'The Vampire Diaries': Caroline 'recognizes that Tyler needs a Stefan,' says Candice Accola
“You suck.” “Hi, mom.” “Bye, Katherine.”
As newly turned vampire Caroline, Candice Accola has only needed two words to wow viewers this season. Whether she's telling off Damon (Ian Somerhalder), bonding with Stefan (Paul Wesley) -- “I really enjoy those scenes a lot,” says Accola -- or crying with her mom, Caroline's provided one great moment after another in a season full of shocking twists. Recently, Accola talked with Show Tracker about playing a vamp, her character's blossoming relationship with Tyler (Michael Trevino), fighting with costar Nina Dobrev (on camera), and this year's final two episodes, which in typical “Vampire Diaries” fashion, are very dramatic.
“The next couple of episodes that are about to air are pretty heavy,” she says of the Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 outings. “It's really mostly about werewolves and the full moon and the transformation.”
We also chatted about the news of a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” remake. Accola previously told Show Tracker that she's a fan of the original film starring Kristy Swanson. “I love that it’s a bad-ass chick and she’s taking people down and she just seems so cool,” she said. “I’m a very big fan of powerful women and strong women in film and television.”
What's your favorite thing about playing a vampire?
My favorite thing about playing a vampire is the stunts. It's just a new, fun thing to do. Especially as a girl, being able to be all dolled up in heels and little outfits and be able to kick boys' butts, I think it's a really fun, make-believe world to play. This is all completely new. The extension of my stunt work is going to a cardio tai box class. [Laughs] That was my history in stunt work. But they've been really great, our stunt guys, at teaching us what to do and how it all works. It's an interesting thing to watch it in person and to do in person.
Would you say that's also been the most challenging thing about playing this role? Or is there something else you find more challenging?
Yeah. That definitely ups the ante when you've got a lot of emotional things going on and then you've got to bring in the physical things that are now on top of everything. The other thing that I think is a constant challenge is kind of reminding yourself of all the little nuances of vampires and what they're susceptible to doing and becoming. Whether it's your heightened emotions all the time or getting used to your attack face. That's always one that I'm still adapting to is remembering my attack face.
Women vampires on the show tend to not last very long.
I know. Everyone was like, “Aren't you excited?” I was like, “Well, yes, I am. But...” I'm just excited to be able to go and work on the show as long as I'm able to. As long as they're still writing for Caroline. I'm a big television junkie. I love a good cliffhanger. I love when big events happen in shows. I love shows that aren't afraid to take risks and to really do what's best for the story line and realistic for the story line. And the fact that it's a supernatural show with vampires and werewolves and witches –- oh my! –- it's viable that someone is going to die. I think the fact that it could be a main character makes it so much more exciting and just raises the level of anticipation when you're watching the show. As an actor, it's a very scary thing, but as a viewer, an enjoyer of entertainment, I love it. I think it just makes it that much more exciting to watch.
Is there a sense of relief though that you're this far into filming the season and you're still around?
Definitely. It makes me feel better about my dining room table purchase. Things like getting my apartment together in Atlanta. But that's part of the business. It's something that I love about this business and that scares me about this business, but in a good way. You just never know what's going to happen. And things change constantly. But there's always opportunities for new work, so you just have to enjoy the job that you're on while you're on it because it doesn't last forever. And regardless of whether it's one year or three years or six years, you just have to enjoy it. The writers have made it so easy to be an enjoyable show to work on.
We've seen Caroline and Tyler grow closer together as a result of these huge changes in their lives. What role does Caroline play in Tyler's upcoming transformation?
Caroline continues her role of being supportive. Caroline, by nature, is a fix-it person and a bit of a control freak. She recognizes that when she transformed, she was alone. She didn't have anyone else. Stefan came in later on. She recognizes that Tyler needs a Stefan. [Laughs] Paying it forward is the way I see it, in an odd way.
There are hints that Tyler and Caroline's friendship is something more. Are we going to see them develop a romance?
A lot of great romances can grow from friendship. Of course, there's definitely a possibility of that. Whether or not that's going to happen, I don't know. We're not that much farther ahead of the audience. So I really don't know. I know that ... Caroline's the only one that knows what Tyler's been going through, so that friendship isn't just going to go away. There's something there. Whether that turns into a romantic relationship or whether it turns into a really beautiful support system for one another, who knows. The fans will just have to stay tuned and watch.
Romance or friendship-wise, do you think they're doomed in a way since vampires and werewolves are historically enemies?
It's definitely got a Romeo and Juliet quality to it, the idea of them becoming romantic. Who knows? That didn't end very well with Romeo and Juliet. [Laughs] Hopefully, it wouldn't be that same result for Caroline and Tyler. I don't know. Really, right now, the most prominent thing going on between both of them is finding a safe place for Tyler to transform. It's really about his transformation right now. It's not about anything else, which I think is such a wonderful thing because, for Caroline, any involvement with a member of the opposite sex was immediately sexual throughout the first season. It was immediately like crush-worthy. It wasn't just like a friendship. I think it's just a lovely way of showing that she as a character has grown within the second season. It's more than just about a boy I immediately have to have a crush on. It's a friendship. It's something a little bit more substantial.
Matt's (Zach Roerig) ex-girlfriend and best friend are growing closer together. Is he going to have a reaction to this?
I'm sure. I'm sure he's going to have a reaction. Yeah, definitely. How could he not? It'll be interesting to see the result of his reaction.
Caroline's in this strange position where she's in the middle of these two close friends. Is she going to be struggling with that?
Yes. You will see Caroline struggle with this new triangle that's started to slowly form.
You shared some memorable scenes with Katherine (Nina Dobrev). What was it like working opposite Nina as Katherine?
So fun! She's already a Sassy Pants McGee, but on Katherine days, she's Super Sassy Pants. She's been doing such a wonderful job. She's worked really hard, and I think it's very apparent even acting across from her in a scene as Elena and then as Katherine. You can feel the shift when you're talking to the characters. There's not enough praise and kudos for how hard and how well that girl's been doing this season.
We know each other really well. It's fun when we get to be catty or mess with each other a little bit within the scene and then they yell, “Cut!” and we just giggle away, especially when there's stunt work between Caroline and Katherine. For the masquerade episode, we want to make it look really good and tough when she's shoving Caroline into the wall and lifting her up. Here we are in these little minidresses and heels and we're just like beating each other. [Laughs] The fact that I call my parents and they're like, “What did you do at work today?” and I'm like, “Well, actually...”
Last time we talked, you mentioned you were a fan of the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie.
Yes, and I know they're going to make a remake. It'll be fun. I love the original, so we'll see what they decide to do to switch it up with the remake.
I think you'd make a great Buffy.
Oh, thank you! I mean, who knows? I think that would be super fun, but I'm super excited just focusing on Caroline. I'm going to do one vampire at a time.
Readers, do you think Tyler and Caroline should stay friends or become something more? Do you miss Matt and Caroline? And what do you think of Accola as Buffy? If a remake must happen, then she would be a pretty great choice. As Caroline, she's proven she can do be tough and vulnerable and funny all at the same time. Those sound like the qualities of a slayer.
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
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Photos, from top: Caroline (Candice Accola) with Stefan (Paul Wesley); Caroline and Tyler (Michael Trevino) head for the woods; Katherine (Nina Dobrev) and Caroline face off. Credit: Quantrell D.Colbert; Bob Mahoney; Bob Mahoney / The CW.