THE ORIGINALS Bite Into Paley Fest 2014
Since making its debut on The CW last October, The Originals has proven to be one of the most talked about shows on the network this season. So, it’s not surprising that 2, 600 eager fans spent their Saturday night watching the cast and crew take to the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as part of Paley Fest 2014.
The panel was moderated by Jarett Wieselman from Buzzfeed and present on stage were Executive Producer and Creator Julie Plec, Executive Producer Michael Narducci and cast members Charles Michael Davis (Marcel Gerard), Leah Pipes (Camille O’Connell), Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley Marshall), Daniel Gillies (Elijah Mikaelson), Joseph Morgan (Niklaus ‘Klaus’ Mikaelson), Claire Holt (Rebekah Mikaelson), and Danielle Campbell (Davina Claire). Amongst the screams (“This is simultaneously the most gratifying and terrifying experience I’ve ever had,” remarked Gillies), jokes and hair being touched, questions were in fact addressed.
The first question of the night was how the show came to be. Rewinding to earlier days of The Vampire Diaries, Plec thought Gillies was awesome and once Morgan was cast she knew that they could carry a show. When Rebekah was introduced, more flashback sequences were shot and fan trailers started popping up on the internet, which then made Morgan, Gillies and Holt think ‘What if?’ When the spin-off was announced, Morgan said it was a bit overwhelming (but flattering!) that this idea was coming true.
Going back to the show’s beginnings, Davis recalled how he got his Karaoke King title.
“After I got the part, they [Plec and Narducci] called me up to congratulate me and asked if I had any special skills or talents. They said ‘do you sing or play any musical instruments?’ I said ‘Not really, but I like to karaoke though’…as a joke! Then I was shocked when it was in the script,” Davis recounted.
Things then took a cheeky turn when the question of hidden talents was posed to Pipes.
“I knit, I pet my cat,” she said before Davis interjected with, “That is not a euphemism.”
“Oh my god! Charles! Why? Why?” cried a mortified Pipes as the theatre filled with hysterical laughter. “It’s just going to be a series of sexual innuendos to every answer that I give that I don’t mean!”
For a show that airs at 8pm on The CW, The Originals gets away with a lot. Yet, despite all the violence and gore, there’s one thing that can’t be shown onscreen – thrusting. Unless the footage makes it onto the DVD, there’s a scene featuring Pipes that only those in the writers room will ever see after the network objected to it.
“I have scarred the writers for life. I’m now Thrusty Pipes on set,” quipped Pipes.
Speaking of awkward moments, Campbell revealed that when the script where Davina ‘dies’ was released, she not only didn’t read the script right away but Plec also forgot to give her a heads up. Poor Campbell had crew members coming up to her asking her if she had read the script and giving her cautious responses when she revealed she hadn’t, before freaking out when she finally did read the script. Plec did eventually send Campbell a ‘by the way…’ email though!
On the subject of departures, Holt’s departure from the show was of course addressed during the panel and Holt gave hope to fans by setting the record straight.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is a temporary hiatus. I’m taking a little vacation in the sun, but I’m going to return to my New Orleans family. I just want to make it clear to everyone that these incredibly talented writers did not run out of story. They never will,” she said.
One of the things that makes The Originals unique is that it has taken villains from a show and used them as protagonists on a new show. It was a bold move, but one that has worked in show’s favor. As Plec went on to discuss the concept in further detail, Morgan and Gillies were then distracted by cries from the crowd.
“Get his pants off?” Gillies questioned a bit too loudly.
“Sorry Julie. What was that heckle? We’re curious. Joseph get pants off?” Gillies asked the audience.
Morgan teasingly stood up as if to perform the request (“It’s happening. It just got real,” commented Davis), before sitting back down again.
Shortly after, Tonkin was then put on the spot when asked if she preferred Elijah or Jackson, when Tonkin suggested also throwing Klaus into the mix, the question then turned into a round of ‘Kiss, Kill or Marry’. For the record, she’d kill Klaus, marry Elijah and kiss Jackson.
Rounding up the panel were questions from the audience. Gillies was once again the center of chaos when a fan asked “Daniel, can I please touch your hero hair?” and he obliged. The inevitable ‘Are you Team Klaroline?’ question was then directed at Morgan, to which he diplomatically answered “I was a fan of that dynamic and I am a fan of where the story is right now,” citing that Klaus would just mess it up and Caroline doesn’t deserve that.
The final question was one for everyone: If they could be another supernatural character or creature, what would they pick? Plec immediately answered “Caroline”, Holt and Tonkin said mermaid and suggested mermen for the guys. Gillies said Papa Tunde, to which Morgan agreed; Campbell said a unicorn; and Pipes nominated Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.
The Originals returns April 15 8/7c on The CW.
Below are a few photos taken during the panel: