'The Vampire Diaries' Steven R. McQueen on Uncle John's plan for Jeremy, plus the Bonnie romance heats up
Jeremy's love interests haven't fared well thus far -- both Vicki and Anna died just after Jeremy fell for them -- so we're a little bit worried about Bonnie ( Kat Graham), who Jeremy got awfully cozy with in last Thursday's episode.
Though McQueen was initially surprised when he learned that Jeremy and Bonnie would be involved in a romance, he's happy to see Jeremy with a little love in his life. "There's something real about Bonnie," McQueen says. "There's been a lot of darkness and a lot of obstacles, but she's stayed true to who she is and she's always had good intentions. It's going to be interesting to see them more involved in each other's lives."
And more involved they will be. Just don't read too much into their actions in the last episode. We were a little surprised to see Jeremy put his arm around Bonnie in the town square, and so was executive producer Julie Plec.
"I can be a hundred percent honest - when [McQueen and Graham] made the choice to put their arms around each other at the end of that scenes, even I, watching it, was like 'Hey, wait a minute! What'd I miss?'" Plec laughs. "I think what it was, was that he was stepping in and intervening and rescuing her from a complicated situation. We thought about cutting it, because it seems like they're together, but it was this big beautiful wide shot of the whole town, and there was no way to get out of the scene without showing it, so we said alright, whatever."
Plec assures us that we didn't miss any key moments in the Jeremy/Bonnie saga, and that the first kiss is yet to come. "Never fear, we did not dump the storyline off-camera," she laughs. "This week's episode is a sort of defining moment for Bonnie and Jeremy."
Not that Bonnie's out of the woods. Her magic-related nosebleeds and fainting spells have only gotten worse, and with a rather epic villain on his way to Mystic Falls, there's no telling what could happen. There's definitely a concern for Jeremy that Bonnie could be seriously hurt (or worse!) while trying to save his sister, Elena ( Nina Dobrev) from her unfortunate fate.
McQueen has his fingers crossed that Bonnie and Elena won't be put in the situation where one of them must sacrifice their life for the other. "It's definitely a possibility, but I don't think Jeremy could handle that," he says. "I think, come what may, Jeremy would sacrifice himself before he'd let anything hurt Bonnie or Elena."
You hear that, Luka ( Bryton James)? If you try to mess with Bonnie any more, Jeremy's coming for you. "Damn right!" McQueen says. "Damn right. Nobody's messing with Jeremy's girl. He's pretty defensive with Luka right now, but we can expect to see things even out a little bit with them coming up."
Jeremy is arguably the character who has made the most progress. We first met him when he was a pill-popping stoner with a self-destructive streak a mile wide. He's grown notably stronger over the last two years, which McQueen says has been a cathartic experience for him as an actor and as a person. As Jeremy has grown into a man, McQueen has made some commendable changes in his own life.
"Jeremy and I are parallel in a lot of ways," he says. "I've been in AA for a while, and I'm sober now. He's gone through a lot of struggles with overcoming addiction and finding himself through that -- really becoming himself -- which is something I've gone through personally. There are a lot of times that playing Jeremy feels really therapeutic for me."
McQueen says that Uncle John's ( David Anders) arrival in Mystic Falls is about to throw Jeremy for a real loop. "John definitely has some plans for Jeremy," he teases. "There's a reason he didn't want Jeremy to take off the ring." We can expect to see some major conflict between these two -- John has information about Jeremy's father, Grayson, and about the Gilbert vampire-hunting legacy, and as a kid without a father, Jeremy will take whatever he can get.
But Jeremy hasn't forgotten that Uncle John is the guy who killed Anna. "There's definitely a part of him that's like, 'F*** you. You killed someone I love. Here's your ring, do what you need to do, get away from me."
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) we shouldn't expect John to leave any time soon. "The Uncle John of it all is a big question over the next couple of episodes," says Plec."What the hell is he doing, and whose side is he on, and is anything he says true?" Episode 217 is currently shooting, and Plec coyly confirms that yes, Anders is still in Atlanta.
So we know that McQueen doesn't want Jeremy to die, and he doesn't want Bonnie to die. What does he want to see happen in the final few episodes of Season 2?
"I want to Jeremy roll in on a motorcycle with a shotgun," he says. "Just go to town on all the villains."
In all seriousness, McQueen has been following a strict training and workout regimen, and he's ready to take on some bad guys. (We know, we know. You've noticed.) "I want to see Alaric take Jeremy and really start training him in the art of vampire hunting," he says. "I've been working hard lately, man. I'm ready for anything."
As summer approaches, all of our favorite TV stars are making hiatus plans, but McQueen says he has no future projects to confirm yet... except that he won't be starring in the "Piranha 3-D" sequel. "I know that they are making number 2, but I don't think that's in the cards for me," he laughs.