If it feels like Joseph Morgan Month, that’s because it pretty much is. Not only does his handsome face adorn the month of April in the official 2013 Vampire Diaries calendar, but also XLrator Media has acquired the rights to his movie Warhouse and the film he directed (Revelation starring Persia White) has been accepted into the New York City International Film Festival. And the biggest reason to dub April 2013 as Mister Morgan’s shining moment? The backdoor pilot to TVD’s highly-anticipated spin-off series — The Originals — airs on Thursday (April 25th) on The CW, and we have all the juicy details on what’s coming up for Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah when they relocate to New Orleans.
Tune in to our exclusive interview with Joseph below!
Alloy Entertainment: Congrats on the pilot! On a scale of one to ten fangs, how wicked does Klaus get in the Big Easy?
Joseph Morgan: Now do you mean ‘wicked’ in my English sense of the word, or ‘wicked’ as in how evil does he get?
Alloy Entertainment: Ha! Let’s stick to “evil” for the time being.
Joseph Morgan: (Laughs) Oh, man. That’s interesting. I haven’t been asked that before. And, for certain reasons which will become very clear when you watch the episode, I think that he makes some of the most evil choices he has ever made — certainly one of them. Given the circumstances he’s presented with, he is psychologically and emotionally more evil than we’ve ever seen him. (Pauses) But then he should be, shouldn’t he? I mean, this is a supernatural show. We have to raise the stakes and go as far as we can. (Laughs) But yea, hes absolutely taking no prisoners in that sense.
Alloy Entertainment: TVD has a central love triangle at its core. Will one be established in “The Originals” as well?
Joseph Morgan: Possibly. I know that they love the love triangles, but there isn’t one in the pilot. I mean, there could be. I could see how they might bring that in with the characters, but that’s not something we’ve talked about. Actually, when the first three of us — Gillies, Phoebe and I — committed to the pilot, people immediately assumed, ‘Oh, there we go. Two brothers, a beautiful girl. It’s a love triangle alright.’ But I don’t know if there will be one in the series. Potentially, I suppose.
Alloy Entertainment: While it might not be of the romantic variety, there’s definitely another sort of triangle to look forward to — the constant power struggle among Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah. Should we expect any heartfelt or epic Original family moments? Will there be any flashbacks in the pilot?
Joseph Morgan: There’s no flashbacks because the episode is so jam-packed with new characters. Even New Orleans itself is a huge character on the show — it’s very vibrant and present as are the people there. However, we can expect the most…(Laughs)…the most extreme….How can I describe this without revealing too much? There’s a family moment in the pilot that will rock all of them to the very core. It’s something that will change the dynamic of the family forever. Also, in terms of the triangle between the three of them, at the moment it’s very much a straight line with Klaus on one end, Rebekah on the other end, and Elijah in the middle. That’s how I’d align them.
Alloy Entertainment: Well, you must be psychic because you touched upon our next question. What would say is the biggest difference between New Orleans as a setting versus Mystic Falls?
Joseph Morgan: The director, Chris Grismer, wanted to exploit the vivaciousness of [New Orleans] so, in tone, it’s a much more colorful show. It still retains the shadowy quality of The Vampire Diaries, but it has more vibrancy to it. This goes for the music as well. New Orleans is filled with wonderful jazz, blues, and all sorts of live performances. We very much wanted to embrace that. And we had to embrace that while filming. For example, people are allowed to drink in the streets there and we couldn’t force them to be quiet or force them to do exactly what we wanted. [NOLA] is very much a place that has its own rules so we wanted to capture its vigor, and I really think this comes across in the pilot. It’s a very different, much more lively town.
Also, Vampire Diaries is a very coming-of-age story and The Originals focuses more on characters who have embraced their true nature and relish the fact that they are vampires. There’s less guilt and remorse.
Alloy Entertainment: Wow. That’s a great distinction to point out — how TVD is more of a “rites of passage” show whereas the spin-off would delve more into the hedonistic lifestyles of these vamps.
Joseph Morgan: That’s exactly what it is. Hedonism is a beautiful way to describe it. There are even specific scenes in the pilot which I would describe it as, “Yea! There’s a hedonistic vampire party.” (Laughs) The Originals has a really Babylonian quality to it.
Alloy Entertainment: Just like you and Charles Michael Davis, Klaus and Marcel have been long-time friends. However, we sense tension between them. What’s their dynamic like?
Joseph Morgan: Well, first of all Charles [Michael Davis] is magnificent on the show. By the middle of the season, if we get picked up, the show is going to be centered around Marcel rather than Klaus. He just killed it. I saw the pilot recently and he’s just absolutely fantastic. He currently must have 8 or 9 thousand twitter followers and I can’t wait to see, after the episode airs, his tremendous rise in new followers and fans. He just plays an exuberant character and the dynamic between [Marcel] and Klaus is one of the most interesting in the show, I think, due to the history that exists between them.
And so, for me, their camaraderie is as intriguing as the complex relationship among the Original siblings because Marcel and Klaus are people who simultaneously love and hate each other. Even within the episode, their dynamic has its own arc and, certainly, if the series gets picked up there will be more to explore. And it would be a crying shame if the character of Marcel was never seen on television again after this episode, because Charles really did something special with this role.
Alloy Entertainment: Oh, we totally agree with that last point. Charles is basically the heartthrob of New Orleans.
Joseph Morgan: (Laughs) So handsome — damn it — with his huge smile!
Alloy Entertainment: Aside from Charles, there are a lot of new faces in The Originals pilot. What was it like working alongside Danielle Campbell, Leah Pipes, and Daniella Pineda?
Joseph Morgan: It was an incredible experience! First of all, I love everyone in my new cast. I don’t know them all very well though so that may change in the future, but right now I love everyone. (Laughs) Daniella is just really, really funny and she posts these hilarious sketches on YouTube under the name DW Diaz. You have to look them up. She’s just doesn’t take herself too seriously, which is wonderfully refreshing and so that was a lot of fun.
As for Leah who plays Camille, I filmed my favorite scene with her. It’s later on in the episode and I don’t really say much, but I think it’s some of the best acting I’ve done. I don’t know what you guys will think but to me, that scene stood out. For me, she was really solid. She made some interesting choices as an actress and came across so strong in the pilot.
I haven’t acted yet with Danielle, but I adore her as a person. I did happen to see her scene in the pilot when we pitched to the networks and she’s amazing. Also, she’s ridiculously beautiful. To me, she resembles a young Katie Holmes. She should be made of porcelain. (Laughs)
Alloy Entertainment: It’s truly such a talented cast. We can’t wait to see everyone action!
Joseph Morgan: It feels like a show full of real actors. I know that The CW has a reputation for being a network of pretty people, but to me it felt like talented actors working together, which was so fun, so good.
Alloy Entertainment: Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) will also be popping up in New Orleans in [TVD] episode 4.20. Will we witness any interesting interactions between her and Klaus, especially after their steamy hookup?
Joseph Morgan: It’s absolutely made reference to in the pilot and we do share screen time. Not loads of screen time but is there a scene between the two. And what they’ve done with that hookup is give our characters a sort of history to draw upon and something very awkward and interesting to refer to. We’ll definitely see that as well as some of the aftermath of how they’re feeling about [their hookup], which is a very human moment in a supernatural show.
Alloy Entertainment: We know that you can’t tell us if Caroline is coming to New Orleans or not. However, if she did happen to visit what ideal day would Klaus plan for just the two of them?
Joseph Morgan: First of all, let me say, [Klaus' relationship with Caroline] is made reference to in the pilot. It’s not as though the writers brushed past it and all of a sudden it’s like ‘Hey! He’s forgotten her now that he’s with his old pals and meeting new people. Hey!’ But I think that he would want to do what he’s always said to her, which is to show her the world. He’d be so enamored with the idea of introducing her to the arts and the music and all of the aspects that make New Orleans a culturally rich city. Just like he promised her when he saved her life on her birthday in [TVD] Season 3, there’s a whole world out there waiting for her and he wants to be the one to show it to her. I think he would have a wonderful time playing tour guide. Absolutely.
Alloy Entertainment: And just for kicks, what’s the juiciest fact about yourself that not a lot of people know yet?
Joseph Morgan: (Laughs) I’ve revealed everything of ‘slight juice’ that I’m willing to at this point. But I’ll tell you something else — the juiciest fact about Klaus that viewers don’t know yet is going to revealed in The Originals pilot, which will be very exciting to see. I’m not sure what the one about me would be although, if there’s anything about myself that I haven’t shared yet, then it’s probably never going to be revealed.
Stay connected with Joseph Morgan by following his official twitter account at @JosephMorgan, and be sure to support the baddest hybrid around (King Klaus!) by tuning in to The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 20 (which will serve as The Originals backdoor pilot) on April 25th on The CW!