'The Vampire Diaries': Zach Roerig and Candice Accola talk young love, butterflies... and murderous vampires
When Zap2it last spoke with executive producer Julie Plec, she made us some promises. "In the last episode before we go away for hiatus, there's a really great Matt and Caroline moment that I think will make you very happy," she teased. As soon as we heard that, we had to get the scoop from Zach Roerig and Candice Accola on the grand romantic gesture that might turn things around for one of our favorite Mystic Falls couples.
"It was such a fun scene to shoot," Zach says of Candice's big Mystic Grill performance number. "I've got a lot of love for Candice. She's just incredibly talented, and incredibly fun to work with, so to see her get to work in a different capacity was just a really great day on set. She first came out to Hollywood to be a singer and to launch a music career, so she went into it fearlessly."
"People ask me all the time about whether I'll sing on the show. I've never approached Kevin and Julie about it, because the character wasn't initially introduced as a musical character, and you don't want anything to feel forced," Candice says. Her debut album "It's Always The Innocent Ones" was released in 2006, before she went on tour with Miley Cyrus as a backup singer.
Candice says that when Caroline gets her moment in the spotlight, it doesn't feel like a TV ratings stunt. "It's just a fun thing that happens in the episode," she says. "She's letting herself have that high school romance moment."
"What better way to say 'I'm sorry for lying to you all the time' than to serenade someone?" Zach laughs. "Part of what's great about Matt and Caroline up to this point is that in the middle of all of the vampire werewolf drama, they manage to have almost a normal young love story. It's nice for me to get to see some good things happen for Matt."
Caroline and Matt's relationship fell apart early this season because, as a new vampire with a lot to learn, she didn't trust herself with him. She's gotten better at controlling her vampire urges at this point and she's all for giving things another try. "Even though Caroline has grown and matured within the season, she's still a young girl in love, and Matt is her first love," says Candice. "You can listen to your head all you want, but especially at that age, your heart's going to be louder. This is an episode where Caroline's heart speaks louder than her head."
It's definitely time for some honesty around here. "Matt's going to get some answers about everything that's going on around him," Zach says. "I can't tell you what answers, exactly, but some things are going to come to light. Finally."
Will Matt end Season 2 knowing that Caroline is a vampire? "I think that if Matt and Caroline keep going down this road they're on, this more honest, loving relationship, then yeah, he's going to have to find out sometime soon. That's my hope, anyway."
"You have to remember," Candice adds, "Caroline is caught in a web of lies that she didn't necessarily create. She's not only keeping her own secret, but she's keeping Stefan's secrets, and Damon's secrets, and Tyler's secrets. There are lives on the line. Even if Matt thinks she's coming clean about certain lies, she's barely scratching the surface of what he doesn't know about the town."
Candice admits that the more romantic scenes with Zach came as a bit of a relief to her. "It's a lot easier to go to work knowing that you're going to spend the day laughing and having fun as opposed to crying and hyperventilating and sweating in a cage in an RV," she laughs. "I'm such a romantic at heart. I love a good 'awww' kind of moment."
"It's easy to forget that these characters are just kids," Zach adds. "They're still in high school and they're dealing with that first love anxiety the way teenagers do."
"It's something we can all relate to," Candice says. "'I like you! Do you like me? Wait, maybe you don't like me, so I'm going to pull back, but then maybe you do, and maybe it's too much for me!' There are those butterflies and that anxiety and it's fun to play with as an actor and, for me, fun to watch on screen."
On "The Vampire Diaries," nothing says "someone's going to die" like a moment full of laughter, song, and smiles. Thursday's episode has teenage butterflies... but it also has a body count, and with Elijah already taken care of, things could get scary... especially since Katherine ( Nina Dobrev) is out of the tomb and creeping around people's showers and stuff.
One person we don't have to worry about Katherine sinking her teeth into? Matt. She took a special interest in him and his baby blues before she was under tomb-arrest, but it looks like she's going to leave him alone for the time being. "There's been no Matt-and-Katherine so far," Zach says reluctantly. "I hope we see some interaction before the end of the season. I loved getting compelled by her. Honestly, any chance I get to work with Nina, I look forward to. Any time I can dance with her, whether it's Elena or Katherine, I'm happy."
And then, of course, there's the inevitable Tyler question. "I miss Trevino! We all want him to come back. It's weird without him here," Candice is quick to say. Still, Michael Trevino hasn't gone back to work in Atlanta since Tyler's big exit montage, and the window for a possible Season 2 return is rapidly closing.
Caroline doesn't share Candice's sentiment. As far as Caroline is concerned, Tyler's actions with Brady and Jules were unforgivable. "The last interaction that Caroline had with Tyler was when she was willing to let her die, even though she'd risked her life for him, so it's a pretty significant thing," she says. "Matt and Tyler have talked through their bro-code, and mended things in their friendship, which Caroline is oblivious to for the most part."
At least Tyler has one friend in Mystic Falls. "When Matt realizes that Tyler's gone, he sort of looks at that last conversation that they had and realizes that Tyler wasn't just giving him advice about Caroline, but he was asking for help," Zach says. "I think, ideally, Matt would go looking for Tyler, definitely. That's his best friend."
Nothing in Mystic Falls is ever "ideal," though. "What happens in these next couple of episodes is going to make that really difficult," he says. "The Tyler search party gets put on hold because there are much bigger, more urgent, more dangerous things that we're dealing with, unfortunately."
"The Vampire Diaries" writers aren't shy about killing people off of their show, and since Tyler left town with his heart still in his chest, we've got high hopes that he'll come back eventually. When he does, will he come between Matt and Caroline?
Zach scoffs. "If Tyler comes back, he'll have much more to deal with than just this love triangle. There will be a whole other can of worms. He's not going to be a threat to the romance aspect of it, I don't think," he says. "Honestly if Matt and Caroline can just get through everything that happens to them in these next couple episodes, they can get through just about anything."
That sounds... ominous.
We're just going to focus on the good things we have to look forward to in Thursday's episode: like that performance scene, which is a bit of a dream come true for Candice.
"When I first moved to LA and got signed to a label, they were like, we're going to release your record when you get on TV and start singing on some CW show," Candice shares. "I was like okay, you can't just snap your fingers and have that happen! So now it's six or seven years later, and I finally did it! It's funny how things work out."
Check out the never-before-seen behind the scenes photo of Candice getting ready to hit the microphone below, and don't forget to tune in on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.