'The Vampire Diaries' Candice Accola talks Tyler, girl time, and Caroline's birthday wish
In Thursday's episode, "Our Town," Caroline's 18th birthday arrives. "Caroline has a bit of an a-ha moment, as Oprah would say," Candice Accola tells Zap2it. "She realizes, for the first time, really, that she's never actually going to turn 18. She's never going to turn 21, or 30, and so many things that she'd wanted for her future aren't accessible anymore."
"It's the first time, I think, for her, that she's looked at the big picture," executive producer Julie Plec adds. "It's kind of in tandem with the whole idea of senior year and what you're supposed to be going through, looking ahead toward the future being wide open. She's kind of realizing the sadness of 'Oh, I'm always going to be 17. I'm never going to do the things I wanted to do.'"
Of course, we're all very concerned about Tyler ( Michael Trevino) and Caroline, whose relationship wasn't exactly on steady ground last time we saw them together. "I will say that they're in a very precarious situation," Candice says. "One of the things I love about the story is that it really reflects back on Caroline's relationship with Matt. Caroline just wanted Matt to accept her for who she is and to love her despite her being a vampire, but he couldn't do that. Now, the situation is reversed, where Tyler is saying to her 'Just accept who I am now, because I'm still the same person.'" Caroline begins to understand the outside perspective a bit.
She has grown up a lot over the last year, though, and she's not sure she's willing to devote her time to someone who is under the thumb of a villain who terrorized her town. "She didn't sign on for this," says Candice. "She didn't sign on to date a hybrid, a sired hybrid, and she has to make a decision."
"The episode is a very profound turning point in Tyler's recognition of the hold that Klaus has over him," adds Julie Plec. "As if last week wasn't bad enough, Klaus asks him to do some pretty messed up stuff in tomorrow night's episode, and Tyler finally realizes, 'Holy s***, this relationship is very bad for me, and I've got to do something about it." Over the next couple of episodes, Tyler struggles with how he can reclaim control of his life, and his choices may drive him away from Caroline further.
Don't expect her to go running back to Matt, though. "I think it would take an enormous gesture for that to happen. He really hurt her last year. He accused her of murdering his sister, he turned his back on her, it was awful. Matt and Caroline are very much in the friend zone right now," Candice says. "There are some nice friend moments for them this week."
(Matt fans -- we checked in with Julie about our favorite busboy's lifespan, and she did give us some hope for his longevity on the show. "Matt is our human, our support system, and our friends. He's this reminder of what life was like before everything went to hell, when he was the one whose life was the most difficult. To me, that's so important, and I feel very protective of that.")
With Caroline's birthday coming, we can expect some sweet moments from the often fractured group of friends. Candice teases that Caroline's reconnection with her friends in the wake of her trouble with Tyler will be a strong one -- and she and Elena will have some bonding time, particularly given Elena's tumultuous love life.
"There are some great girlfriend moments coming up, which I love, because last year I think everyone was so embroiled in their various love triangles that we didn't really see that," she says, "and I think it's really important to have those moments."
Caroline has certainly been happy to throw in her two cents when it comes to Elena's love life, so we're sure she'll have an opinion about that big Damon/Elena kiss last week. Candice says, "I think her reaction will be along the lines of 'Are you sure? Are you really, really sure?' This is a big step for Elena, she can't really go back."
As for Caroline's big birthday wishes? "Oh, I think she'd wish for an iPad," Candice jokes. "Maybe some Silly Bandz. Oh, yeah, and maybe not to be a vampire and drink blood for the rest of her life. That, too."
Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. EST on The CW, and make sure to check back in with us tomorrow, because we've got more dish from Candice on some of Caroline's other relationships -- including those with Stefan and Klaus.