'The Vampire Diaries' star Joseph Morgan dishes on Klaus and Caroline, more 'revealing' scenes, and his new friend on 'The Originals'

tvd-joseph-morgan-414.jpgNews of beloved villain Joseph Morgan leaving "The Vampire Diaries" for his potential new spin-off "The Originals" has been relatively polarizing in the fandom. Some fans feel that his absence will leave "TVD" lacking, while other fans are looking forward to him taking on a more central role (and, thus, getting much more screen-time) in the new series, which will be set in New Orleans.

But it ain't over 'til it's over, vamp fans! Trust us when we say there's still plenty of story to tell for Klaus in the second half of this season before he, Elijah, and Rebekah potentially leave Mystic Falls in their rear-view mirror. In this week's episode, his season-long rivalry with Tyler will come to a troubling climax, and his complicated relationship with Caroline is only about to get more complicated.

In last week's episode, Caroline appealed to Klaus' sensitive side after he poisoned her with werewolf venom, to convince him to give her the antidote. It's debatable whether she was genuinely sympathetic or whether she was just playing him like a fiddle to get the blood she needed to survive, but Morgan tells us that he believes Caroline's sentiments were honest.

"I think she was being genuine," he says. "The way Candice played it, she was being genuine. I also think it's more interesting if she was -- it sort of adds a level of complexity to her character, rather than, 'Oh, we're playing another thing on Klaus.' It's more if it comes from a genuine place. As an actor and a character, I bought into it."

This season, we've seen the "good guys" on the show do some pretty horrendous things in the name of finding a cure for vampirism -- they've killed people who have helped them, and most recently, they wasted an entire vampire bloodline so Jeremy could get more ink. Still, because Klaus has killed and tried to kill people that the good guys like, he remains the adversary of the show. Only Caroline and Stefan have managed to acknowledge that he's not any worse than the rest of them -- though that was before he killed Caroline's boyfriend's mother, of course.

"I feel like we all do the same sort of bad things. They killed my brother, didn't they? And it wasn't because they really needed to get rid of him, it was because they wanted to make Jeremy's hunter's mark grow. I think they do it under the guise of morality. They have this moral curtain that they wrap around the whole thing, like, 'We're doing this because of this, and that's what's right!' But really, the act is still the same. You're still killing. However you try to justify it, we're all bad. I just have a higher body count -- but I also have a few hundred years on them, you know? They'll get there."

In this week's episode, Caroline and Tyler turn to Klaus for help with decoding the message on the hunters' sword. Obviously, Tyler isn't particularly high on Klaus' list of people for whom to do favors, but he does like the idea of Tyler owing him a favor or two. Plus... he's still trapped in Elena's living room, and apparently there's nothing on TV.

tvd-414-joseph-morgan-michael-trevino.jpg"He loves to lord it over people that he's needed. He loves to push buttons like that, so they need his ancient knowledge and all of that malarky to translate the code. He's trapped in a room. He's essentially bored. Part of the game is getting Caroline to admit she needs him, and seeing what the information is worth to her. Getting them to sort of beg is what he's going to enjoy about this episode."

Despite the mayhem and murder going on in Mystic Falls, everybody seems to have time to get laid once in a while -- except, it seems, for Klaus. He's been on the show for nearly two full seasons without so much as a one-night-stand. And there are plenty of those to go around in this town! While Morgan wouldn't confirm who Klaus's partner is, he does tell us that we have a Klaus sex scene to look forward to.

"I've been spending more time at the gym recently, as they've decided that after a year and a half of cutting me a break, they were going to be a bit more revealing with my character, let's say," he teases. "Let's leave it there."

In the next two episodes, two major characters will exit the show in significant (though different) ways. We can't divulge who had to pack their knives and go, but suffice to say, the "TVDFamily" in Atlanta is shrinking a bit. Though characters are written out of the show on a pretty regular basis, Morgan admits that it never gets easier to say goodbye.

"It doesn't," he says. "The storylines develop quickly, so it's not like you start a season knowing this person is going to go at the end of the season. They try to give us as much notice as they can, especially the person involved, but it's difficult. We are in a bit of a bubble here in Atlanta, so we share a lot of time. I remember seeing it, though not feeling so much a part of it, with Sara Canning at the end of Season 2. It's sort of strange, because you become like a little family, and then seeing that happen is difficult, and it's quite emotional for all of us. It's a weird one."

The family may be splitting up a bit again for "The Originals" pilot, some of which will be filmed in Atlanta and some of which will be filmed in New Orleans. This week, it was announced that Claire Holt signed on to the new show as a regular cast member, joining her former "H2O: Just Add Water" castmate Phoebe Tonkin and her "TVD" brothers. The spin-off has actually been in the works for years.

"This is what happened. There was talk about it amongst the fans way before it became a reality. There were trailers online that were fan-made on YouTube. The fans were thinking it'd be a good idea, and had potential. I talked about it with Daniel and with Claire, just tossing the idea around -- 'What do you think about it?' 'What do you think about it?' They started talking to us about it in a more serious way at the end of the third season."

Originally, the show was going to be set in Chicago, because we've already seen the Originals' history there. "Now, the New Orleans setting, I absolutely love, and it's funny to see that now they're dropping in moments. Kol, the other day, said 'Oh, New Orleans, they know how to make a real drink there!' and I was like 'Oh, just a little tip of the hat!' We're starting to throw those references."

Though it's a risky move to leave a sure thing for a show that might not find an audience, Morgan seems to think that Klaus may be leaving Mystic Falls just in time. "There's always a bit of a risk, especially because a lot of it is on my shoulders, though thankfully I have my brother and some other characters there too," he says. "For me, though, I absolutely love 'The Vampire Diaries' and I love the Mystic Falls crew, but I wondered where they would go with Klaus. Could he stick around? I don't know that we could do another year of 'We hate Klaus and we've got to get rid of him, but he's kind of sticking around.'"

But Morgan isn't excited for the new show purely for character reasons -- he's looking forward to hanging out with an old pal. Marcel, Klaus' vampire protege who has emerged as a leader in New Orleans, will be played by Charles Michael Davis, a longtime off-screen friend of Morgan's.

"I know Charles Michael Davis! I used to play poker with him; he's a mate of mine. Isn't that random?" he laughs. "He texted me, and said, 'Hey, I'm auditioning for this part,' and then a week later, 'Hey, I'm testing for it.' I was like 'Hey, Julie, look out for this guy,' and she texted me back 'Oh, yeah, I like him.'"

It should make for a really fantastic dynamic between the two characters. "We'd play poker together in LA, and he frequently took all my money, so it'll be interesting when he comes to shoot the pilot," Morgan laughs. "He's a terrific guy, and that's going to be great."

It's a particularly fun coincidence, because when Morgan was auditioning for the role of Klaus, his old buddy Paul Wesley nudged Julie Plec about him for the role. "I thought about that," he says. "I think that bodes well. Maybe Charles will be getting his own spin off from 'The Originals' in a few years."

This is a pivotal time for Morgan, because there's always the chance that "The Originals" doesn't take off -- though we're sure that the "TVD" family will stick with it. "I have to just take a chance on it," he says frankly. "I am putting myself out there a bit, and I am a bit concerned, because I really want it to be a success, and I want to continue exploring this character. That worry comes with the job, doesn't it, really? There was a fair bit of pressure when Klaus arrived after 10 episodes of talking about him, so I'm just going to do my job and film my scenes and do the best job I can, and not worry so much about the big picture."

Tune in to "The Vampire Diaries" Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. "The Originals" backdoor pilot will air in that timeslot on April 25.
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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