In case you’re unfamiliar with our well-documented crush on “The Vampire Diaries” resident normal teenager, Matt Donovan, consider this your disclaimer: We. Love. Matt. To a degree that is generally inexplicable and often embarrassing.
When Zap2it caught up with our friend Zach Roerig on set, we had to give him his due credit for a fantastic performance in “The House Guest,” where he not only made us swoon with an undeniably epic romantic moment, but also had a very convincing meltdown after Caroline (Candice Accola) told Matt the truth about the vampires.
“Candice really helped me with that,” Zach says. “I mean, they let me have one of those moments again. The kiss on the stage was kind of like the kiss in the headlights Season 1. I definitely like to milk those moments, especially with Candice.”
Matt’s level five freak-out was a more difficult day of work for Zach. “That day was really tough, just because it all happened so fast. To really process the information that quickly and go from being freaked out to crying and being angry — it’s acting, that’s for sure. Plus, getting that angry at Caroline when off-camera she’s my good friend Candice, it was a little difficult.”
We saw a new side of Matt after he put the pieces together about his sister’s death. He’s always been the type to quietly accept his misfortune, but this time, he took control of the situation. He and Sheriff Forbes may be in a little bit over their heads, but we’re glad to see Matt active in his fate.
“We’ve seen Matt kind of always in a woe-is-me state. Happy, then woe-is-me. At this point Matt’s grown into a new place,” Zach says. “This is what his life is, and he’s going to go through it with his shoulders rolled back and his head high. I think Matt’s going to be a man.”
Matt may be double-crossing Caroline right now, but Zach has faith that he’ll come around to Team Vampire eventually.
“Knowing Matt as a person, at the end of the day these are all people that he really loves. Once he gets over the shock and the general fear, he’ll reach a point of understanding. I don’t think he’s going to turn his back on Caroline forever, and especially, Matt will never turn his back on Elena.”
(That’s why he’s our favorite.)
And don’t worry, guys — assuming Alaric gets his body back from Klaus, the bar at the Mystic Grill will be there to provide some liquid comfort. Though Jonas gave it a good shot, nothing can bring down the Grill. “That’s the interesting thing about Warlock fires,” Zach jokes. “They kind of just look like they’re burning everything. It’s more like a natural gas kind of fire. You saw me putting the flames out with my jacket, so we just assume that I put the fire out. We don’t need no water, we just need Matt.”
Matt’s blue t-shirt lives on. (That’s also why he’s our favorite.)
Tyler (Michael Trevino) returns to the show in the May 5 episode, and while Zach won’t give too much away about what brings Tyler back to Mystic Falls, we can definitely expect to see some fall-out between the friends. By that time, though, Matt may have come to grips with the monster convention going on in his town. “Overall, Matt will try to understand and be there for Tyler,” Zach says. “That’s just what he does.”
We recently spoke with “Nikita” star Melinda Clarke about the potential for a return to “The Vampire Diaries” as Matt’s deadbeat mom. Seriously, has anyone ever needed a mother as badly as poor Matt does?
“I actually did speak with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec about coming back,” she says. “To make a significant presence and to write a good storyline they would need time to do at least a few episodes and unfortunately with the ‘Nikita’ schedule that hasn’t come to fruition. Hopefully in the future we can make time to do that because that would be fun!”
Zach hopes she returns as well, though he may have some ulterior motives. “I would love to have Melinda come back, A, because she’s a ball to work with, and B, because I like being in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and I think Matt needs some things to keep him in Mystic Falls,” he says. “Like a mom. Or a house.”
At the time we did the interview with Zach, he hadn’t yet read the script for the finale, so there’s no telling whether or not Matt will survive Hurricane Klaus when it arrives in Mystic Falls. Even Zach is a little nervous. “I was very excited [when Matt found out about the vampires], but then at the same time… for a while, not knowing was his strength and weakness. Now that he knows, he could be killed.”
Watch the interview below for more from Zach about the upcoming decade dance, which he goes to in costume as the JFK to Caroline’s Jackie — and about the real-life fire that Matt wasn’t quite able to put out.
Plus, he says that “Care, get in the truck” line. Twice. You’re welcome.