It’s a vampire invasion Down Under this weekend as The Hub Productions’ presents “Vampire Diaires 2: A Return to Mystic Falls”. Steven R McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Malese Jow (Anna), and David Anders (John Gilbert) join home grown talent Nathanial Buzolic (Original Vampire Kol) for the event, and to celebrate we spoke with the gorgeous Aussie about getting giggly with Joseph Morgan (Klaus), the joys of Twitter, and what it’s really like to hit someone in the face with a baseball bat.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me, I know you have a very busy day! Tell me, how did an Australian get involved in ”The Vampire Diaries”?
I’ve sort of based myself in the States, I’ve been one of the fortunate actors to get really great representation in the US and I’ve been going back and forth for a few years. I’d met with the producers a few years ago when the show originally came to life, and I was in consideration for one of the characters back then, and I ended up not getting it, but I was actually auditioning for another TV series, “The Secret Circle” and got close to a character on that, and my tapes got sent on to the head of Warner Brothers casting. They went back to the producers and said “You’ve got to revisit Nathanial” so a few days later I got a phone call from my agent that they’d offered me a role, and the rest is sort of history, it’s been really exciting.
How much of Kol’s history were you told up front, or do you just learn as you go along?
It’s funny, I was told nothing. They are very secretive, even when you have the job, I was in the dark for a good month and a half before I knew who my character was and what I was going to be doing on the show, and I didn’t really find anything out until I actually landed in Atlanta. I didn’t even know if I was going to be a vampire, for all I knew I was going to be a victim! So to be an Original vampire, with such a great story, it was all shock for me, but none the less very exciting.
I won’t ask if there are any similarities between yourself and Kol, because he is obviously not the nicest of vampires…
It’s funny yeah, a lot of people follow me on Twitter, and they’re like “You’re nothing like your character”. Yeah I hope not. As an actor I think we have personality types, and I’ve definitely had some moments where people might think I am very closely linked to my character. I think we all have that ability to be good and bad, and it’s just sort of harnessing that bad more than good, when you’re playing a character like Kol.
Yes he is very unpredictable and unstable.
Yeah I think Kol just wants to have fun. There’s a certain level of confidence/arrogance that comes with being a vampire because you really don’t have anything to worry about physically. It’s almost like if you have a dispute with someone who is much bigger than you, you would deal with that situation so differently if you knew that person couldn’t hurt you, and that’s what vampires have. No what they do or say they don’t have to worry about the consequences too much. And I think that’s what Kol’s character brings. He realises this. Repercussions aren’t a big issue for him. And hopefully the show starts to delve into his history a little bit, and maybe where this arrogance came from.
Yes, Season 4 hopefully! Now I have to say, I felt pretty cheated with we caught up with Jeremy in Denver and it appeared that he and Kol had become friends and we didn’t get to see it!
I know! It was all off screen.
That is a spin off I would like to see, Jeremy and Kol, just hanging out in Denver, fighting crimes or something…
I think that would be quite entertaining. I think Kol would have been quite frustrated with Jeremy sometimes and he would have just dealt with it for the outcome of being able to give Damon a once over.
So was getting to hit Ian Somerhalder with a baseball bat the highlight of your time on the series so far?
You know what, it was funny because the day on set where that whole sequence came together, we obviously had a stunt guy come in, because, well, you’re not going to hit Ian Somerhalder in the face. I’d feel horrible. Essentially I just had to smash a guy in the face with a baseball bat. Honestly it was really hard to do, especially when we were about to do the take and he was like ‘Look, let’s just do this take once, hit me as hard as you can so we only have to do it once.’ As soon as I hit him and he went down, obviously I had to keep going in the scene because Kol wouldn’t really care too much, but it was kind of a strange moment, where you have to stay in character but inside you’re just thinking ‘I hope he’s not dead, I hope he’s not dead, I hope he’s not dead.’
So NOT the most fun then.
Definitely, I can say, for those people who have not hit someone in the face with a baseball bat, no, not that good. [laughs]
Fair enough, that’s a good message. ”The Vampire Diaries” seems to have one of the friendliest and tight knit casts going around, what is the vibe like on set?
Oh it’s great. The first day I was on set I was really really welcomed. Everyone was so nice, and I’d obviously met Nina and Paul and Ian before, LA is a very small knit community and you see people out and about, but it was really nice on set. There’s a really big family environment. I got on fantastically with Joseph Morgan (Klaus) and also Daniel Gilles, who’s a Kiwi. We had a couple of laughs at first, there was a little bit of fun (Australia vs New Zealand) rivalry there.
So the Originals are all from Australia and New Zealand! And England.
Yeah there was a really nice vibe between us. He was great and we had good times. Joseph and I would just be tomfoolery on set. We would be giggling like school girls a lot of the time.
Now you mentioned before being on Twitter, and I think it’s fantastic how all the cast, including yourself, are so active on Twitter. Is that something you’re encouraged to do or do you all just enjoy being able to relate so directly to fans?
No there’s no encouragement, I mean the show has a very specific audience, which is heavily involved with Twitter, and it’s nice to interact with the people who, essentially, employ you. And I know this is so clichéd and everyone says it, but without the fans the show wouldn’t exist, and it really is true. From my point of view, these are the people that actually give us an opportunity to do what we love, so it’s nice to be able to actually interact with them, and thank them for their support.
I always know when a “Vampire Diaries” episode is airing in the US because there’s always something trending worldwide on Twitter.
I know, it was a real shock for me when I got a worldwide trend from my followers. I was just like ‘wow that is incredible.’
You’re on home turf now, is it great being able to show your fellow cast members the sites of Australia?
I’d love to, I think that will be today’s festivities, Steve (R. McQueen) and I are going to go down to this wildlife/aquarium at Darling Harbour. It’s nice to have some Americans out here, because they realise that kangaroos aren’t in our backyard. I will often lie to Americans and say that I’m a Wombat Racer, and they believe me. But it’s nice to have them out here so I can show them and let the rest the rest of the cast know that, no we don’t have kangaroos as pets and have to feed them at 4pm everyday [laughs].
I always feel like Americans think of Australia as this far off, magical place, where they’re not really show what goes on there, but they’re pretty sure it’s something cool.
Yeah, totally. I had a guy not too long ago ask if we had the internet in Australia…
Wow. Oh dear. Now Australians seem to be really making their mark in American TV and film, which is fantastic to see, do you think there is a certain training or work ethic that we embrace here or are we just a talented bunch?
I think you’ll see a lot of male Australian actors doing quite well in the States. Chris Hemsworth is a perfect example – he’s a dude, a bloke, and when you go to see films and you watch TV Shows, you want someone to look to look up to and be ‘I want to be like that guy’. I think what the attraction for Australian male actors anyway is they’re not too precious, and that’s really important because you can’t hide that on camera. And the females as well they have a real sense of themselves, and I think that’s an attractive quality. And of course, very talented, there are so many talented Australian actors; it’s almost like an untouched resource. It’s really really rare now for a TV Show to get picked up now without having an Australian in it. I love it, I’m very proud to be an Australian actor and I think it will continue.
What’s coming up next for you? I hope we get to see you in Season 4…
Yeah I’m hoping so, we’ll I’m not dead yet! I’m looking forward to getting back and I’m just sort of waiting to sort of find out what happens in Season 4. For me, I’m back in the audition trail as well. So hopefully more Vampire Diaries stuff and hopefully some films, and also at the same time I would love to come back home, there’s some great Australian things going on that I would love to be a part of. But it’s a very exciting time for me, really looking forward to the second half of the year.
Thanks so much speaking with Moviehole today, I hope you all enjoy your time in Australia, congratulations on everything you’ve done so far and we really look forward to tracking you as you go along!
Thank you, you have a bless day and we’ll follow each other on Twitter or something [laughs].
“Vampire Diaries 2: Return to Mystic Falls” is taking place today (Saturday) in Sydney and tomorrow (Sunday) in Melbourne.
Tickets are available to purchase on the door, both days 9am-6pm.
For full details visit www.thehubproductions.com