“The Vampire Diaries” has some fresh blood this year, and we promise you’re going to love her. In last week’s premiere, you met Pastor Young, the fanatical preacher who blew up the entire Founder’s Council in a suicide mission that’s sure to have dire repercussions. Before he did, though, he wrote a letter — to his daughter, April.
Grace Phipps plays the 16-year-old spitfire, who returns to Mystic Falls after a few years away to attend her father’s funeral. When we first meet her, she’s worried that the entire town will resent her father for not getting his gas gauges checked … because, of course, the police have dismissed the tragedy as a gas leak.
A human orphan who is about to be sucked into vampire madness, April is a little bit Season 1 Elena, with the sarcastic humor of our dearly departed Anna. “I’ve done a lot of work with Nina, which has been fun,” Phipps tells Zap2it. “April really, really looks up to Elena, so that’s been really fun to play with. She kind of mirrors her a little bit. April grew up with Elena babysitting her, so they’re very close.”
Like many of her Mystic Falls cohorts, April now has no family to speak of, and Elena takes her under her wing. “Since she doesn’t have a role model right now, she looks to Elena,” Phipps says. Still, despite the horrifying circumstances surrounding her, April keeps a brave face.
“What’s actually really fun to play about April, and what drew me to her when I first read the part, is that she’s not a depressed person. She’s not a person who goes around blaming. I mean, she’s 16, so you’re not entirely stable at that point, you’re a teenager, but she’s not a tragic person, she just got thrust into a tragic situation. That’s what’s really fun to play,” she explains. “There’s a conflict between the person that she wants to be and the situation that she’s in.”
As for romance, “There is a love interest,” Phipps tells us coyly. When we ask whether there’s just one love interest, she scoffs, “Let’s not talk about geometry yet!”
Phipps brings a great new energy to the cast, while April shifts the dynamic of the show a bit. Now, Elena isn’t concerned about saving herself all the time — she’s got a new, innocent person in town who means a lot to her, and keeping April safe begins to take priority. As we’ll see in tonight’s episode, “Memorial,” keeping April safe is much easier said than done thanks to a new hunter in town.
Given the (very bloody) splash she makes in the new episode, it’s only natural that we chose Phipps for Zap2it’s Ones to Watch for Fall 2012. Get to know her with our Q&A below, and make sure to tune in to “The Vampire Diaries,” Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred.
Zombie apocalypse or alien invasion?
Zombie apocalypse! Archery is basically the only thing I have aim in, and
I’m, well, Zombie-informed, whereas I have no skills in higher math which
would render me useless to a non-earthly being. Plus like 70% of my dreams
have zombies in them.
Who is your most recent text message from?
My best friend Lily Kershaw!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you
I’d want to go to India. I’ve wanted to go since I was 3.
Tell us one thing that the general public doesn’t know about you.
I run secret nerd-themed comedy twitters. Shhh!
Is there a celebrity you’ve met who made you feel star-struck? Tell
us about it.
David Tennant! He’s my favorite doctor from “Doctor Who” and I got to do the
table read with him for Fright Night. He was super nice to me and all around
What food can you not resist?
If you could guest star on one other TV show, what would it be and
“Supernatural!” Why? Dean Winchester – ’nuff said.
Which character from “The Breakfast Club” would you have hung out with
in high school?
Brian. We could have studied for AP tests together.
What websites do you check most often?
Feministing, College Humor, MarthaStewart.com and IMDB
What’s the most random thing in your purse or wallet?
A piece of wood I can knock on.