Phoebe Tonkin Talks About ‘The Originals’

Phoebe Tonkin The Originals Interview

Phoebe Tonkin in a scene from 'The Vampire Diaries' (Photo by Bob Mahoney © 2013 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved)

By Fred Topel

The original family of vampires – Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt) – head off to New Orleans for new adventures separate from what they’d been up to in Mystic Falls in The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. Also making the jump from Vampire Diaries to the The Originals is Phoebe Tonkin who played Hayley in eight episodes of season four of the popular The CW series.

Hayley is a werewolf who, as we pick up her story in The Originals, is pregnant with Klaus’ baby after a drunken one-night stand. And at the 2013 Television Critics Association summer press event, Tonkin talked about being a part of The CW family and her role in The Originals.

Phoebe Tonkin The Originals Interview

What has it meant for you to stay in The CW family with The Secret Circle, Vampire Diaries, and now The Originals?

Phoebe Tonkin: “I’ve been very grateful.  It’s really nice.  I definitely think of The CW as a family and I hope to grow old on The CW.  That make such great shows.”

That’s an interesting phrase – “grow old”. I don’t think they do that on The CW.

Phoebe Tonkin: “I know. In about three years my cut-off will be done and I’ll be playing a grandmother on The CW. I’ve been really lucky.  It’s so exciting to be on these shows. I’m a fan of them myself, so to be on them is really great.”

You’ve been on Vampire Diaries a while now so you’re used to the fan reaction, but are you ready for all these eyes on you now that you’re a regular on this show or does that kind of scare you at all?

Phoebe Tonkin: “No, I think that fans are so loyal to the Vampire Diaries and I just hope that they accept our show as well and they’re excited by our show. It’s nice, especially on Twitter, so nice to interact with the fans, to hear their direct reactions to things that happen on the show as it happens, which is I think great. It’s something that has happened over the last few years.”

How does The Originals have a different feel from Vampire Diaries?

Phoebe Tonkin: “I think it’s a little darker. It’s a little bit more twisted. There’s some very weird, kind of quirky things and characters that come in. I think the Vampire Diaries are still very dark, too, but it’s just a different tone. Also being in a different town like New Orleans where it’s a party town, it’s not like a small town where there’s the pub and the restaurant that you go to. This is like a town of nightlife, which I think is going to change the show a lot.”

Do you remain close to The Vampire Diaries‘ family now that you’ve branched out?

Phoebe Tonkin: “We’re all kind of close. We all live in Atlanta, so we see each other every day. Someone we’ll be going to get coffee, or someone will be at the restaurant you walk past. It’s kind of nice. It feels like a bit of a college town because everyone sees everyone all the time. It’s nice to have a bigger group of people as opposed to a small.”

What do you guys do off set?

Phoebe Tonkin: “Go to dinner, there’s amazing restaurants in Atlanta so we just eat and be merry.”

You’re support a lot of causes, including green ones.  Why is this important to you and which ones are you especially excited about?

Phoebe Tonkin: “From a young age, my father’s a travel agent so we traveled a lot as children. We were always aware of what was going on in different countries, especially Third World countries. When I was 18 I decided all my friends were going off to college and I decided to go to Cambodia for six weeks and volunteer.  I just fell in love with the place and the people and the children.  Since then I struck up a friendship and a relationship with a beautiful woman called Tara who works in the Cambodian Children’s Trust since I was about 18 or 19.   I’ve been quietly supporting them, just myself, over the last years. But now with social media it’s such a great tool to bring awareness. We’ve been working, especially recently, to bring awareness to that charity.  It’s still a very small charity.”

That’s the main one. But I, myself, am very green.  I have a website with my best friend about health tips, with Teresa Palmer: Yourzenlife.com.  That site is about eating healthy, recycling, gardening.  It’s everything that we are interested in and like talking about.”

How would you have liked The Secret Circle to have ended if you could have really wrapped it up?

Phoebe Tonkin: “Well, I think that Faye would be living in Europe somewhere and flying around causing trouble with Diana.”

You were supposed to do a sequel to Tomorrow, When the War Began, and now it’s been so many years. Even director Stuart Beattie aid he doesn’t think the continuity will work, but would you still like to do a sequel?

Phoebe Tonkin: “I would love, love to be reunited with that group of actors and with Stuart as well.  I saw Stuart at Comic Con actually, and unfortunately I think probably too much time has passed.  Caitlin Stasey is here today as well.  It’s so funny.  I love that.  I hope that they continue, maybe just with a different cast because it’s such a great story.  I think it deserves to be told.”

Rumors are circulating that Ian Somerhalder might be doing the Christian Grey part in Fifty Shades. What do you think of that? Do you think he’d be good in the role?

Phoebe Tonkin: [Laughing] “I don’t know. I actually started reading that book in St. Lucia and then it got rained on. I couldn’t finish the book, so I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know enough about the book to tell you, but he’s so lovely I’m sure he could play any great part.”

* * * * *

The Originals premieres on The CW on October 15, 2013 at 8pm.

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Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist since 1999, covering film and television for major websites. He's a member of the Television Critics Association and has interviewed thousands of actors, directors, writers, producers, and musicians over the course of his career.

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