The Originals: Leah Pipes pitches a Cami spin-off
For two and a half years, Cami was the token human of The Originals. She was armed with nothing but her psychology degree and her charm, and yet somehow, that seemed to be all Klaus Mikaelson needed to keep her safe. But now that she’s a vampire, will Klaus still find himself drawn to Cami? And will Cami retain any of her humanity?
We spoke with Leah Pipes about what fans can expect from the new Cami.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, I’m so happy you’re alive! Not only alive but now…
LEAH PIPES: I’m a whole new woman. Death looks good on Cami.
My favorite part of people transitioning to vampires is suddenly they wear 10 times as much eyeliner. Does that happen with her?
Yeah, she does wear 10 times the amount of eyeliner — but that’s really just because that was my personal choice. I was like, ‘Does this mean I get to wear eyeliner?”‘ And everyone’s like, ‘Not really.’ I’m like, ‘No it does, I can wear eyeliner now. I’m making that a character choice.’ It’s just the girls that want to wear the eyeliner; it has nothing to do with the vampire transition thing. [Laughs]
What was your reaction when they first came to you and said Cami’s going to be a vampire. Were you bummed about losing the human Cami or was this something you’d been waiting for?
I quite literally leapt for joy when the executive producer told me that. I was overly excited; I think I freaked him out with my excitement. Yeah I mean you’re kind of always waiting for that on the show. She has very little power because she’s a brand new vampire, but having a little bit more than just being a human was very exciting.
We’ve seen many an individual become a vampire, and it’s always interesting to see which aspects of their personalities become amplified. How does vamp Cami differ? Which part of her personality are heightened?
Well, we started bringing up in a few episodes prior that she had a dark side she’s sort of kept under wraps. That side definitely shines through much more prominently with all of her senses heightened, so you see a darker side to her that she embraces, almost to an extreme degree that is not necessarily a good thing.
Were you at all worried that Cami would become the Ripper of The Originals?
That wouldn’t be a worry of mine; that would be a wonderful joy. [Laughs] As an actor that would be awesome. That actually isn’t a worry for any actor. Everyone wants to be the villain.
How does this transition affect her feelings for Klaus?
I think that adds complications in all aspects of her life, becoming a vampire. It changes a lot. And we’ll see how it affects all aspects of her life and of course it also affects her relationships.
I’m wondering if she’s going to be willing to accept his darkness now that she’s a bit darker.
Yes. She says I’ve tried to get you to be something else but you’re exactly who you are meant to be, so she’s basically embracing him, and you see on his face that maybe he didn’t want someone to embrace him, maybe he wants someone who continues fighting for the good side of him.
Is he going to become her mentor?
Yes, which you know, if you’re going to have a mentor to be a vampire, it might as well be Klaus Mikaelson. But at the same time, it’s probably the worst mentor you could have.
I found myself hoping that Hayley would mentor her and then they could go hang out.
You’re going to see a lot of people take her under their wing because I think as a human she made so many friends she truly cared about. So now that she’s in this transition, everyone wants to help her, help her through it and see her do well.
I also love Cami and Vincent. Now that they’re both more powerful, what is that relationship like now that they’re both in new roles?
It’s funny that was actually a topic of discussion in an upcoming scene of how do we interact now. And we’re still exploring that as characters. I think this transition — as people grow and change in life and obviously it’s even more of an extreme in this show as people gain actual supernatural powers — it just kind of complicates somewhat simple friendships and I think through Cami and Vincent you kind of see that. You see a simple friendship be complicated by newfound power.
She made this big vow to help the city, finish what uncle started. So are we going to see her become more involved in the politics of New Orleans?
I think so. She wants to be powerful for the powerless and she really still feels for them because she was powerless for so long, so you see, it’s more like she’s turned into some sort of vigilante more-so than an evil, selfish, crazy person.
I love vampire vigilante, that has a fun ring to it!
Right? I actually like that too, I feel like that’s the spin-off, right? Get on it, CW.
It’s like all their best things: Vampires and superhero shows in one!
I know! Well I’m going to pitch it. I’ll go into the CW offices and I’ll pitch it.
Just say “vampire vigilante” and walk out.
And then just walk out. Just mic drop like you’re welcome guys. That’s all I’m saying. [Laughs]
You’ve been human for two and a half seasons. Now you’re a vamp. What is your dream scene or is there something that someone’s gotten to do that you want to do now?
I want what Joe and Gillies got! I want my own spin-off. [Laughs] I mean this is such an actor-y thing to say: I love my lines but sometimes Daniel [Gillies] and Joseph [Morgan] will get these epic monologues that are so beautiful it’s like reading Shakespeare. I would love one of those. Cami gets great monologues, but they’re not like these Shakespearean sonnets.
She becomes a vampire and gets this crazy wisdom.
Yeah, that’s what I want. Granted, I think the memorization of those are a little bit more difficult, so be careful what you wish for, I guess.
The Originals airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.