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October 6, 2015

'Vampire Diaries' Star Michael Trevino on Secrets, Romance and a Shocking Showdown

by Laura Prudom, posted Jan 26th 2011 4:30PM
Michael TrevinoWhen we last paid a visit to Mystic Falls, a bad moon was on the rise, bringing with it a harrowing transformation for Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino). As the latest in a long line of Lockwoods cursed with lycanthropy, we knew that Tyler's metamorphosis was a foregone conclusion, but most 'Vampire Diaries' fans probably weren't expecting the ordeal to be quite so intense -- and the end product was an impressive testament to the actor's work ethic and his dedication to the character.

Ahead of the show's return this Thursday (8PM, The CW) we caught up with Trevino to get the scoop on what's coming up for Tyler and Caroline, what that might mean for his friendship with Matt and what we can expect from the sudden influx of werewolves heading to Mystic Falls. Beware of spoilers.

When we last caught up with Trevino, the transformation had yet to air, and we had no idea just how integral a role Tyler's vampiric confidante Caroline (Candice Accola) would play in the scene. If previews for this week's episode are to be believed, Caroline and Tyler look set to take their relationship past the platonic level, which could spell trouble for Tyler's best friend, Matt (Zach Roerig).

Trevino was infuriatingly coy when it came to giving away any spoilers, since he wants the fans to enjoy the upcoming episodes with fresh eyes, but we were able to tease out a couple of intriguing tidbits in our conversation earlier this week:

TV Squad: We see in the previews for the next episode that Tyler and Caroline kiss. What are his feelings for her at this stage of the season?
Michael Trevino: I think he's just kind of eager because of what they just went through. So at first, it's on a friendship level, just a trust and appreciation and [Tyler] being so grateful to her for staying there and sticking [the transformation] out with him. But then, she is very attractive to him, so I think his emotions just take over and he goes for it. Because we see it in the teaser for the episode; it's not this drawn out moment, you know, he just kind of goes in there for it. It's funny how the end of the scene plays out.

Tyler is kind of breaking the bro code with Matt right now by macking on his girlfriend. How is Tyler's friendship with Matt going to change as he and Caroline grow closer?
[Laughs] Well, Matt's character is just so in the dark about everything, so he gets a bit frustrated. You know, he wants to believe that there's nothing really going on between Tyler and Caroline, but you can only assume so much. After a while you'd figure Matt would snap and finally say something or just be like, "I've had enough. I want to know what's going on." You know, see if they're playing around or sneaking around behind his back, because that's what it seems like. For sure that's what it seems like. But the truth is that Caroline and Tyler are just friends at this point. So, I think that there's going to be a moment in probably one of the later episodes -- we're finishing up four right now, the fourth one that hasn't aired -- so, one of the later ones we'll see Matt actually hit up Tyler and approach him and ask him what's happening here.

Caroline has obviously been keeping a lot of secrets from Tyler . How is he going to react when he discovers that she's been lying to him? Will he be able to trust her again?
Well, he's not going to be very happy at all. At all. That's a big episode there because that trust, that bond that they had, it's just out the window once he finds out that there are indeed other vampires. Because he trusts her and he thought that they were best friends. So, at that point, you kind of see him start getting closer with Jules, who's going to be in town for a bit.

Caroline kind of started out as the ditzy prom queen type. What do you think has surprised Tyler most about her as he's gotten to know her?
Oh, oh. Well, let's see how can I answer this in the right way so I don't give away too much ...

[Laughs] Well here, the rule as far as what we've learned so far this season is that a werewolf bite can kill a vampire, right? Or is supposed to. That's what it said in the John Gilbert books. That's one of the rules, right? Well, Tyler didn't know that, going into the transformation. You know, he's not aware. So, in future episodes he finds out this bit of information and it affects him even more than just her being there as a friend. He's realizing, wow, she actually stayed there, risking her life if Tyler, once he turned, was actually going to bite her. She could have died. So, that affects him in a big way. Some interesting stuff happens once he finds out. If I'm not mistaken, I think we find out that bit of information in this episode that's airing Thursday.

Michael Trevino and Michaela McManusYou mentioned that Tyler is going to start getting closer to Jules (Michaela McManus). What can you tell us about her intentions? Is she really Tyler's friend, or is she looking to use him?
Well, right now I think it's 50/50. You can't really trust -- you know, you're glad she's here giving him some info, but you don't really know what her intentions are yet. All of his trust is in Caroline at this point with the episode that's airing. But, when Tyler learns more information about what's really happening and going on in Mystic Falls with certain people, well then he's going to realize that Jules' intentions are good. Ultimately, they probably are. But, she might not be the only wolf or person coming into Mystic Falls to kind of take Tyler under their wing or to watch over Tyler. She might not be the only person in Mystic Falls. There might be somebody else coming in that then wants to take care of Tyler or give him information. He's a wolf now, after his transformation. So now, it's in essence like a second chapter in his life. So, there's going to be a lot more people coming out of the woodwork with different agendas.

You've mentioned in other interviews that Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Tyler are going to have some scenes together in upcoming episodes. What can you tease about that story line?
Well, Jules has a lot of information coming into Mystic Falls. So, he would find out eventually that Caroline is lying and that there are other vampires in town. So, with that I think ... you have these two brothers. You have one, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), that's very evil and Stefan, who's a little bit more grounded. So, Stefan just reaches out to Tyler to kind of tell him that maybe they're not there to hurt wolves, you know, like the other vampires. They're not there killing a bunch of people. Maybe he might say something like, they can coexist together. So those are really what those scenes are about. Just explaining, yes, there's vampires; yes, there's wolves. It's been like this forever. You know, that's pretty much all he's really going to be telling Tyler, among other things. Because Tyler doesn't know this, this is all new to him. Stefan comes from a good place but, at the end of the day, you have a vampire and werewolf and they're not going to get along. It's just not going to happen. That's all I can say about it.

We know that there's going to be a "violent confrontation" with the werewolves in episode 13 and some fallout in episode 14. Can you tell us which side Tyler is going to be on in the showdown?
[Laughs] That's interesting because he's learning so much right now that he's probably just right in the middle. He's right in the middle of it all and just figuring out who's lying, who's telling the truth, who means well, who doesn't. That's where he's at, which is weird because at the end of the day he is a werewolf. He has transformed. But, he's right in the middle because his relationship with Caroline is really close.

Michael Trevino and Paul Wesley What has been your favorite scene to shoot in this latest batch of episodes?
Let's see, let's see, let's see ... I would say the confrontation between the werewolves and vampires. When they meet we shot that out in the woods. It was really cold but it was actually really cool to shoot with that many actors on set at one time. You had Ian, Paul, me. You had Michaela, who plays Jules, and a bunch of other people that are wolves and you had these vampires. It's a really good action scene. There are a lot of good and awesome stunts. Hopefully, it all comes out well.

Is Tyler going to start tying into the larger mythology with the Originals and the curse as the season goes on?
I think he's stepping away from that, really. You know, that's all really Caroline. But, I think what Tyler does realize with all of this mythology and all these rules about vampires being binded to the sun and werewolves binded to the moon, does Tyler ever want to turn again? If he does, does he want to do it on his own terms or does he have to wait for the next full moon, whenever that is? So, vampires might not be the only people trying to break curses in Mystic Falls in these upcoming episodes ...

Lastly, I've just got to compliment you on the amazing job you did on the transformation scene. It was so painful to watch. What was going through your mind that day, where was your head when you were playing something so challenging?
Some really dark places. I mean, I'm not going to tell you exactly, but it was mostly just some really, really dark places in my head. It was just emotional preparation that I had to do days before to get ready for it. In my mind I just treated the scene like a marathon. It wasn't a race to get there really quick. I had to know how much to give in each scene, in each moment so that I wouldn't lose all my energy really. It was exhausting.

Well, you did a fantastic job.
Thank you. I appreciate that.

Remember, if you share your thoughts on tomorrow night's episode in the recap's comment section, you'll automatically be entered into the contest to win one of our fabulous eco-friendly, recyclable CW Swag Bags, to celebrate the return of new episodes this week. (Full rules and a list of prizes available here -- remember to use a valid email address or Twitter handle to comment so that we can contact you if you win!)

The Vampire Diaries returns with an all-new episode tomorrow, Thu., Jan. 27 at 8PM ET on The CW.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA.

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