Hee hee, you get a bonus here.  You see, this is really two interviews combined into one for your viewing pleasure.  The first part was the press table I was at, the second part a colleague.  Either way, Julie gave us some great teasers (as she always does) about the upcoming third season.  No huge spoilers, but if you don’t even want a hint of what’s coming, I don’t advise you read this.  As a big fan of the show though, I’m rather tickled with all we learned here.


What’s going on with Jeremy, and how soon will be find out what the deal is? 
You’ll find out a teensy tiny bit of information about what the deal is from the reel today at the panel, but it’s a story that’s gonna slowly unfold.  It’s going to have both a great supernatural genre element to it but also a really strong emotional element to it which I think is one of the reasons why we wanted to do it because you’ve got this kid that in the second to last episode Elena says “I’m so sorry, you’ve lost so many people” and he has and he’s a kid and it’s all said and done.  His first two loves of his life are now popping around.  Not only will it be cool and creepy also play a little warm and yummy too. 
How much of the accent is going to be on them?
We haven’t laid that out with them.  We definitely want to re-explore some of those relationships that Jeremy had and make it difficult for Bonnie and Jeremy as a couple.  Then of course you’ve got strange people paying strange visits bad things are about to happen.  I think you see them more than once. 
(Alice) The love triangle, or the love square, how much Katherine do we get this year compared to last and are you going to do what the books did where Elena goes toward Damon?
We have a whole journey to explore and thank God because that means that we actually can be on the air for a number of years as far as Elena and her feelings and her relationships with our Salvatore boys.  Katherine last year was our mini bad, she started as the bad and became the mini bad.  She got a lot of showcasing last year.  We definitely haven’t seen the last of her.  It’s just a matter of when we’re going to see her again.  That’s the fun surprise. 
Will Alaric be moving in with the Gilberts?
Alaric’s going to be struggling with this role that he accidentally stepped into at the end of last season where he decided to spend the night.  When we come back for our premiere we’ll see he’s been living on the couch for a little while.  Struggling with suddenly feeling like he doesn’t have enough to offer as a guardian, as a mentor because he himself is going through a hard time in his life.  Will he, won’t he be living there what his relationship with those two will be is part of the story of the first couple of episodes.  
How bad is Stefan going to get?
Bad.  Yeah, he’s got it in him.  He’s pretty hard core when he falls off the edge.  It’s not going to be just one and done with him.  We wanted our hero to go down a really dark road and we’re gonna take him down that dark road for a while.  They’ll be levels of bad that I think Paul Wesley’s ready to explore.  But no, we’re not going to back off with that. 
Do you worry about the line of unredeemable?
I will tell you this.  I decided there was no line when Damon killed Jeremy.  Everyone’s like “Oh, he was just really upset and so sad.” 
A lot of people feel like weren’t upset with that.  
Yeah, there’s a strange overwhelming majority that’s totally fine with that.  It’s surprising for us and good for the character.  We’ll see if the same is true with Stefan or not.  What we don’t want to do is homogenize a hero or a villain by not taking them to the edge.  You’re rolling the dice that your audience will be able to come back from it.  It’ll be risky, it’s very risky and we’ll see how we get him out of the other side.  We sure as Hell will be rooting for him to get out the other side.  Hopefully that will go well.
Does that mean Damon will have to step it up as the good Salvatore brother?  
Yes, much to his chagrin.  By no means will they be swapping personalities.  But yes, Damon unfortunately his I think big beef with Stefan is ‘Hey man, he went off and fell off the edge and now I’ve got to be here cleaning up your mess.’  It’s a nice role reversal for the two brothers, usually it’s the other way around.  Damon isn’t going to be happy about it and he’s certainly not going to go gently into it.  He’s not going to take that role on with much pleasure and comfort.  
(Alice) How about Caroline and um…the werewolf… (yes, brain freeze there)
There’s a show, there’s a werewolf, and a vampire (laughs).  
(Alice) And Matt, how is that going?
For Matt it’s not going so well.  Matt’s had some hard times in life.  I love what he said to her at the end of the season which is, “You know, my life is hard enough without all this stuff, I think I’m going to just to live it and keep myself away from the supernatural.”  But one of the last things we saw at the end of the season of course is his sister Vicki making an appearance to Jeremy.  That’s not going to stay Jeremy’s story line for very long.  I think that Matt, having lost his sister, that’s a big deal.  We might get to see that play out for him. 
Of course Caroline and Tyler they’re got wonderful chemistry those two and the characters have been through so much together.  Tyler’s been exposed to his core and she’s been right there holding his hair back proverbially.  We’ll see where that friendship lasts and how long it just stays friends.  It’s kind of inevitable there’s going to be some naked action happening there eventually.   
Are you going to explore more Caroline and her mother and their relationship?
Absolutely.  We love ourselves some sheriff, and we love the idea of this woman who is charged with protecting the town.  And as Marguerite MacIntyre will say, completely and absolutely and embarrassingly wrong and badly.  But who will have to for now deal with the fact the very thing that was raised to hate is in her daughter.  She’s got a nice level of acceptance for Caroline at the end of the season.  We’ll get to see the fun mother/daughter dynamic now that Caroline’s out in the open and the two of them are living under the same roof.  How do you set those rules?  What’s curfew for your vampire daughter? 
What can you tell us about the start of season 3?
Well I can tell you I did ourselves and our audience a favor at the end of season two by laying out a sampler platter of what was in store.  We’re going to follow through with it. We’ve got Stefan having taken bullet so to speak for Damon as Damon and Elena were trying to reach an understanding in their own friendship that was probably more a little more profound than either were anticipating.  We have Stefan back in the blood, back in the dark with Klaus, we have strange visitations from characters in the past that we lost along the way.  We’ve got a lot of stuff to kick us off, the first of which is being where is Stefan, is he alive, is dead, how can we find him, how can we help him, how can we save him and ultimately can he be or does he want to be saved.   
How did Klaus spend his summer vacation?
I think Klaus and Stefan have kicking their way through the southwest states of America one dive bar at a time.  No, they’ve been on a little bit of a journey and we’ll learn a little bit about that what they’ve been up to, what Klaus wants, why he wants Stefan to do it with him and that’s going to be part of the first couple of episodes.  
Is Tyler still in town and will he stick around?
Yes, Tyler’s around.  Tyler and Caroline are friends.  Very important, they’re “friends.”  There is a moment in the first episode where they admit that the urges that come along with being a supernatural being physically are a little overwhelming.  Last year they were struggling with all the horrible parts of being supernatural entities.  They start to discuss the side effects of being a vampire/werewolf.  There’s a quote, and I haven’t said it before but I think Tyler says “I’m just horny all the time.”  
Are you still having as much fun writing it?
Yes, it is hard, it is exhausting.  Surprisingly it’s getting easier.  It’s not getting easy by any means but I think because we know these characters so well and the audience knows them so well there’s almost a storytelling comfort that you know that the audience is with you on this ride and so they’re gonna be willing to explore things with you on this ride.  When you’re starting a series you have no idea you’re like, we have no idea if someone’s going to like this character or going to hate them and if this story’s going to work.  Now that we’re in the groove and we’re all thinking and breathing like one organic storytelling machine.  It’s not easy, but it’s not as terribly nervous breakdown inducing painful as it was in the beginning.  
Can you say anything about Elijah?
Yes, I can.  I love him.  He might be my favorite character, don’t tell anybody else.  We’ve already said that this is the year that we’re going to explore the origins of the originals.  We’re going to see more about the original family and that will involve our friend Mr. Daniel Gillies at the very least in flashbacks.  
What about the fans that are rooting for Damon and Elena?  
We’re trying to tell the story that we started the show wanting to tell.  It’s a girl has lost a lot of people in her life who finds a warmth and comfort and solace in one brother and then ultimately finds herself the object of affection for another brother.  Elena is growing up.  There is definitely a road that can be traveled between Damon and Elena in the life of this series absolutely.  Right now they’re alone in Mystic Falls without Stefan but also they’re trying desperately to help and rescue Stefan.  Their complicated relationship will only become more complicated very early on and continue to be complicated all season.   
When you killed off certain characters in the past did you alway know you were going to bring them back with Jeremy?   
No, that was something we came up with this year early in the season but when we kill people we say “Sorry, man you’re done.  We love you but you’re done.”  It was more about showing the consequences of Bonnie using too much power and Jeremy who finally is finding himself in this, I say the word functional although it’s completely dysfunctional in that she’s a big powerful witch and he’s a kid with an eternity ring, but there’s something nice about Bonnie and Jeremy and safe and the first thing that we’re doing is screwing that up by having him confronted with people from his past that he actually loved quite a lot and his first love.  You never forget your first love, you never forget your second love.  By the time you get into your third love, you’re like “Meh, whatever.”  (laughs).  
Can you talk a bit about Klaus’ motivations?  We know he’s trying to reproduce.  Are we going to see more of that?
Honestly, there’s got to be some reason why Klaus wanted to be a hybrid that’s more than just “I’m the only one of my kind and doesn’t that make me cool.”  I think that we’ve already seen in his character is that he has a power complex.  Having been rejected by his own family and taking it out on them one dagger at a time I think that we’ll get a window into his desire to build a new family so to speak in the form of can he create more like him? 
That’s creepy.
Yes, it is creepy.  But you know, where one hybrid goes there’s certainly more to follow, I hope, for Klaus’ sake.   




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