Kat Graham Discusses ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and Bonnie’s Journey

Kat Graham The Vampire Diaries Interview
Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ (Photo by Annette Brown/© 2014 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved)

When we last saw Kat Graham in The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, fans of the show were left with the very real possibility that Bonnie wouldn’t be back for season six. At the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, Graham was committed to not giving away any possible spoilers, however she did talk about the season five finale and the reaction of fans to that episode. She also spoke passionately about her admiration for the supporters of the show as well as her experiences at Comic Con.

Kat Graham The Vampire Diaries Interview

How are you going to handle being stuck on the other side?

Kat Graham: “I’ve been there for quite a bit. I’m not paying rent so that’s good.”

Bonnie and Damon don’t have the best relationship, so that’s not going to be the easiest place and space to spend a lot of time.

Kat Graham: “And that’s kind of the point. It’d be a boring show if all the characters got along and they ran off. It’s like the two people that wouldn’t be… It’s like, ‘I would never be…if I was stuck on an island,’ you know? It’s like one of those.”

What was your reaction when you read last season’s finale script for the first time?

Kat Graham: “What was so funny is a lot of the fans that watch the show, they sometimes create their own backlash not realizing that we, as the actors, are totally in on it. You know, like, ‘How could they do that?’ and ‘She should whatever.’ But a lot of the stuff is discussions because I like to know how they see things going and how they like to see the characters played. And it’s a profusion of art, right? Like, what I bring and what Julie [Plec’s] going to bring and what Caroline Dries is going to bring. So, I knew it was coming and I just wanted to make sure that I could get the biggest reaction possible from whatever my job in it was to do, which I think happened.

I was just happy to work with Ian [Somerhalder]. He’s probably one of my favorite actors in the world. His process is incredible. We have the same acting coach so it makes such a difference when you are actors and you work in the same way. So that’s what I’ve been solely focused on is just the work and not anything else. If the character were – and I’ve said this a million times, but if they decided that the character had an end and that was how this story was going to evolve, it’s not your job to be attached; it’s your job to do a great performance each and every episode like it is your last. I’m kind of hoping that I’ve been playing it that way, that I treat every episode as if it were my last so that if they’re like, ‘You know what? We’ve changed our mind. We’re going to do this.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool.’ You’re telling a story and it’s your job to tell the story and be there as a partner for these incredible writers that had this idea that came to life. It’s your job to bring it to life and make it real. That’s really all I’m thinking about.”

There’s a trend in shows of killing off characters so it must feel good to be on a show where you can be dead today and back tomorrow.

Kat Graham: “Right. I was talking to my friend Brian – also my agent. I was like, ‘So, they killed me.’ And he was like, ‘Aren’t you on a dead people show? Isn’t everyone dead on the show.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ Now listen, we’ve also, not to make heavy of it, there have been a lot of characters that haven’t made it through even the first season of The Vampire Diaries. I mean, series regulars that aren’t on the call sheet that are now missing. Even though you see us still, you’ve got to kind of think of all the characters that didn’t make it that I think were planning on being on the show for a long time.

I think you have to be mildly insane to be an actor. You know what I mean? To be like, ‘I’m just going to risk it. I just think that I’m going to make it and people are going to want to interview me because I’m just so interesting.’ You have to be mildly insane to think you’re going to make it as an actor or get on a TV show or whatever. I’m so glad I started it when I was six because I’m much more sane now.”

After all of these seasons coming to Comic Con, how amazing is it to you that your fans are still so dedicated?

Kat Graham: “It’s so beautiful. My favorite part of the day – no offense to you guys – I love meeting the fans, like the young girls and the guys. I’m really a fan. I’m honestly the biggest TV fan. I watch so much TV. I sit on my couch for hours and I love all of that stuff. I feel like I’m looking at myself. I feel like if I hadn’t booked The Vampire Diaries I probably would be at Comic Con or at a Game of Thrones convention because I do get into it like that. The fact that they’re still so excited and they have photos of us that they print out… Can you imagine walking up and seeing a photo of yourself printed that somebody took the time to print? It’s so humbling because you’re like, ‘Who am I?’ Like, ‘Who the f*ck am I?’ You know what I mean? It makes me want to do the fan conventions. I do a lot. We have Vampire Diaries ones that we do during our hiatus and stuff, and it really makes me realize why we’re doing it and that’s what’s important. Pictures are fun, fashion’s are fun, but it’s not what Comic Con is about. Comic Con is about connecting to the fans and bringing them into your world and creating this world, and getting them excited and then you get excited. That’s what it’s about. The second that it’s about something else is the second you should probably stop coming.

I do dig it. I dig the people out there, the people in the streets or wearing the costumes. Because it’s something that affected their live enough, it’s something that inspired them enough to want to dress up as. It’s a character that empowered them or made them feel capable of anything. It’s fun, but I always feel like there’s a little deeper thing to it.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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