'The Originals' cast reveals how 'Casket Girls' is all about girl power

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It's been a long, long, long winter hiatus, and we've been desperate for new episodes of "The Originals." Thankfully, that all changes Tuesday (Jan. 14) night, when "Casket Girls" finally airs.

Zap2it was on the scene on set in Atlanta when the cast was filming the midseason premiere, and everyone on the cast was excited to reveal that the big episode was all about girl power -- for vampires, werewolves, witches, and humans alike.

"This episode is about the strength of women and empowering them, which is cool," Claire Holt tells Zap2it. "It's a lot of fun to shoot. Somehow they have made a tiny little street in Conyers, Georgia look like a huge festival in New Orleans."

The Casket Girls Festival is thrown by the French Quarter every year due to a myth that Rebekah may have been involved in way back in the day. Viewers know what that means: Flashbacks! 

"It starts sort of in a flashback-y way," Holt reveals. "The reason there is this festival is because there is a myth about casket girls and we get to see how Rebekah is involved in that myth."

According to Charles Michael Davis, who plays Marcel, the casket girls myth is actually derived from history. "Apparently it's a real festival that they have. I just heard secondhand that it's a story about French girls that were brought over because there was a deficiency of women in New Orleans," Davis tells Zap2it. "So they told them that they were coming over to be wed to well-to-do French men, but when they got of the boat, it wasn't true."

He continues, "So they got taken in by some of the nuns, and they used to do think there was vampirism going on because they used to carry their clothes in these suitcases, their big dresses, in something that appeared to be shaped like a coffin. It has some ties to the Originals and you get to see how that relates to it."

Davis is excited to step back and let the ladies take control in this episode. "A lot of the story in the first six episodes, it was a lot of my story and Elijah [Daniel Gillies] coming back," Davis says. "This is a chance for the girls to have a moment and really shine. The girls take their power back."

On the human side of things, expect to see Cami (Leah Pipes) finally start to take control over her own life/mind after being compelled by Klaus (Joseph Morgan) for so long. "She's being mind controlled, and this episode is about females taking control," Pipes tells Zap2it. "This episode is very much addressing that that's not OK. Klaus has been kind of a jerk in the past, but this is crossing a line. It's really not OK to take away a girl's emotion. That's just too much."

Phoebe Tonkin, who plays pregnant werewolf Hayley, is glad that "The Originals" is finally giving the power to the ladies of the story. 

"It's nice -- especially with a show where there's two very strong male figures -- for a whole episode to be specifically about the girls, and it's about time," Tonkin tells Zap2it. "It's like, enough is enough, [the girls] are doing to do our own thing. Especially when you have Davina [Danielle Campbell], who is the most powerful witch and you have Rebekah who is the most powerful vampire, man or woman, it's about time we acknowledge that."

So how does Hayley fit in to the story of the episode? "She's definitely responsible for a few of things we kind of touch on briefly in this episode," Tonkin says. "And they end up being a big part of the next episode."

Daniella Pineda, who's character Sophie has been absent for the past few episodes, warns that the witches are coming back with a vengeance beginning in this episode, giving new meaning to the term "girl power" (get bonus scoop from Pineda here). 

"It's kind of refreshing because I feel like the boys have had their go-around. And that's not the case in this episode," Pineda tells Zap2it. "The women are more rebellious, they're less likely to be freaked of Klaus or Marcel or anybody else's power, pretty much on all fronts -- the witches, the werewolves, and the vampires. Which is nice, because it's equalling out the power-playing game so far."

And the strongest witch of them all, Davina, realizes she needs to take matter into her own hands, which has the potential to be disastrous due to her overwhelming powers. 

"Davina figures out that she's been a pawn to everybody and after finding that out, she's done being used and she just wants a life for herself," Campbell tells Zap2it. "She wants all of this to just go away, so she kind of takes the few friends that she can trust and she takes back her life the only way she believes she can. She confronts everyone and just calls them out on their game, including [her ally] Elijah."

So what can we expect to see from the pint-size powerful witch magically? "Each episode you're going to see her increasing power. You're going to see more and more of what she can do," Campbell teases. "To her, she's been betrayed by the witches, so she doesn't believe anything they've told her."

She continues, "All she knows is that she's been lied to by her so-called family and she now has all this power that she's stuck with and she knows that they're running on a clock and if anything they said is true then all of it will be gone by a certain time. All she wants is to be that normal girl that she was. She just wants to wait it out and make it all go away."

"The Originals" returns Tuesday (Jan. 14) at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW