Michael Malarkey Interview: ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 8

Vampire Diaries star Michael Malarkey
Michael Malarkey from ‘The Vampire Diaries’ at Comic Con 2016 (Photo © Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

The CW’s The Vampire Diaries is definitely coming to an end with season eight and the 2016 San Diego Comic Con was the cast’s farewell to the fan convention where the show’s panel and Q&A with fans has always been a popular draw. Among The Vampire Diaries cast members who took part in this year’s Comic Con was Michael Malarkey who is going into his fourth season of playing Enzo. During our roundtable interview, Malarkey talked about what we can expect from Enzo this season, the Enzo/Bonnie relationship, and how he’d like to see Enzo’s storyline wrap up.

Michael Malarkey Interview:

This is going to be a very different Enzo that we see this season, isn’t it?

Michael Malarkey: “Yes. How we left off last season was Damon and Enzo going on this killing rampage. We will find out why and what they’re driven by and it’s something to do with this new supreme evil that has been lurking in the vault, that has escaped the vault. Enzo, however, is kind of grappling with this a bit more, he’s fighting it a bit more than Damon and how we start the season is seeing the whole relationship with Damon and Enzo and this creature, you can call it.”

This creature, are we going to actually see it?

Michael Malarkey: “Yes. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say on that matter or not. But it is a ‘being’ of some sort. Yeah. I think I’m allowed to say it.”

Does this feel like a good place for the story to wrap up in your mind or are you disappointed it’s not going to keep going for many more seasons?

Michael Malarkey: “I think it feels like a good place. Where do you stop otherwise? It can become just another cop show where you have an episodic kind of thing, like a Scooby-Doo type of thing. I feel like the great thing about this, about doing a somewhat shorter season and having an end point in sight, is that they can really own the focus, drive it towards the end, as opposed to, ‘What can we throw in now to keep everything occupied?’

22 episodes is a long ass time to be able to fill. I’m super excited about that. I feel like it is a good place. All the characters are kind of finding their footing in a way. Well, in a way I suppose, and we’ll find out how that all kind of happens at the end, whatever Julie (Plec’s) vision is for closure which I’m super excited to find out about myself.”

Damon and Enzo won’t be completely out on their own, will they? You will get to act with the rest of the cast sometimes, won’t you?

Michael Malarkey: “Oh, we’ll have to. The beauty of this season is everything’s focused on the group. The group is looking for Damon and Enzo so everybody is together, whereas I think in seasons past there’s been a lot of different things going on, missions with just Enzo and Sarah Salvatore and then Damon and Elena, Stefan and his thing, and Klaus and all that. So this is everybody is together. All the storylines are kind of working in the same direction in a way.”

What’s happening with the Enzo and Bonnie storyline?

Michael Malarkey: “Well, you’re going to get a whole lot more of that. There’s some more Enzo/Bonnie stuff coming up as well which, by the way, was a joy to shoot. Kat (Graham) and I had a blast doing that. That was a really great part of last season. But obviously it’s kind of on a bit of a hiatus based upon the situation at hand with Enzo being locked up by this force and then being away.”

How do you think playing Enzo has changed you, if it has?

Michael Malarkey: “I think living on the edge, living in the moment, really pursuing what I want to pursue relentlessly. Kind of doing it a bit more fearlessly than I did before. I feel like he’s made me a bit more like that. I feel like all the characters I’ve played I’m influenced by and I still carry with me to this day. I played Elvis for a year; there’s a part of me that’s always retained that kind of thing. You can’t help it. You become somebody. It’s like living a second life legally.”

What ending do you want for Enzo?

Michael Malarkey: “A happy ending. A nice, happy ending. I mean, since I’ve been living with him and experiencing his wants as well, I want for him to be happy. I want for him to end up with Bonnie and be content and not have any of this other crap to have to deal with, because that’s what he wants. I want what my character wants.”

Will that be possible given the dark turn he’s taking this season? Can he redeem himself and have a happy ending?

Michael Malarkey: “Well, that will be whole season for you to enjoy that whole trajectory. I think that will be a lot of what this season’s about for Enzo, each episode finding that out. I don’t know yet but I’m assuming so. But that storyline is definitely still strong – Bonnie and Enzo. We’re going to be exploring that.”

Is there anything you hope Enzo gets to do this season that he hasn’t been able to do in past seasons?

Michael Malarkey: “I want him to ride a horse. That would be another ending! Maybe something happens and Bonnie and him don’t end up together. He can ride a horse off into the sunset.”

Is it going to be sad saying goodbye to the rest of this cast?

Michael Malarkey: “Hell yes. I love all of these people. It’s become my family for the past few of years. I was saying earlier that it’s rare for some shows to even go as long as three seasons, and I’ve been doing this going into my fourth season on the show which is nice. However, when you have those close bonds you’ll still keep in touch. I reckon from this point on when I’m in LA I’ll hit up Paul or Matt or Ian or Zach. ‘What are you guys doing? Let’s grab some lunch.’ It’s that close. It’s like family. It’s corny but it’s true.”

Watch the Michael Malarkey interview: