I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries since the beginning and have enjoyed the story about the Salvatore brothers, their history and of course, love for Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). It was a hard blow learning that Nina was leaving the show since she, as well as Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) and Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore) have been billed together the entire series. A new chapter is coming, in the form of the Salvatore’s mother Lily (Annie Wershing) and her “family” brought through time to Mystic Falls.
When we left off, it had been a year since Elena was tucked away in a deep slumber for the next fifty years. Matt (Zach Roering) is now the Sheriff of Mystic Falls that looks like it was hit with a nuclear bomb! What happened? According to what Producer/Writer Caroline Dries told me during the San Diego Comic-Con press room, we’ll see everything unfold with three timelines, going between- past, present and future. We’ll learn exactly how Lily’s posse were responsible for the destruction and the state of things now. Sorry Klaroline (smush name for Klaus and Caroline) fans, there are no plans at this time for any type of crossover between The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, nor does she confirm this to be TVD’s final season.
Somerhalder indicated during press room that the show is focusing back on the Salvatore brothers and yes Bamon fans, he’s excited to see where things go with Damon and Bonnie (Kat Graham)! He loves working with her. It was great chatting with Candace Accola (Caroline) during the press room. Though last we saw Stefan said he’d wait for her however long it takes, apparently it could be awhile for her to go back into the throws of couple-dom. Candace said, “Caroline is going to be focusing mostly on herself, what she wants to do with her life, how to move past losing her mother. It’s great that Stefan has finally turned her way.” Although some like Caroline’s banter with Enzo (Michael Malarkey), Candace doesn’t feel there will ever be anything romantic with him. If you’re a Steroline (smush name for Stefan and Caroline) fan, that’s good news!
With so many changes this season, I must say I was a little nervous. However, after speaking with the newest vamp in town Jaiden Kaine, I felt much better. He was gracious enough to take the time to chat with me about his role within Lily’s posse.
Ever since Lily made herself known to her sons, the sh** has been hitting the fan. Sounds like her clan will cause a lot of upheaval this season. Kaine plays “Bo”, one of Lily’s extended family brought forth into the 21st century. But he is much more than just a vampire- he’s hybrid of a vampire-witch who is “very powerful with special powers” that we’ll learn more about as the season unfolds, Kaine reveals. He will have quite a bit of interaction with our girl Caroline, who is very leery of him, fearful there is much more to Bo than meets the eye. “Caroline is extremely worried about us and she doesn’t really worry about anything, but she is where Bo is concerned. She has reason to be”, Kaine adds. As Caroline sounds the alarm, our resident witch Bonnie (Kat Graham) “will be prevalent in the storyline this season”, Kaine reports.
One of the things I’m hoping is that Matt gets a storyline. He’s been sort of sidelined now that Jeremy (Steve McQueen) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) are doing their own thing, but now that he’s the Sheriff, I can see possibilities opening up for him. According to Kaine, we will see some different things with Matt. “He has a lot to say and [we’ll] make some discoveries about him that [we] weren’t aware of where Matt is concerned”.
It was a heartbreaking moment as we watched our “Delena” (smush name for Damon and Elena) dance their last dance for the next fifty years. Kaine promises she will still be very much a part of the story. “Elena plays a part in the storyline”, Kaine carefully affirms. Although Elena isn’t present, she’s prevalent, especially “where Damon is concerned. His motivation is because she isn’t there and [he’s] trying to keep her memory alive.”
As a huge fan of the show, I had to ask what life is like on set. Kaine describes everyone is family on set, everyone is a class act, very professional. “Ian’s the craziest on set. Very bubbly, very gregarious, likes to kid around, super talented and very nuanced in everything he does. Even when he’s not working, his mind is on it.” In meeting Somerhalder myself, I feel he’s very airy, down-to-earth, which Kaine agrees is a perfect critique of him. “He’s under the guise of being airy but he knows exactly what he wants. He’s very unpretentious, very matter of fact.”
In contrast, Paul Wesley is very serious on set. “He comes in, knows his script” but doesn’t joke around much and sort of keeps to himself. I find this interesting since the Salvatore brothers are as different as night and day from each other. Somerhalder’s and Wesley’s real-life personalities apparently bleed through into their characters as well.
I was thrilled to see Annie Wershing (24) cast as Lily because she’s such a fantastic actress. What is it like working with her and the cast? Kaine said he loves working with Annie. “Her acting style reminds me of Julianna Margulies from the The Good Wife. She’s a minimalist, very professional, really loving, loves taking a lot of pictures, wise beyond her years.” He describes that even off set “she’s like the cool mom. The mom most of us wish we had.” In watching her work, Kaine said it is amazing, as is working with the regular cast. “Everyone plays off one another and everyone has their strengths.” He likens it to a dance and the show a Matisse. “Every actor on this show provides a different color, each color is important, and the dance we do coincides with the others, but has to be different and we all have our place”, he explains.
What was it about the show that spoke to him, made him want to be a part of it? Kaine says for him, it kind of reminded him of Interview with a Vampire because of the sexiness it has. He also praises the writing team and the story’s unpredictability, “I really enjoyed the writing. [There are] tons of surprises. I couldn’t anticipate what was going on a lot of the times and that’s what I felt was magic about this show.”
Kaine is not a stranger to theatre or film as his father is a playwright. It’s a little known fact that he was in the military for short time, serving our country as a member of “Blackwater” and got his start as a successful model for Calvin Klein. In 2013 he starred in Ridley Scott’s Killing Lincoln and has had roles in various television shows, including Person of Interest, Believe and 30 Rock to name a few. Interestingly he auditioned multiple times over a two-year period for The Vampire Diaries before landing the role of “Bo”. It wasn’t until he got into the mind-set of really immersing himself into series, binge-watching it, seeing how the characters interact and the storyline that he finally won a role.
Kaine explains early on in life he realized how he learns- by watching people. So in watching the series, he was able to see what he could do the next time he went in. He talks about using “the actor’s secret”, which he describes is “something that is not written in the script that you provide for your character, that bleeds thru in everything you do. The other actor doesn’t know about it.” He originally auditioned to play a seer, a mystical fortune teller for a small dayplayer role. “My actor’s secret was that I was really a vampire, but [was] here under the guise of being a seer. The casting director loved it.” Kaine was thrilled when his agent received a call to return, but for a bigger role. They wanted to see what he would do with it. Utilizing the same technique, Kaine was able to breathe life into the character and he won the role of “Bo”.
Not only is he one of the major characters on The Vampire Diaries this season, he also plays Doctor Hughes in the big blockbuster movie with Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino and Josh Duhamel called Beyond Deceit, which is set to be released early next year. Beyond Deceit is a murder mystery-thriller about a lawyer (Duhamel), whose boss (Pacino) assigns him a case to take down a crooked pharmaceutical executive (Hopkins). Unfortunately, Duhamel’s character gets pulled into a murder investigation as a suspect! The movie created quite a buzz at the Cannes Film Festival in May, as one of the most anticipated films. This is Shintaro Shimosawa’s (Writer, The Grudge, The Echo, The Grudge 2) debut as a director, as well as the first time Pacino and Hopkins have been together on screen.
Kaine describes Dr. Hughes is a forensics surgeon, who is “very, very professional, though has some chemical dependency problems. He really just delves into his work.” He’s sort of the go-to doctor if you need a surgery done the right way. Although he did not have any scenes with Hopkins, he worked very closely with Pacino, Duhamel and Malin Ackerman, who plays his nurse, Emily. She has some type of personal relationship with a sick patient. “She’s a little headstrong in our scenes, so her and I have a bittersweet relationship in the movie because I feel like she’s trying to one-up me, but she has other motivations”, Kaine explains. “There’s a lot more that she knows about what’s going on. She’s acting very inappropriately. I’m the resident doctor-surgeon and I have the last word. As far as I’m concerned, she really needs to fall back but she’s not. So that creates a lot of tension, but in the end it all comes out why.”
Kaine really enjoyed working with Duhamel, whom he describes as an “actor’s actor, kind of like a James Franco. Always studying, always making discoveries. Just a real love to work with.”
Of course I had to ask what working with Pacino was like and was surprised to learn he’s very shy, even when people see him on the street and shout out “Attica”, referencing his iconic role in Dog Day Afternoon. Kaine says he learned the most from Pacino, specifically how to really create the environment your character is in. “Watching Al, he’s very internal, from what I was able to see, he works in pictures. Everything is a picture. He can just be in a room running lines, but he literally sees everything that’s going on in the scene. He creates this whole environment [that] he envelopes himself in. I realized those are the most interesting auditions that I’ve ever submitted. When I created this whole world before the first line is spoken. He is a master at that. He is the man when it comes to that. He’s undeniably the person I learned the most from. Interestingly enough he’s the most low key, very unpretentious. That whole bad boys move in silence thing is truth!”
Whether he’s playing a bad boy hit-man, vampire or an unaware surgeon, it’s clear after talking to him that Kaine has a passion for acting and the art of telling a story. He definitely has a bright future and I’m going to enjoy watching him continuing to rise to the top.
The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. and The Originals follows at 9 p.m. on The CW.