Vampire Diaries: Michael Trevino on whether we'll see Tyler again
With one season left in The Vampire Diaries’ run, we decided it was time to start collecting everyone’s final diary entries. Every week during the final season, EW is asking those involved with the show to look back on one of their favorite moments from the series. So grab your tissues and join us on this trip down a vampire-filled memory lane.
This week, Michael Trevino remembers Tyler Lockwood…
When I booked Vampire Diaries, I was so happy to be working that, at the time, I was such an overachiever. I went and had bought the books and started reading them. I did some research online and found out Tyler is eventually going to become a werewolf. I remember I was on a plane from Los Angeles to Vancouver to shoot the pilot and I was sitting next to [showrunner] Julie Plec and I had the books on me. I remember she looked at me and she was like, “You don’t need to read that. We’re not going to stick to that a lot.” I was like, “Oh, okay. Alright.” Did I know he would become a werewolf? Yes. But did I know when it was going to happen and how it was going to happen? No.
I’ll always remember the first werewolf transformation, which happened in season 2, because for Tyler, he was in season 1, but we were introducing our main leads. So for me, things didn’t really start clicking and moving aggressively, no pun intended, until season 2, and when it did, it had to be that first werewolf transformation just because we shot that over two days. It took two full days just to achieve that sequence.
I remember there was a lot of prep that went on because it was season 2 and we were trying to figure out how do we do this, how do we accomplish this and have it not be cheesy? It was new to us; we had never done anything like that on the show before so we were entering a whole new world different from the witches and vampire story lines. I just can remember for me personally it was the most I was being challenged to really dig deep, to bring out this emotional, physical performance. I’ll never forget that because that was two grueling days. It was the beginning of Tyler’s journey. That was its inception. I’ll never forget it.
In the beginning, Tyler was a bit of a prick. He had all this pent-up rage in him. But that was season 1, and then season 2 we learn about this werewolf curse, and then once Klaus came into town, it became a whole different story line with the love triangle and becoming a hybrid. I was fortunate enough to be able to expand on the character in different ways.
I remember working with Joseph Morgan a good amount and it was when Tyler was sired, so he was kind of in this submissive role to Klaus. Joseph Morgan’s a great actor and I enjoy working with him. I would have liked to do all those one-on-one scenes with him all over again because I feel like we could’ve played around with it a bit more. I say that now because it was a few years ago, now that time has passed, I would’ve loved to revisit those scenes with Joseph Morgan and really just have more fun with them and see where it goes. He’s such a committed actor.
When Damon killed Tyler in season 8, I understood that that was more than likely Tyler’s journey. He’s always been surrounded by death. The Grim Reaper has always been close by, and no matter what, your end game is probably always going to be death. What I didn’t expect was like, okay so I’m going to show up and as soon as I show up, I’m going to be headed out. That was a little different. But having had multiple conversations with Julie Plec, I realized that it’s actually very important for Tyler to die because it services everybody else’s story line and the whole overall story line moving forward. I knew it had to happen. The season isn’t over yet. Filming is still currently happening; nobody ever really dies on Vampire Diaries.
Being a part of this show has literally changed my life and it will forever be a part of me. I will always be associated with it. I remember when we moved out to Atlanta to do the show, there was maybe only one other production going on at the time. It forced us all, cast and crew, to come together and explore the city but also get work done. Each and every one of them is family to me, truly. Looking back, I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this Vampire Diaries family.
–As told to Samantha Highfill
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.