The Originals: Leah Pipes talks Cami's death
Spoiler alert: This post contains plot points from the April 29 episode of The Originals.
After an hour of trying to find a way to save her life, The Originals lost its beloved Cami. For three seasons, Cami has been the human, psychologist, bartender, friend, love interest, new vampire, and more. And now, Klaus has lost the woman he loved.
It was an emotional hour for everyone involved, and EW spoke with Leah Pipes about Cami’s farewell, the last scene she filmed, and what’s next for her.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you know that season 3 would be your last?
LEAH PIPES: I luckily have a really great open dialogue with both of the executive producers, but especially Michael Narducci, so at the very beginning of the season, he was very open with me about Cami’s storyline potentially ending in death, but he promised it would be a good death. Often times, it’s oddly better to die than stick around and do nothing on a television show, so to avoid me being stuck on a show and doing nothing, he gave me a really great storyline, a really great arc, and a really great death.
When I spoke with Narducci, we both agreed that it really feels like Cami leaves a legacy on this show.
Well, I hope so. I haven’t brought myself to read any of the scripts after Cami’s death, so I’m just going to watch them with the viewers.
Were you pleased with how she went out? It’s not often a character gets such a lengthy goodbye on this show.
Yeah it was definitely lengthy. I cried the entire table read kind of uncontrollably. [Laughs] I was trying to keep it under wraps but I really couldn’t. It was cathartic for me because I was also saying goodbye to Cami, who has been such a huge part of my life for three years, and I’ll never play her again. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it, but if I had a choice between leaving a legacy versus sticking around and being this forgotten character, I would choose obviously the former and I feel grateful that I got to have that.
You got to do so much in this episode. Did you have a favorite part of her death in terms of what you got to play?
My favorite part of that episode, interestingly enough, was closing my eyes and listening to everyone’s goodbye because they were my friends and it’s so rare that you just close your eyes and get to hear your fellow actors acting. My favorite goodbye was Phoebe’s [Tonkin]. I just remember closing my eyes and listening to her and just thinking, ‘Wow, what an amazing performance,’ and how lucky I’ve been to have such a dear friend and such a wonderful actress to work with for the last three years. It was hard for me to not start crying while being dead. [Laughs]
Cami’s last major arc on the show was her becoming a vampire, so obviously the writers felt it was important for her to go through that before she died. What do you think being a vampire taught her?
I think it taught her how to maybe not judge a book by its cover, for a lack of a better word. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology, but she expected so much from Klaus and she thought it was as easy for him as it was for her, but then after becoming a vampire, I think she saw the world from his eyes and realized how hard it is to rein in your darkness, especially when you turn into a creature of the night. When she became that, she could understand him in a way that she couldn’t before and hopefully, through her understanding him, he was allowed to understand himself, because that’s what the show is about, really, is Klaus understanding himself and maybe someday redeeming himself and maybe someday turning into a hero instead of a villain.
Do you have a favorite Cami story from all three seasons?
I loved so many of her stories. If I had to choose one, it would be her story with her uncle. I really liked working with Todd Stashwick and I miss Cami just being the ingenue human sometimes with her long hair and her flowy dresses and just really getting to play that wide-eyed, innocent girl. And then over the years, she became a little more tough and a little less ignorantly optimistic. I do miss her optimism in season 1.
What was the last scene you filmed?
The last scene I filmed was the scene where Lucien bites me, so it was with Andy Lees in her bedroom, which I thought was really fitting that I got to say goodbye to Cami’s bedroom, a place where I got to have my favorite scene in the whole series, the Marcel-Cami love scene. [Laughs] I only got it once! I kept pitching it again, but they only let me do it once.
That’s the one where you got in trouble for thrusting, is it not?
It is. It’s hard to not thrust upon Charles Michael Davis. I challenge any woman to resist. [Laughs]
What’s next for you?
Well, when God closes a door, hopefully he opens a window. And hopefully that window is like a Shonda Rhimes television show. [Laughs] Shonda, I’m unemployed and I’m waiting for you!
Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies star as Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson in this Vampire Dairies spin-off about the first family of vampires, their life in New Orleans, and the witches and werewolves who live there.