“The Vampire Diaries” resident witch Bonnie (Kat Graham) has always found a way to fix whatever problem was in her or her friends’ way. But Season 5 threw her a curveball: Bonnie’s dead, and only Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) can see or speak to her.
Graham didn’t find out her character died until she read the Season 4 finale script. “When I read the episode, I was like, ‘Um … what?'” Graham tells Zap2it. “I didn’t know what was happening. Every character has died a few times on the show and the last time I died on the show they brought me back after the commercial break. So I just kept reading, and I was still dead so I thought, ‘Well they’ll just bring me back in the next episode.’ And then when that didn’t happen either, I realized that for the first time my character was about to go through a whole new arc that I hadn’t expected. I was excited because I could explore new things with the character that I never thought I’d be able to explore. I don’t know how many times I’m going to be playing a dead witch after this show, you know what I mean?”
Something Graham was excited to portray is the fact that since Bonnie is dead, she can’t use her witchy powers, and she can’t do anything to help her friends and loved ones against Silas. In the Season 5 premiere, she could only watch helplessly as Silas murdered her father in front of the entire town. “You’re going to see a character who is already vulnerable because her powers got taken away, but I also think you’re going to see a side to her that’s a bit more powerless,” Graham says. “She’s wanting things to change and realizing the reality of the situation she’s in now. I think where the character was before emotionally is the same mentality that she’s had over the past few seasons which was, ‘It’s okay, it’s going to work out, I can fix this, let’s just let the water settle and it’ll figure itself out.’ And when this happened it makes it more of a reality which at that point propels Jeremy to say, ‘We need to start to tell everyone that you’re really dead.'”
In the months since Bonnie’s death, she’s had Jeremy emailing and texting her friends to keep up the ruse that she’s alive. We started to see Jeremy getting fed up with keeping her secret in the Season 5 premiere, and that will continue in Thursday’s all-new episode, “True Lies.” “You’ll start to see him pushing her to tell everyone, because there’s nothing he can really do,” Graham says. “He’s got no powers. So yeah, you’ll start to see that. You’ll see in the episode tonight if that really happens, if he’s able to convince her.”
Does Bonnie regret her choice to die to save Jeremy, especially since her death broke the spell that kept Silas trapped, and he went on to kill her father? Graham says no, but she does hold herself partially to blame for her father’s death. “Yeah, there’s a lot of blame there,” Graham says. “She hates Silas, but there is a level of ‘If I didn’t do this, then my father would still be alive.’ But then there’s also, ‘Well I love Jeremy and I did it because I love him.’ There’s this back and forth you’ll see the character have, because of where she is, because of who she is.”
While Graham couldn’t reveal if Bonnie is able to act out against Silas from the Other Side, she did reveal that we will see that answered in the next few episodes. We will also finally get to see the mysterious Other Side that’s been referenced for the entire series. “It was always a mystery when we were shooting it,” Graham says. “It was like, ‘Alaric went to the Other Side but he’s back now but he was there for a minute.’ But now you’ll actually get to see it. The way they do it is actually always how I imagined the Other Side so I can’t really say what that is. But it’s an interesting scenario and you get to see scenes on the Other Side. It’s really cool. It’s where I’ve been living. I’m excited for people to see it.”
Since the Other Side is where supernatural beings go when they die, expect to see some familiar faces. “You’re going to see a couple characters, one in particular that will surprise you,” Graham reveals. “I’m so sorry, I can’t give spoilers and say who, but you’ll get to see some stuff on the Other Side. She’ll be able to interact with other characters other than Jeremy. I have scenes with other people.”
Many fans have been wondering whether or not Bonnie can be resurrected like so many other characters have been in the past. “It’s a show where anything can happen. But it’s also a show where it can stay in a direction for a really long time,” Graham teases. “It will be for the benefit of the story line whether they decide to go with a resurrection.” Would Graham want Bonnie to come back to life, if it was possible? “All I’ve ever wanted for the character, if there was anything I could request more of, would be to work with my best friends, my cast members more,” Graham says. “There’s a few actors and actresses I wish I had more scenes with. So whatever that means and however they would do that, I’m totally happy with.”
While many of Graham’s fans are upset that Bonnie has taken on the role of the “thankless martyr” this season, Graham is actually really excited about her story line, and urges her fans to keep on watching to see where Bonnie goes next. “I’m a very raw person. I never feel like I need to be politically correct or hide anything. I see everything and I read everything,” Graham says. “This is my work. I put my heart and my soul and most importantly my time that I will never get back into this show. I work really hard on these episodes and I put my blood sweat and tears into them, and all I ask is that the fans watch them before they decide, ‘I’m not going to watch this because Bonnie’s dead.’ Well, I’m actually on the show and I’m working my butt off and there’s some really cool stuff happening, things that the character has never been able to do and has never done in four seasons, she will do in Season 5. That is the one thing I can tell them without giving away spoilers.”
Graham understands why some fans may be upset with Bonnie’s story line, but she fully supports where the creators are taking Bonnie. “If they’re my fans, if they are my hardcore fans, they’re not going to miss an episode that I’m in,” Graham says. “I don’t care how much they don’t approve of what Julie [Plec] and Caroline [Dries] are writing for the series, I support them and I support this character, and I just want them to watch the show. And if they don’t watch the show then they’re not my fans. I know they’re young so they get excited, but the point is that they keep watching the show and they keep supporting the character and they have opinions. This character has made them feel these things. My portrayal of this character has made them want the character to win. And I think that if they just analyze that a bit more they’d really realize that they do have feelings for this character. But you’re not going to know if the character wins or not by not watching the show.”
Graham also promises we will get to see Bonnie happy, but she couldn’t reveal whether or not that would be in the present, future, or in flashbacks. “There’s a chance at happiness, you’ll get to see Bonnie happy,” Graham says. “Whether that’s in a flashback or because of whatever you want to think, you’ll get to see a happier Bonnie. You’ll get to
see happier moments for sure. There’s also a side of Bonnie that hasn’t been explored yet that the fans will get to see. They’re pretty smart so if they can think what that is, then it’s happening.”
“The Vampire Diaries” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.