Also wonderful to talk to was executive producer Julie Plec, who gave us some hints about what we should be looking out for when The Originals begins this fall. So without further ado, read on to find out six things we discovered from our talk with her...
The Originals is more grown-up than The Vampire Diaries
Julie told us that The Originals takes the "tonal foundation" from The Vampire Diaries - but then "graduates it to the next level, from adolescence to adulthood". If that wasn't enough, she promised that it'll be "darker", "more gothic", "a bit more operatic" and even "a lot more visceral in its violence", which sounds just a little bit exciting.
Julie also promised that we'll be getting more flashbacks - to help us find out about "the history of these people, who have obviously been alive for so long" - but it's not all frights and freak-outs. Julie told us that The Originals will be "tremendously and deeply emotional": "I keep calling it a family drama and I mean it. I mean, not to soften the genre - the genre will be there in spades - but it really is a show about the power of family and the lengths you go to to protect it and how deep the wounds are when you betray it." Which sounds kind of epic to us.
Just because he's the lead now, don't expect Klaus to go all soft on us
We thought Klaus might lose a bit of his edge now that he's the lead in his very own television show, but fear not - he's going to be just as dastardly as ever! "On The Vampire Diaries you had three years to fall madly in love with him - love him and hate him at the same time," Julie said. "And new viewers coming into this in the beginning might just hate his guts for a little while!"
She added that Klaus will continue to behave in "wicked, wicked ways": "He's not the hero of the show in the true definition of the word. He is because it's his redemption that we're seeking, so he's the anti-hero, the villain in transformation, however you want to look at it. But he still does some stupid stuff! He still acts out, he's still diabolical in ways that you're just like, 'Dude, pull it together'." What a relief.
The Originals ain't just about the Originals... or even just vampires
If you thought this was a vampire-based show, you might want to think again: "We have the witch community and ultimately down the road the werewolf community, that we'll explore with Hayley's quest to find answers about her family," Julie said. And that's not all - there's "a human contingency" too, which starts with Leah Pipes's character Cami, but which Julie vowed "will grow and grow and grow".
"It is really a battle for territory and all brought back around to the idea of, 'This is our home and we have to fight for it and we don't want you here'," Julie teased. "So I hope that [fans] get as invested in the ensemble as they ultimately did on The Vampire Diaries." But while Julie admitted it took a while for people like Tyler and Caroline to get "fleshed out" ("It wasn't until we were able to explore them supernaturally that we really got to know them as people"), you might become fond of the characters in The Originals more quickly. "Here we get to dive right in and create a world of great, vivid characters from the get go," Julie revealed.
Marcel is a totally different villain from Klaus
The problem with having a character like Klaus is that he's kind of, well, invincible. So how on Earth do you go about finding a worthy adversary for him? "That was the challenge," Julie admitted. "Klaus - even just that accent, he's evil and delicious and he can be funny and he can be cruel, and Joseph is so good at it. So we were like, 'Who the hell is going to one, hold his own as an actor and two, be a very different villain?'"
With that on their minds, the writers came up with Marcel - who completely won us over in the backdoor pilot. "We thought of him as a Lenny Kravitz type," Julie said. "Life of the party - 'Come on in, hey man, we're all friends here' - and he'll just almost play in opposition to Klaus." How so, exactly? "Klaus will lure you in with a sly little grin, whereas Marcel will open you with a big warm smile but then - boom - stab you in the back," Julie grinned. Oh, and she said it was pretty easy to find Charles Michael Davis, who plays Marcel. "[He] is the dream embodiment of what we thought the character would be, so it worked out perfectly," she said.
Klaus and Caroline shippers? Don't lose hope just yet...
Who didn't melt when Klaus told Caroline in the Vampire Diaries finale that he might not be her first love but he intends to be her last? We'll admit that we got slightly worried that this epic love could screech to a grinding halt with Klaus off in New Orleans, but maybe we were too hasty to be anxious. "Knowing that the spinoff might happen, we didn't want to make a bunch of false promises that we couldn't deliver on," Julie said. "But we also didn't want to say, 'Oh, none of what you saw matters'. We didn't want to brush it aside."
So what does that mean? Well, no promises, but a certain Miss Forbes could possibly be making her way to the French Quarter at some point in the future. "Our challenge will be how can we keep her in that world as a notion and an idea," Julie said. "And then hopefully, eventually, a person in Caroline form can stop by doing a spot. That comes down to scheduling, logistics etc... I'm keeping my fingers crossed." Us too!
Settle in - The Originals could be here to stay!
Julie has big plans for this show - she thinks we could be hanging out in New Orleans for years to come! "I know for a fact that if this only went 13 [episodes] it would be the greatest miniseries of all time," she said (which in itself is amazing). "But it would be by no means the end. It would just be the end of a chapter that could then grow and become another chapter and add another layer. There is so much."
Julie added: "New Orleans and the French Quarter specifically is its own version of a small town, so if you think small-town drama, family drama and then you layer supernatural on top of that and weave it through, you can do that forever. So we're not going to put any limits on ourselves as far as how long we think the series could go." Bring. It. On.
The Originals premieres on October 15 on The CW.