Exclusive Interview: Zach Roerig Talks Prom, Graduation, & What’s Next for Matt Donovan in Season 4

Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan in The Vampire Diaries Season 4

Photo Credit: The CW

Have you ever freaked out during a conversation over a total misunderstanding? Well, while chatting with Vampire Diaries cast member Zach Roerig on Friday (April 12th), the easy-going actor almost gave us a heart attack. “Just packing up a suitcase,” he stated when we asked him how his day was going. We immediately jumped the gun and assumed his casual update meant that poor Matt Donovan was being killed off the show. Thankfully (and embarrassingly so), we overreacted. Zach clarified that he was just heading to the TVD fan convention in Las Vegas and our breathing returned to normal. (Phew!) And because he is an amazing guy on and off set, he made up for our momentary palpitations by providing us with juicy new details about The Vampire Diaries Season 4!

Zach not only teased prom and graduation, but he also filled us on in on Matt’s future in Mystic Falls and what his biggest hopes for his character are. Tune in to our exclusive interview with the talented Mister Roerig below to get the scoop on upcoming TVD events!

Alloy Entertainment: Your character has had to deal with really tough scenes in Season 4. How did you prepare for Matt’s heartbreaking moments in “Stand by Me,” especially the one where he’s crying alone in his pickup truck? A lot of viewers were raving about your performance on Twitter that night!
Zach Roerig: (Laughs) I should probably check my Twitter more often. To be honest, I didn’t watch the episode live that night. I actually recently just watched it because my sister persuaded me to. As for those scenes, they required a couple days of preparation. There’s all sorts of processes that actors use but, for me, any time my character breaks down, a lot of it is pulled from my true emotions for that person. I do really love Steven McQueen. I do really love all my co-stars like brothers and sisters. 

Alloy Entertainment: Speaking of Steven, did the cast and crew do anything special his departure?
Zach Roerig: No, because on this show you’re never really gone.

Alloy Entertainment: We’re very excited about TVD prom! Who is Matt going with? And is going to have a better time than he did at the Original ball?
Zach Roerig: Matt’s definitely going to have a much better time than he did at the Original ball. He’s going with a couple of really good friends [Editor’s note: Caroline and Bonnie.] I can’t say too much, but it was exciting putting on a tux and seeing my cast mates in their beautiful dresses. Plus, Matt does have fun and even a hand in saving the day. 

Alloy Entertainment: At the end of the day, Matt’s usually the hero.
Zach Roerig: (Laughs) The human hero who’s all beat up and trying to put himself back together.

Alloy Entertainment: Aww! Well he’s been amazing to watch this season.
Zach Roerig: Yea, Matt’s definitely taken on more of a role. He kind of has to. Now that he’s in the circle of trust he needs to get involved or either remove himself completely.

Alloy Entertainment: Last time we interviewed you, Matt was heading to the Originals ball and you raved about the dance lessons you and the cast received. What was the best part about filming the senior prom scenes?
Zach Roerig: I didn’t take any special lessons at all this time. However, the coolest thing about filming the prom scene was that our amazing set department built a barn and the event was held there. And for me, being a Midwestern kid from Ohio, that hit pretty close to home so it was fun filming those scenes.

Alloy Entertainment: What is your fondest moment from your own high school prom?
Zach Roerig: TVD prom is kind of a mirror image of my own prom experience. I went to prom with a couple of good friends instead of a date actually. It was a crazy, crazy, crazy young night many moons ago.

Alloy Entertainment: Tyler gave Matt a mansion. Does this mean there’s a housewarming party in Matt’s future? [Editor’s Note: Thanks to @TeamTSD for the question!]
Zach Roerig: You know, I think there is. I’m not sure when it’s going to happen but I think there’s a party in the works.

Alloy Entertainment: How would you personally decorate Matt’s new digs?
Zach Roerig: I’d decorate the place with a bunch of traditional Irish decorations and colors and Gaelic symbols. However, the first order is to have a kegger in Tyler’s honor. I’m pretty sure Tyler sent Matt a letter asking him to do that. (Laughs)

Alloy Entertainment: Matt and Rebekah will be hanging out at prom and in TVD episode 4.21. In your opinion, should he forgive her for the pain she’s caused him and everyone he loves?
Zach Roerig: I think that at some point Matt will understand why Rebekah caused the [Wickery Bridge] accident and acts the way she does. He has a couple of honest moments with her at prom. There’s still something there and we’ll see how that plays out. I don’t think he’ll ever forget what she did but do I think he’ll forgive her? Yea, I do actually. At this point, everyone’s done a bunch of messed up things so everyone’s conscience is clouded. [Moreover,] everyone has a crazy rationale behind what that they did so a beautiful blonde girl could probably easily persuade Matt.

Alloy Entertainment: Humanity-free Elena is wreaking havoc in Mystic Falls. Will Matt have a hand in helping reel her back in from the darkness?
Zach Roerig:Yes, Matt will always have a hand in bringing Elena back to her humanity because, in a way, that is what Matt is. He is Elena’s humanity.

Alloy Entertainment: Graduation is coming up. Will Matt have anyone cheering him on during his stage walk?
Zach Roerig: No, absolutely not. Matt is pretty much an orphan.

Alloy Entertainment: Oh gosh. That’s so sad!
Zach Roerig: (Laughs) It is really sad. However, he’s not going to be alone. He’s going in support of all his friends and they, in a sense, have become his family. Aside from Caroline Forbes who has her mom, no one has any relatives left and we are essentially each other’s family.

Alloy Entertainment: Where do you hope your character ends up post graduation?
Zach Roerig:Well, as always, alive. And a human still. I like Matt being human. I’d also like to see him get freaking promoted at the Mystic Grill. I mean, for how long does he have to be a waiter and bartender? He should at least become a manager at some point.

Alloy Entertainment: Interestingly enough, we did a post about five villains we’d love to see in Mystic Falls in Season 5, and Matt as the new Mystic Grill manager was one of them. Of course in our minds, he’d take on more of a Corleone attitude and basically run the town.
Zach Roerig: I’m totally into that idea! I think that slowly might start to happen if Matt sticks around because he and Damon and everyone are getting chummier. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Damon turned out to be the major stockholder of Mystic Falls.

Alloy Entertainment: Well, Damon does have the convertible to go along with that image! And, last question. What do you have planned for the summer in terms of trips or projects?
Zach Roerig: I don’t have any concrete plans of now. Currently, I’m in the process of trying to structure out my hiatus, still trying to figure it out. There are many things in the works so hopefully it will be exciting.

Stay connected with Zach by following him on Twitter at @zach_roerig. Then, drop us a comment telling us what you hope Matt Donovan will be up in The Vampire Diaries Season 5!

*Tune in to a new episode of The Vampire Diaries on The CW this Thursday night at 8/7 c!*

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