After having a great roundtable interview with Julie Plec, our table sat around for a while waiting. Time was running thin and we still hadn’t talked to both Michael and Candice. They both ended up at our table at the same time, thus not giving us the promised full amount of time with each. Michael arrived first and Candice snuck in a minute later. Michael left while Candice answered a few questions. I’ll indicate which actor answered which question just to minimize confusion. I’ll also indicate which questions were mine. I again was extremely fortunate to get in quite a few (a rarity at these things).
We had a little chance to talk casually with Michael before getting started. He first noticed the two new iPad 2s that were at the table and was quite impressed (as was I, staring at my original iPad in shame). He has been busy in his off time. He’s been spending time in LA taking care of business and doing photo shoots and after this event will be heading to Eyecon in Atlanta. “Tyler is hopefully on his way back soon,” he said in response to when he’ll be shooting again. After that, we were ready to begin with the questions. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too many with Michael.
What was it like working with Nestor Carbonell?
“Oh God I love Nestor. Nestor’s great. He’s such a professional but a very nice human being. He’s professional but super nice and down to earth. He’s really a cool guy, genuine person.
(Alice) I got to sit down and talk to you at the San Diego Comic Con.
Michael:Oh really? that was fun. That was my first one. It was crazy but it was so much fun. You going to go this year?
Michael: Hopefully they will send me but I’d love to go.
When you were there, you knew you were going to be a werewolf. Now, you’re a werewolf. What’s it been like filming those scenes?
Michael: It’s great, it’s fun. The transformation scene was just exhausting. It took a lot out of me. Two 14 hour days non-stop. It’s rough and it’s not easy at all. Everything else, it flows and the way that they’ve written the story everything’s making sense. They just didn’t rush into it and say “Okay, it’s season two just snap into a werewolf.” There was a big, long grueling transformation and I appreciated that. They didn’t rush it.
(Alice) Are they planning on making you go through more of that?
Michael: I would imagine but I’m hoping it’s not as bad. We’ve already had that one major first transformation so I hope it’s not as serious as that. Maybe they can cut to certain things and cut that.
(Alice) Since Candice is here, can you both talk about the Tyler/Caroline/Matt love triangle?
(both smile at each other). Michael: Well I would say that whenever Tyler returns that’s going to be a big storyline I think because that has to be resolved but Candice has told me on record that she likes working with me better than Zach Roerig. (Entire table laughs, including Candice). You can ask her, who do you like to work with better? (turns his attention to Candice).
Candice: (she laughs from being on the spot) I like to work with Paul Wesley. (Everyone laughs again). No, I love all you boys.
Michael: Yeah, you do. I know.
Candice: It’s a boys club, I’m starting to realize.
Michael: You hold your ground.
Candice: Well we have to.
Michael: Yeah, you do. (asks the entire table) Hasn’t she? (Everyone nods yes). She’s a badass.
(Alice – To Candice) You’re more badass as a vampire now.
Candice: It’s been really fun. Some people have made us look really cool.
(Alice) When you read that script for the first time. We’re you like, “I’m a what?”
Candice: I had gotten a call from Kevin explaining what was going to happen. He gave me a heads up. At the end of season two, episode one, Caroline does get suffocated. So he just wanted to give me a little bit of a notice what they were planning on the next couple of episodes. And I recognize it as a great opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity. It’s been a heck of a season ever since. Very fun.
(Alice) It’s been great to watch. Your character is getting a lot more screen time.
Candice: It’s been such a great learning experience throughout this entire season. It’s been fun to go to work everyday. It’s always fun to go to work just for the people and the experience and to be working is always a great thing. You can’t beat that as an actor or actress to be so excited about what you get to do. That’s a testament to the writers and what they’ve done being that it’s a second season of a show. I cannot speak for everyone but I feel personally I’m being constantly surprised, excited, and intrigued by all the scripts coming out. And even with the scripts that are finishing off the season I cannot believe that it’s been almost two years in Atlanta and I’m still getting scripts and I’m still sneaking like a vulture around all the different departments heads being like “Well, what does my script say? What are these pink sheets that we’re talking about?” I think that’s a testament to what’s going on in the writer’s room.
I think one of the most interesting things about the show, especially your two characters that could have so easily spiraled down into cliche characters are actually far more complex that most supporting characters. The show in its second season has given them great ways spotlight not just a traditional character arc but all of the nuances and textures available with those two characters that you normally don’t secondary characters. How does that work in terms of your perspective of how you work with the other actors and writing teams?
Candice: To be quite honest, we’re really only a couple of episodes ahead of what’s on television. Again, it really is a testament to them (the writers) and what they’re doing and maybe I could say that they’re watching a heck of a lot of footage getting to know us as actors throughout the season but they really have developed these characters so well. My favorite about it is that even though it is a supernatural show and it is a genre show anytime breaking down scripts and breaking what the character is going through it can be very humanized. So I think that’s the most important thing that’s kept it relatable to the audience.
(Alice) You and Michael, do you have that fear that you’re going to open that script and go “Uh oh, I’m dead.”
Candice: Constantly! (laughs). Some people call it anxiety for the life. No I mean, it was something that was told to us from day one. “Welcome to Atlanta, and then anyone can die.”
It killed me when they killed Pearl.
Candice: I know! It is hard to watch and it is a scary thing. Luckily it’s nothing like, “Oh we’re going to find out within the episode.” When they know they let us know, whenever that is throughout the creative process. It’s just part of it. As an actor is it scary? Yes it is. As a TV fanatic and a viewer I think it’s important that it gets bad ass and I think it’s very exciting when they do that to the show. But, it does keep you on your toes. And it also creates opportunities. When you get to third, fourth, and fifth seasons and all of a sudden you say, well everyone’s dated everyone, everyone’s fought with everyone, everyone’s kind of gotten along, and that thing is you need fresh faces. In life fresh faces come out.
With that Candice was taken along with the others to the panel. We all gathered our things and headed to the ballroom ourselves. We enjoyed an entertaining hour starting with clips and then the session. Julie, Candice, Michael during both the press session and panel seemed loose and genuinely pleased to be there. We fans were certainly grateful they were able to come and can’t wait for April 7th to get here, when The Vampire Diaries returns from hiatus.