Elijah. It seems to be where we’re creeping towards.” Funny enough, Morgan and Narducci talked about how that line was not in the original script, but was something they debated and came up with later. “[Klaus] likes to see Elijah embrace the darker side a little bit. I think there’s an excitement, definitely, to the idea that my brother is slowly coming over to the dark side,” Morgan said.
Narducci likened the relationship of Klaus and Elijah to “a horror story.” He said that in the writers’ room, the staff asks, “‘What’s the most scary thing?’ The most scary thing is monsters — not monsters outside, not monsters in the closet or under the bed, it’s monsters that sit down at the dinner table and lean forward and smile and say, ‘Hello, brother.’ Because that monster, you can’t get rid of that monster without amputating a part of yourself,” Narducci explained. “I think Elijah loves Klaus, Klaus loves Elijah. They’re different people, and the attempt to save the one is destroying the family, the other, everything. That’s what this story is — it’s a tragic horror story. Who’s going to survive? Who’s going to win?” Narducci admitted that plenty of fans were upset about Rebekah, but he said, “For me, I love Claire, but I was so happy that Rebekah got the happy ending. I was so glad.”
Claire Holt’s leaving is only a “temporary hiatus.”
After news broke that Claire Holt was no longer a series regular, fans panicked over what Rebekah’s absence could mean. But when asked if this was the last we’d see of the Original sister, Holt replied, “I sure hope not.” It was a sentiment that Plec quickly mirrored. Holt then added, “As far as I’m concerned, this is a temporary hiatus. I’m taking a little vacation in the sun but I’m going to return to my New Orleans family. I just want to make it clear to everyone that these incredibly talented writers did not run out of story. They never will.”
Holt insisted that she wasn’t “pushed out,” nor did she “quit mid-season.” Instead, she explained, “This was something that we’d discussed from the start, and I completed my initial commitment. And I made a life choice, and not a career choice. I made a choice to come home for a little while and I realized that I hadn’t seen people that I loved and cared about for a long time and it was so tough for me. And it really was a toss-up right to the very end, and even having this little space that I’ve had, I do realize that I am so not ready to let go of the Mikaelsons. And so I hope that there’s many more stories to tell.” When later asked by a fan if Rebekah might return to Mystic Falls, she said, “Listen, there’s a very handsome quarterback in Mystic Falls….I like that idea.”
There is potential for more TVD crossovers…but they might not be in the plans just yet.
A fan asked if there would be any more Vampire Diaries–Originals crossovers, which Plec answered with a “Yes, maybe, I don’t know.” So it’s safe to say that there aren’t any on the books (which means probably not by season’s end), but it still could happen in the future.
Joseph Morgan thinks Klaroline probably isn’t a good idea.
Oh yes — we all knew that we couldn’t get through this panel without a fan asking about Klaus and Caroline, though it seems Morgan might be OK leaving that relationship in the past. “I think in the beginning, definitely, I was in favor of the two characters because she opened up a side of Klaus that we hadn’t seen before, and I really wanted to see that vulnerability, and I was in favor of all the dynamic between them,” Morgan said. “I never thought it was a good idea for them to just be together and that’s the end of it, because then where’s the drama and the interest?…One of the things about [Klaus] that’s so wonderful is he can’t find love because he just messes it up for himself. So as much as he may want to be with Caroline, I think he would mess it up for her as well. And I think that the character of Caroline Forbes doesn’t deserve to be messed up in that way.” He went on to discuss their most recent “moment” and how great it was that they got to have that, despite them going their separate ways. He ended with, “I was a fan of the dynamic and I’m a fan of where that story has gone to now.”
Bonus scoop: We also caught up with Plec at the event, where she calmed our fears about losing the feminine side of the show in Rebekah’s absence. “The beauty of the Mikaelson brothers is that they both have a very aggressive, alpha-male side to them and a delicate, feminine side as well,” she said. “You don’t necessarily need a woman in the mix to get the emotion and heart out of their relationship.”
That said, Plec touted the other women in the cast, and promised more story for them in the future. “We have this beautiful ensemble of women…and they’re starting to come into their own as characters,” she said “And we’re going to explore them as well.”
Watch the entire panel below:
The Originals airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.