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'The Vampire Diaries': Candice Accola on Caroline's many boys and a 'very significant' episode

VD216_0506b Let's be honest, “Vampire Diaries” fans: Naughty Katherine (Nina Dobrev) is a lot of fun, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) struggling with his humanity is providing for many meaty scenes and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is manning up in a way that's breathtaking. But the surprise superstar of the CW series' second season has been new vampire Caroline (Candice Accola). Whether Caroline is struggling with her feelings for ex-boyfriend Matt (Zach Roerig) and his friend Tyler (Michael Trevino) or struggling against tormenting werewolves, Accola has stepped up to the plate in a big way this year.

“I could not be happier about the opportunities the writers have given me this season,” she enthuses. “It's been challenging in all the best ways.”

Recently, Accola chatted with Show Tracker about some of those challenges, including that horrific torture scene — nobody puts Caroline in the cage! — getting to sing in tonight's episode, Tyler's betrayal and the chemistry between Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline. She also teases that viewers are in store for “a very big episode” tonight, which will be the last new one until April. Like Caroline, we'll have to figure out a way to survive, Show Trackers.

Was the torture scene difficult to film? Because it was difficult to watch, in a good way.

Thank you! I definitely take that as a compliment. Any time you read those kinds of scenes in a script, it is kind of a bittersweet thing because you know what you're going to want to put yourself through in order to get the best out of it. And also, yeah, it's long hours in a confined space. All that was shot really in a little trailer. Shoving 15 people into one trailer.... And I was in a cage that was unable to be unlocked from the inside. The surroundings just helped out so wonderfully and were such a wonderful tool to use within the scene. I was excited, though. It was a wonderfully daunting task, but those are always the best, 'cause that's when you see what you're capable of doing.

The first time we talked this season, I brought up the fact that you have a very musically talented cast. And now you're getting to sing in tonight's episode. What's the context for Caroline breaking into song?

I know, it is very random! [Laughs] I think that Caroline has come off such a dramatic shift. The entire season has been very supernaturally active for Caroline. I think what was such a beautiful moment at the end of that one episode was when Bonnie (Katerina Graham) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) came over to have a slumber party. Simple, truthful, honest, like necessary. It's a great reminder that these are young girls that really just need. At the end of the day, sometimes you really just need that sense of friendship and camaraderie and love in the simplest form, like a slumber party. So I think Tyler has been the center of what's been going on dramatically for Caroline in the past couple episodes, and now with him gone, I think it gives her an opportunity to try to feel human again and just to be silly again and have fun again and laugh again, and focus on her friendships and her relationships and her family. I think the whole idea of jumping up on stage and singing is just Caroline being Season 1 Caroline again.

Is she doing this also to maybe get Matt's attention?

[Pauses] I don't know... [Laughs] I think it's just a really fun moment. I'm excited to see how it plays out, as well, because I haven't seen a cut of the episode yet. And I'm excited for the audience to see it too.

Is Tyler out of sight, out of mind for Caroline right now? Or is she still struggling with his abandoning her in her time of need?

Just as I said, Tyler was kind of the core of the drama going on in Caroline's life. Even though she was keeping secrets in order to protect him, he very blatantly ... Caroline had his back. She was willing to put her life on the line, knowing that she had to help him. And he couldn't do that for her. I think that puts a big strain on a friendship, so I think she's OK with Tyler going away for a minute.

Some viewers have also noticed chemistry between Caroline and Stefan, whether it's friendship chemistry or romantic chemistry. Are we going to be seeing more scenes with the two of them?

I love the scenes that go on between Caroline and Stefan. I think what's beautiful is that Stefan saw Caroline at her worst. That bathroom scene set such a precedent for their friendship and how deep it goes. He told her, “I promise I will protect you. I will make sure nothing happens to you.” And that's something I don't think Caroline's heard maybe. Even throughout the season when Caroline revealed herself to her mother, her mother turned her back on her. Caroline revealed herself to Bonnie, and Bonnie turned her back on her. So I think that's just such a wonderful friendship. And I don't know where it's going to go. I'm excited. I think there's enough love triangles on the show, and I think it is important to show Caroline just having a friendship with someone of the opposite sex that isn't based on a potential relationship. I think it is important for women to have men that are friends and for men to have women that are friends. And that's what it's about. Those are such beautiful friendships. I'm glad that the writers are exploring them.

I have a theory that Caroline and Stefan is the couple that happens years, decades after the show ends, after everyone else has died.

[Laughs] Oh goodness. I barely know what's going on the next episode. We start shooting it next week. So, who knows? Right now, we're just focusing on the rest of Season 2. It's a lot. It's been very, very long hours, really great episodes, a lot happening in each one. Everyone that works on the show and is a part of it has been really excited and very shocked at the goings-on in all the episodes. I think the viewers, they have a lot to anticipate.

On that note, this week's episode is the last until April, so I'm assuming there will be some major cliffhangers. How shocked were you when you read it?

Yes, it's a very big episode. The teaser that's on the television and Internet gives you nothing. [Laughs] Basically, Thursday's episode will set up the episodes leading up to the finale. Thursday's episode is very significant to understanding and setting the tone for what's to come.

Don't forget to come back to Show Tracker for my recap of Thursday night's episode and to share your thoughts.

— Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: How to kill an Original before dessert
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Complete “The Vampire Diaries” coverage on Show Tracker

Photo: Caroline (Candice Accola), center, takes the stage in tonight's episode. Credit: Bob Mahoney / the CW.

 
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