'The Vampire Diaries' Joseph Morgan talks Klaus' priorities and his place as the Captain of the Klaroline ship

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In Thursday's episode of "The Vampire Diaries," we'll once again see Klaus and Caroline bond over a glass of champagne -- apparently, that's their thing now. Though she's still secretly dating Tyler, there's no doubt that Caroline has warmed up to Klaus's advances. In turn, he may be slightly distracted from his evil quest to turn Elena back into a human bloodbag.

When Zap2it spoke with Joseph Morgan, he assured us that wooing Caroline is becoming a more significant priority for Klaus. "I would say that she's certainly a priority at this point, yes," Morgan says. "He's definitely still got his own agendas, and he's still invested in finding the cure for Elena and creating more hybrids, but he's quite captivated by Caroline. She's really gotten under his skin at this point. She brings out a more playful side to him, which I think he loves, though still with a certain sociopathic glint in his eye."

Often when we speak to "Vampire Diaries" actors, they tell us they prefer their characters' dark sides. Paul Wesley, for example, has been pretty vocal about his affinity for Stefan's Ripper nature as opposed to Stefan-as-romantic-hero. For Morgan, though, Klaus's lighthearted scenes with Caroline come as a welcome change.

"I do like it, because it's something different," he says. "Working with Candice [Accola] is wonderful, obviously, and I love exploring the great range that the writers have given Klaus this season. Last year, when they brought in Rebekah and the family, I was very pleased because it gave us a chance to see a new side of Klaus, to see the way he is with people he cares about, people he's close to. This is like that in that with a love interest, it's a whole new element to him to explore."

Besides -- it's not all giggling over champagne and painting lonely snowflakes. "To the people who think he's 'gone soft' or whatever," Morgan warns, "I can assure you that he's still more than capable of all of the terrible things he did in the beginning."

That said, he's not exactly rooting for Klaus and Caroline to ride off into the sunset together any time soon. The appeal for Morgan is in the new challenges, not necessarily the happy ending.

tyler-caroline-klaus-triangle-gallery-vampire-diaries-season-4.jpg"I think I encouraged it in the beginning, because I re-tweeted a few fan videos, and now they think I'm a 'shipper,'" he laughs. "The 'captain of the ship.' It's not that, though. You know, even back in Season 2 I was hoping for a love interest, just to have the opportunity to explore that side of Klaus and to add another layer, and to see a different kind of chemistry. I'm always looking forward to trying something new with the character."

Part of making Klaus more accessible as a love interest has been about blurring the lines between hero and villain. This season, we saw all of our "heroes" band together to murder an innocent hybrid -- who had just risked his life to help them free Elena. Caroline, Stefan, and Jeremy conspired to kill Chris to save Elena, and Tyler was the only one questioning their actions.

On a similar note, where Klaus was the evil villainous adversary last season, we've seen more and more that he's working with the gang instead of against them. "If we were going to keep Klaus around into Season 4, we really had to give them a common purpose, Morgan says. "If he really wanted to kill everyone, I think he'd just have done it, given his strength and his age, so we had to get them to a point where they had a reason to work together. Paul and I always laugh about it, because Klaus is constantly saying to Stefan, 'Okay, here's the plan! Tell no one!' and Stefan just goes along with it, just trusts him blindly. He's definitely still a threat, but he's a different kind of threat."

Tyler is slowly staging a revolution against Klaus, while Klaus is too distracted by Caroline's allure to notice that his power is being stripped systematically. That doesn't mean Klaus is any less formidable an opponent for the new alpha hybrid, though. "There's absolutely an explosive conclusion to that story," Morgan promises. "We've been building toward something very big, and it's not going to disappoint, I'll tell you that much."

In "O Come, All Ye Faithful," the latest Mystic Falls town event has a winter wonderland theme, and features some of Klaus's artwork. We'll see some holiday-themed cheer and certainly some sparks -- but this is still "The Vampire Diaries," and rumors are brewing about a possible death in this episode. When we asked Morgan whether Klaus has a hand in the bloodshed, his lips were zipped.

"When we do these interviews, they send us an email with talking points, and at the bottom there's a section that says 'DNR,'" he laughs. "That's Do Not Reveal, and that's right in there on the list. And it's underlined, so I really really can't say anything."

Outside of his work on "Vampire Diaries," Morgan has completed a short film, "Revelation," with his "Vampire Diaries" co-star Persia White in the lead role. The ten-minute piece was recently submitted to six festivals, and fans can look forward to a 30-second teaser trailer being released relatively soon.

"Ultimately, the goal is to stream it online for free, but unfortunately, for some of the festivals we submitted it to, like Cannes, having it available online would immediately disqualify us, so I'm trying to do everything in the right order," Morgan says. "I do feel a bit bad, because I tweeted about it so much and haven't been able to release it yet, but my hope is eventually to have a screening in Atlanta and then to make it available for free online."

"The Vampire Diaries" mid-season finale airs Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW