Katerina Graham talks 'The Vampire Diaries,' saving Damon, and braving danger for the sake of art

kat-graham-getty-320.jpgThursday's May 12 episode of " The Vampire Diaries" is the Season 2 finale, and given the high-stakes emotional drama of last week's episode, we're more than a little bit nervous about the damage the finale may inflict on our delicate psyches.

Luckily, the show has already been picked up for a third season... but it's going to be a long, difficult summer without our favorite Mystic Falls kids. Zap2it caught up with Katerina Graham to talk about the cast changes (we'll miss Sara Canning), the finale, and Kat's burgeoning music career.

Zap2it: Last week's episode was so sad! I cried at home. Was it rough to say goodbye to Sara after you guys wrapped?
Graham: I was a mess. I cried! I just didn't get it. I don't like those kinds of changes. In this life you already have so many changes, but I don't want to change my friends. I don't want to not see them. I already barely see my friends as it is because I work so much, so losing Sara was difficult. I know there are going to be great things for her next, and she's going to do amazing things as she spread her wings. It was very difficult.

In the midst of all the sadness, Bonnie had a really kick-ass moment when she came out of the darkness and spelled Klaus.
We were really excited when we shot it! We did it literally in two takes, and everything was like 'Whoa! That's awesome!' and I was like 'Really? It was okay?' Everyone was really happy with it. I think that's how the audience was feeling, like, 'I just want to go in there, and take him down!' and the fact that Bonnie did that gave them the chance to feel like they were taking charge that way, too.

How do you manage to memorize all the spells?

Those things are so hard to memorize! You have no idea. I had to learn these three different Latin chants in a day. I thought I was going to explode. Actually, people are calling it Latin, but it's not Latin. I call it Plecan. It's a Julie Plec made-up language. So, it's technically called Plecan. She'll take Latin words and things that kind of are like the real words, and she'll like... remix it. I have to memorize a lot of Plecan.



We saw in the episode preview (above) that Emily Bennett is going to return in this episode. How are she and Bonnie going to factor into the finale?
Emily comes when she needs to come. That's all I can say. With Bonnie, I can definitely say that because it's the last episode and Damon's been bitten by the werewolf, what everyone is trying to do is figure out if there is a cure and how to get it, and how to move forward to save him -- if that's even possible.

Where do Bonnie and Damon stand right now? He was more than willing to sacrifice her life in the last episode.

I don't think Bonnie would necessarily throw her arms around him and protect him over someone else, either, you know what I mean? They're cool. They're not best buddies, and they don't have a romantic interest. I think they're just trying to do what they've got to do, and if they have to work together, they deal with it. They're not on horrible terms, but Bonnie isn't really a forgetful person, from what I know.

Are we going to see any development in Jeremy and Bonnie's relationship?

You will definitely continue to see the relationship evolve, I can say that much.

tvd-kat-anders.jpg You guys are a go for Season 3,and I know that a lot of your fans on Twitter are hoping to see more of Bonnie's life this season - her family, and her house.
I'm with them on that! I listen to them, and I'm like, 'Wow, they really want to see it!' but I can't even tell them anything because I don't know what's coming. I would like to see that, a mother or a father at least. It's time, but there's been so much going on and so many other characters to develop. It's very much an ensemble cast, and there's a lot going on and everyone has their own storylines. It's totally understandable that all the characters haven't had a full development. It takes a lot of time.

I just saw your music video for "I Want It All." We spoke before about your time working with the tiger, but now that I've seen it all come together, it's a really incredible clip.

Thank you! We shot it on a reserve in San Bernardino. It was such an amazing experience, but it was definitely the most dangerous thing I've ever done. I have a joke with my stylist Brett that we've never had a big shoot together - he's like "We've only had two!" and I said, "Yeah, but every time we work together it's been life-threatening!" The tiger was very sweet, but dealing with the fire - that was a big fire on my head! The hat literally shoots fire. I'm always playing with fire. If you ever see me in a circle of fire or with fire on my hands, that's not special effects, you know! That's literally my hands on fire. I'm getting used to it. I'm not as scared as I used to be. Everyone's at the point where they're like "Oh, fire? Kat will be fine!"

What kind of fan response have you seen?

Everyone really loves it and MTV has been really supportive. The music has been a slow boil. We started with the Will.I.Am stuff, and then I pushed "Sassy" as kind of a buzz single, and now we've got this setup single. Everything has been really taking its time, and I don't mind that, but "I Want It All" is my first actual budget video. Everything else has just been me and my friends kind of winging it, so I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I wanted people to see it. It's strong! It's a J.R. Rodham produced single, and I'm just so proud of it. It's been a long time coming.

I know you're working on finishing the album this summer. What can we expect from the final product?

I am. I recorded three songs this past weekend. We're kind of wrapping up the album and really finding the sound. A lot of it was very similar to the progression of Bonnie. It's about finding your strength and becoming independent and self-sacrifice and being who you want to be without apologies. It's been really interesting how the parallels between Bonnie and I surfaced.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images/The CW