'The Vampire Diaries': Michael Trevino's 'shining moment' on Tyler's darkest day

tvd-wolf-trevino.jpgThis Thursday's (Dec. 9) episode of "The Vampire Diaries" is one of the most highly buzzed-about episodes in the course of the series.

In "By the Light of the Moon," Tyler Lockwood, Mystic Falls' resident bully with a heart of gold, transforms into a werewolf in an excruciating scene that took two days to shoot.

If you're anything like us, you're anticipating Mystic Falls' next full moon with an unsettling blend of excitement and dread. We couldn't wait to find out what happens, so Zap2it hit the show's Atlanta set this week -- with our shaky flip video camera in tow -- to get the scoop from the cast.

There is one thing that everyone from Michael Trevino's co-stars to showrunners Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec agreed on unanimously: this is Trevino's episode to shine, and it's a story that's been well-earned.

"Though the promos have focused heavily on the 'triangle' drama, honestly the episode really belongs to Michael Trevino, Tyler, as we watch him go through the most harrowing experience of his life," Plec says, referring to the CW's episode trailer, which may not do the actual plot of the episode much justice.

I chatted with Trevino about his character's journey from the resident one-dimensional bully to the emotionally layered Tyler we'll see on screen this week.

"Last year, Tyler would show up, get into a fight, and then leave for a few episodes," Trevino says. While we're sure those choreographed brawl scenes had their merits, this season, he gets to stretch the limits of his talent and training as an actor.

In fact, the transformation was Trevino's most challenging experience as an actor. "By far," he says. "In all the TV stuff that I've done, guest stars and recurring, the two days of shooting the transformation scene by far was the hardest, most challenging I've ever done."

Luckily, Trevino didn't have to go it alone. Marcos Siega, former supervising producer, returned to "The Vampire Diaries" while they filmed this important hour. Trevino found comfort in Siega's presence.

"It's not only a difficult scene because you're not in your comfort zone, you know?" he says. "Your shirt's off, and this and that. There's all these different elements, so just to have that relationship where you totally 100% trust that person, that was Marcos."

He was also joined on set by co-star Candice Accola.

"It was a very beautiful, painfully beautiful day at work," she says. "You'd walk on set and the tone was set. Everyone was there to work. It was very serious. Everything that he was doing was so beautiful, creatively, that it was a very intense two days. They put him through the ringer. He went for it, he went there, and I think it's going to make for a great, shining moment for Trevino. I think it's a great episode for him."

Tyler will never be the same after this transformation, and not just because once a month he'll wolf out. The changes he goes through will alter his relationships with his friends and make him question his place in Mystic Falls as the two monster species collide.

Ian Somerhalder says that the heart of Tyler's story is whether or not he can step up, accept his fate, and do what it takes to protect his home and his family. "Or what's left of his family, the poor guy," Somerhalder adds. "We killed his dad, we killed his uncle. I think we need to figure out, first of all, what Tyler wants. My guess, hopefully, is that he realizes that this is his home. This is where it all started and where it should end."

Watch the video below for more from Trevino, Accola, and Somerhalder -- including some scoop on Damon's relationship with a new female character and just what separates a Lockwood werewolf from a "True Blood" wolf.