'The Vampire Diaries': Tyler is in a 'tug of war' between vampires and werewolves, says Michael Trevino
It's hard out there for a werewolf on the CW's "The Vampire Diaries." The town of Mystic Falls is overrun with vampires. A group of powerful vampires known as the Originals are trying to break a curse so they can roam free in the sun and force werewolves to forever change on the full moon. Damon (Ian Somerhalder) has killed werewolf Mason (Taylor Kinney), Tyler's (Michael Trevino) only source of information and guidance. And newbie wolf Tyler is in the dark about all of this. But it looks like that's all about to change with the return of new episodes Thursday night. Recently, Trevino chatted with Show Tracker about filming that brutal transformation scene, Tyler's feelings for friend/vampire Caroline (Candice Accola) and how "Jules is the key to all this information" about the goings-on in Mystic Falls.
A lot of this season hinges on the werewolf story line and Tyler's transformation. Did you feel added pressure going into this season?
A little bit, but not too much. There was more excitement for me than pressure. Just 'cause I knew in Season 1, there wasn't much of a story line for Tyler. So overall, I would have to say, it was just a feeling of excitement. There was going to be a lot more arc within my story line, with main characters, and just within the character himself.
We only got snippets and hints about Tyler in the first season. Were you in the dark too? Or did the producers pull you aside and say, “We have big stuff planned for Season 2. Just sit tight.”
I tried to keep my mouth shut. [Laughs] Anybody can die on this show at any given time, so I was just happy that I was still alive in Season 1. But toward the end, I was wondering like, "OK, when is this story line going to take off?" Then it was told to me that we're not going to get into any of the werewolf story line until Season 2. So ultimately, yes, I had to be patient. But it was something to look forward to. After hiatus, after Season 1, to know that a good amount of Season 2 was going to be nothing but werwolves and I'm the only werewolf on the show right now, so I'm going to be working a lot.
To be honest, I would have to say two things. One, the relationship that grew between Tyler and Caroline, given the fact that a) she's a vampire. And then also, the transformation scene. We didn't really know how we were going to shoot it and what we were going to do until, I think, ... it was a couple weeks before we started shooting. One or two weeks. For months, we were just contemplating and coming up with ideas on how we would shoot it and the look of it. We wanted to make it look as real as possible, but not cheesy. We didn't want to make it look cheap at all. We wanted the quality to be good. ... Shooting that transformation over a period of two days, it was intense.
How do you let go of that at the end of the day?
I was very, very exhausted at the end of the day. Frustrated. You just become overcome with all kinds of emotions because your head is wrapped in so many different places. Because you're emotional for 48 hours. That's kind of tough. I literally remember driving home late at night after the first day of shooting. I just felt like I had run a marathon. I could barely hold the steering wheel. I was really exhausted from the inside out. It was physical to a certain extent because we were shooting in the dungeon. It was more just mentally. ... Inside, I was totally drained.
Were you excited that you were going to get to play a werewolf?
I was. We have witches and vampires and werewolves and stuff. I remember when I first auditioned for the show, I'd gone out for Damon and then Stefan (Paul Wesley). I ultimately wanted to be a vampire, but at the end of the day, I think it suits me better to play a wolf. It's a lot more fun. I think we can get away with more. More of the bravado, more attitude.
You had some great scenes in the last episode with Caroline. How is that relationship going to develop in the upcoming episodes?
Initially, they're going to become very close. Tyler is so indebted to her for just being there for him through that transformation. He eventually finds out that a werewolf can kill a vampire. And so when he finds that out, it becomes even more of, "Oh my God. What she did for me. ... She stood there." It builds, obviously, into a stronger friendship, but then it starts taking a turn into an emotional ... a relationship between maybe a boyfriend and girlfriend.
It's interesting that that brings them together. Because you would think that maybe all these secrets that Caroline's keeping from him might cause some tension.
Well, that's another thing. Right now, I think, we're on the fourth or fifth episode that we're shooting that hasn't aired. That does come up in the new episodes. I think probably within two weeks, we're going to get to that point where those secrets come out that Caroline has been not telling Tyler.
Is Matt (Zach Roerig) going to find out his friend kissed his ex-girlfriend?
I don't know. He might find out. She might keep it from him. One thing I want to point out in the kiss that you saw -– it's a real fast kiss. It's not something planned out or passionate, really. It's just Tyler overcome with certain feelings, and he's just going in for it and tries to kiss her. Does she kiss him back? Does she like that he kissed her? That's what's going to happen in that episode. We're going to see the outcome of that and also find out if Matt finds out about them two kissing and how he feels.
You also have Jules (Michaela McManus) asking questions about Mason around town. Will Jules and Tyler cross paths soon? And will she clue him into what happened to his uncle?
You would think so, right? ... We don't know what her intentions are right away. Are they good? Are they bad? Is she working with somebody else? There's a couple new people that are going to come into Mystic Falls that really want to try and switch up Tyler and see what he thinks, see what's going on.
She's the only other werewolf in town that we know of right now.
She is. Correct. But I will say that werewolves run in packs. So she's probably not the only one. There's probably some others close by.
It seems there's a territorial war developing between the vampires and the werewolves. Is Tyler going to be struggling with having to choose a side?
He does. He's right in the middle. It's a tug of war between somebody that he's super-close with now, Caroline, who is a vampire, and then all this new information that he's learning from Jules, who is a werewolf. It's a new chapter in his life because he's gone through this transformation. So now it's like maybe he doesn't have a choice. He's just questioning himself and questioning the intentions of everybody and finding out who's coming from a good place and who's coming from a bad place. He does make a decision in the new episodes to come. He does make a decision finally on what he wants to do and is he going to stick with Caroline and just not be involved with these other werewolves, whoever they are, wherever they came from. Or is he going to stick to the wolves and learn more about himself and stay with the pack and not have anything to do with vampires even if that means not talking to Caroline anymore. These decisions are going to be made.
Is someone going to clue him into the curse, which really, deeply affects Tyler?
That comes up, as well. Jules is the key to all this information that is given to Tyler. But it's given to him right after the transformation, so it becomes too much. That's where that tug of war between "do I want to go here or there?"... He's just juggling everything at this point.
With the transformation scene, were you thinking, “Oh God, am I going to have to do this every month now?”
I can say that there is or that there should be one more full moon in Mystic Falls before Season 2 ends. I honestly don't know. I hope that I don't have to go through all of that again. If there's any way we can make it a little easier, that'd be nice. [Laughs] But if I have to go through something similar to that, then I will. But I have no idea. I can say that there will be one more full moon.
Readers, are you excited for more werewolf action? Which side do you think Tyler will choose when he finds out the truth? Are you hoping he sticks with Caroline?
-- Vlada Gelman
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Upper photo: Michael Trevino as Tyler. Credit: Bob Mahoney / CW
Middle photo: Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler talk in the woods. Credit: Bob Mahoney / CW
Lower photo: Tyler and Jules (Michaela McManus) chat. Credit: Annette Brown / CW