'The Vampire Diaries': Taylor Kinney on Mason's journey and his love for Katherine
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Here lies the body of Mason Lockwood (Taylor Kinney). And over there, across the room, that's his heart, which Damon (Ian Somerhalder) ripped out during the last episode. After coming to Mystic Falls for his brother's funeral and then revealing himself to really be after a moonstone and Katherine's (Nina Dobrev) heart, Mason got the unfortunate honor of being the first character to get killed off the show this season.
This past Friday, Taylor Kinney chatted with Show Tracker about Mason's death, whether Katherine and Mason were genuinely in love, a possible return, and what his death means for Tyler (Michael Trevino). Hint: It's not good.
When you signed up for the show, did you know your character would have such an untimely death so early on?
Yeah. I knew the outline. I knew what the creators, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec -- I knew what they wanted to do. But it was loose, so I didn't know the details of it until maybe a few weeks leading up to the episode that we saw on Thursday. It was a surprise to see, but I knew where they were going with the character, so it wasn't completely out of left field.
Yeah. I think that's just a courtesy where you're doing a job and you don't want to find out that you're going to get your heart ripped out by the janitor. You want to know for sure beforehand. I knew, and I'm happy with the way it was done, the way it was written and everything that we brought to it. Working with Ian [Somerhalder] on that and Kat [Graham] and Steven McQueen, I think we made the most out of that scene and gave him a good farewell.
Was it hard keeping this secret from the cast? I'm assuming they didn't know you had only signed up for this many episodes.
Yeah. But like I said, the writers have an outline and it's pretty loose, but they stick to it. It does deviate. They have an idea of where they want to go and they take characters -- You have a storyline going one way, and then something happens that people didn't see coming either with the chemistry with a couple characters, with a storyline, or something they never saw in the first place where they're like, “Oh, this is working really well. Let's try this and go here.” That's what I mean by it being loose. I knew all along how it was going to be and about how long Mason was going to be hanging out in Mystic Falls, but then again, you never know. And you never know in the future. It is a supernatural show, so... Anything goes in Mystic Falls.
You got your heart ripped out by Damon.
Can you believe that?!
As far as death scenes go, that's pretty dramatic. Did you enjoy that exit?
I think it was great. It was shot in maybe three separate pieces. I remember sitting in that chair all day. Hours and hours and hours. We tried a lot of different things with it. The end was how it was going to be. That was written. We were going to stick to that. But just the things that we did that day and everything that was brought to it, I think we really captured it. The director, John Behring, did an amazing job on that episode. The writers too. I was really pleased with it. It kind of would have sucked if I was just walking down the street and Damon summoned some ridiculous powers and had lightening strike me and I turn to dust. It was better than something like that.
Do you think Mason and Katherine were really in love?
It doesn't matter. It's like if one person is in love with another person, it doesn't really matter if it's reciprocated or not, if the one person loves the other person. It's that person's love. What I think burned Mason the most was just that Katherine had a hand in working him over. Then again, he didn't trust her in the first place. It didn't vanish that love though. He loved her, and he was open about it. And he meant it. Whether she reciprocated, I think, is irrelevant in terms of where he stood. Like he wanted her to, but even if she didn't, it wouldn't have stopped him from loving her. I think that if he were to come back... It's one of those crimes of passion where you hear these ridiculous stories in the news and in real life about a husband or vice versa, a wife, killing one another. That happens in real life and you think, “How the hell could that happen if these people love each other?” It's because of that. Even if Mason were to come back and he got the chance for revenge, he would get it out of love, not out of hate. He'd try to kill her, but because he loved her, not because he hated her. It was tragic, and I think it was poetic.
What do you think Katherine is up to with the moonstone and needing a werewolf?
I wish I knew. [Laughs] I wish I knew what she was doing.
Mason put the moonstone in a well full of vervain.
Yeah. He doesn't trust [Katherine].
Do you think he was trying to keep it away from Katherine in particular?
I think anyone in general. It's like, what's the one safe place? I think he knew Tyler wasn't going to go fishing for it. He gave it to him. It was in safe keep there. It was somewhere on the property where he knew he could get to. It is exactly that. He didn't want her to find out. Or he didn't want Stefan or Damon to find out. It was probably the safest place he could think of. He should have put it in his pocket.
How do you think Mason's death is going to affect Tyler?
I think Tyler is going to flip out. I don't know. He doesn't have a choice. Mason did. He got distracted, but he really was there and he really did care for Tyler. That's his blood. After Mason losing his brother, Tyler losing his father, Mason came back. Yeah, he had other things he wanted to do, but he sees a lot of himself in Tyler. He doesn't want to see him mess up the way he did. So yeah, I think Tyler's going to flip. Having his father die and then having someone who comes in as a father figure -- not trying to fill his own father's shoes, but someone who represents the head of the family, a male there, and someone who takes a liking to him, wants to hear what he has to say and tries to show him a past that will lead to something positive and productive in his life. To have that taken away, I can't imagine he's going to be able to keep it together much longer. I think everyone should keep an eye on Tyler. I think he's going to have his share of stories to tell.
Do you have a favorite scene or memory from shooting the show?
The whole thing –- I just felt like a kid in a candy store. The whole time, it was great. As an actor, some of my favorite things to work on are night exterior scenes. Any time that we're on location and shooting at night, it's just magic. I got to do that so many times working on “Vampire Diaries” that it filled my hat. I think those experiences coupled with the cast, the crew. Everybody involved just made it all worthwhile. I had a blast.
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Don't mess with Katherine. Seriously.
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Photos: Taylor Kinney as Mason; Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tortures Mason. Credit: Bob Mahoney / The CW; Quantrell Colbert / The CW