Phoebe Tonkin on her 'Vampire Diaries' debut: Hayley and Tyler have 'a very close bond'

phoebe-tonkin-secret-circle.jpgAfter Season 3 of "The Vampire Diaries" wrapped, we put together a little wishlist for Season 4 -- and on that list was Phoebe Tonkin. We once described her as "The Secret Circle's" answer to Ian Somerhalder, so now that the Circle has been broken, it's only appropriate that she show up in Mystic Falls to wreak some havoc.

In tonight's episode of "The Vampire Diaries," Phoebe makes her debut as Hayley, a sassy, sexy newcomer who will fill in some of the blanks when it comes to Tyler's (Michael Trevino) extended absence in Season 3.

"They met when he was in the Appalachians trying to break his sire bond from Klaus, so there's a lot of history there and a strong bond with how far back they go," Michael Trevino told us when we visited him on set. "And, of course, Tyler hasn't mentioned this to Caroline at all. He forgot to mention that toward the end of Season 3, when he's back and he broke the sire bond, he forgot to mention that he had the help of this gorgeous female werewolf in Hayley. He must have forgot! He's an honest guy. He must have just forgot."

Just as Klaus' worldliness has piqued Caroline's interest a bit in the past, Hayley can offer Tyler a bit of insight into life outside of Mystic Falls.

"Hayley is kind of a world traveler," says Phoebe. "She's an orphan and she lost her parents when she was very young. She's a girl who was raised with a lot of male influences, a lot of wolf influences. I like that she's kind of a free spirit. She's super tough, and independent." If she sounds a bit like "The Secret Circle's" Faye, you're not far off. "She's a bit different from Faye, but she's definitely another badass," Phoebe adds, laughing.

When we first meet Hayley, Caroline is a bit confused -- but according to Phoebe, she keeps her jealousy in check. "Caroline is cautious of Hayley, but I think she wants to trust Tyler, so at this point I don't think she's too suspicious. She's a little bit like, 'Okay, what's going on? What secret is Tyler hiding?' That kind of thing."

Hayley doesn't come to Mystic Falls to win Tyler over. She's got an agenda outside of any romantic intention. That said, Hayley has a pretty significant arc this season, particularly compared to other guest characters who get killed off quickly. There's definitely room for development.

"I think they have a very close past, a very close bond," says Phoebe. "While they were together, he opened up, and vice versa, so they have a bit of a relationship. We don't know the extent of that relationship. At this stage, she's back in town for other reasons, but there could be something more to come out of it."

When we asked Trevino about more potential love triangles, he played coy. Sort of. "I don't know," he said, totally lying. "Actually I do know, I just can't say. There might be another triangle there. We don't know where Hayley's at at this point, but we do know she was present in his time away trying to break the sire bond, and I guess in what capacity was she present, how was she helping, was she doing anything, was she wrangling up other hybrids -- we'll find out."

claire-holt-phoebe-tonkin-instagram.jpgPhoebe fit nicely into "The Vampire Diaries" fold. Since "The Secret Circle" was also executive produced by Kevin Williamson, Phoebe had met the cast already. Of course, she's been BFFs with Original sis Claire Holt for years, since they starred on the Australian mermaid series "H2O: Just Add Water" together.

"It did feel like the first day of school," she says of her first day on set. "It kind of felt like I knew one of the cool kids so I didn't have to sit in the bathroom and eat my lunch." Though Hayley and Rebekah don't interact in Phoebe's first few episodes, both she and Claire are hoping their storylines merge at some point -- since they're already so inseparable they opted to share a trailer on set.

After spending the day with the cast, we can tell you that Phoebe fits right in with the gang behind-the-scenes -- you can tell they really like her because they were already teasing the native Aussie (affectionately, of course!) about her American accent on the show.

"I know 'Secret Circle' was canceled and I know a lot of our fans were a fan of that show and a lot of people felt that maybe that ended prematurely, so it's great to have her on set," Trevino says. "I've met her before, which is kind of nice, so it's good to be familiar with somebody. A lot of my scenes are with her and she's been great so far. These Aussies have it down. Claire Holt is just so prepared, and Phoebe's the same way. They can just run with it and do it and fit right in."

For more from Phoebe -- including dish on Claire's reaction when she was cast, her YourZenLife project with pal Teresa Palmer, and all that "Wonder Woman" speculation -- check out some of our video interview below. (Apologies for glitchiness! Technology bites.)

Tune into "The Rager" episode of "The Vampire Diaries" tonight at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.