The Vampire Diaries airs a holiday-centered episode this Thursday, as Caroline (Candice Accola) finds herself wrapped up in even more of the conflict brewing between Klaus and the hybrids he doesn’t realize are planning to rebel against him.
I spoke to Accola about this episode – the last one until the show returns in January – and Caroline’s ever-turbulent relationships with Klaus, Damon and more.
IGN TV: This week’s episode is the first time you guys have had a holiday-themed one, right?
Candice Accola: Yeah, the first time. I’m so excited because I love the holidays, and the set was just beautiful. I think that the viewers are going to notice all the hard work that our art and prop departments put into it.
IGN: And it sounds like there’s some big conflict involving Klaus this week.
Accola: There’s a plan for taking down Klaus, trying to pull him back, because he’s just not happy. So yeah, everyone is entering into another opportunity to take down Klaus. However, the gang is not communicating very well. So it’s everyone trying to make the move, but then just not necessarily clicking in what they think is the right way to do it. Everyone feels that their way is the right way, which obviously does not a team make. So everything could go absolutely perfect, as it always does on the show… [Laughs] or this could be the first time in four years where there’s a hiccup!
IGN: For quite awhile now with Klaus, there’s been the fact that he’s got this infatuation with Caroline. Might this play into these new plans?
Accola: Caroline is very well aware that she is able to use herself as — one my lines that I really loved is when Caroline goes, “Why do I always have to be Klaus bait?” And it’s true! It’s funny. Klaus is just enchanted with her. He also knows she’s playing him, but I think he likes that she’s playing him because he’s still a step ahead of her. But it gives him attention and a game that I think a character like him really wants. She’s definitely involved, but she still has an arm’s length between them. She’s definitely not on his side.
IGN: When I mentioned I was going to be speaking to you on Twitter, there were quite a few fans clearly all about Klaus and Caroline as a couple. Despite Klaus’s history, what do you think when you hear, “Yeah, get them together”?
Accola: I think I understand it because you take such a dark character and you finally see the light in them when they’re in love. So for a character like Klaus, he’s so dark, but he’s starts to become genuine and show humanity. He just loves her, and it’s that simple. I think people are so excited about the potential for Klaus and Caroline because ultimately I feel like it becomes as if Caroline saved him. That’s how I see it, if they were to get together and he just fully lets down his guard and is able to trust. It’s like she saved him and is bringing humanity into his life, which is so romantic — but so not healthy and not realistic! [Laughs] But I can see the romance in that. I can see the cover of the romance novel already.
IGN: Will we see more about how Caroline might feel regarding whether she’d want to be cured of being a vampire, if she actually has the opportunity?
Accola: That was slightly touched on in last week’s episode, and I think thematically that question will run through the following episodes, through the rest of the season. I think there’s potential for a lot of inner debates, and that’s something that will be explored as we find out more about the cure.
IGN: Caroline is not the biggest fan of Damon Salvatore. They did bring up in the past episode some of the history between Damon and Caroline in passing, but it’s pretty dark if you think back on Season 1 and everything he put her through. He even came close to killing her. So can you see why it would be very difficult for her to ever fully turn around on him?
Accola: I think Caroline has every right not to have any respect for Damon. What I love about how it’s all coming out now is that it’s really reflective on the fact that Caroline was at a really weak place in her life in Season 1. She just so desperately wanted to be loved, and that’s something that will always be rooted in that character – her need for acceptance and to be loved. But what’s different is that now she loves herself. At that point, she did not love herself, she did not respect herself. Anyone that would give her an eyelash bat of attention, she clung onto them. So she clung onto Damon, and he just dug her even deeper in the hole that she was digging herself. He used her and mentally, physically and emotionally abused her. She didn’t get mad because she didn’t feel strong enough yet.
But now, a couple years later and now that she’s grown into herself and feels strong physically and mentally — and she feels loved and she knows what that means now — she’s like, “Oh, yeah. That guy? Guess what? I have the balls to say now that he’s an a**hole! And I have every right to say that he’s an a**hole, and he deserves to be called an a**hole!” She does not feel guilty about it, and I love that. She shouldn’t have to. She’s going to love Elena, but it doesn’t change the way that Damon treated Caroline. I think she can support Elena knowing that even if Damon’s changed and he’s really loving her, it doesn’t change what he did to Caroline. I love that she owns that, and she’s fully okay with saying, “Screw you.”
IGN: On the flip side, has it been nice for you to explore this friendship between Stefan and Caroline? He was kind of her vampire mentor, and now they have a very nice friendship amongst all the madness on this show.
Accola: I love the friendship between Stefan and Caroline. I really thought that these characters would never have anything in common. In the pilot, again, she’s like, “New guy! I need attention,” and batted her eyelashes until they practically fell off. He didn’t give her anything! She’s peppy and happy and all excited; she puts her foot in her mouth constantly, and only now is she starting to think of the repercussions. She gets very upset over flower arrangements! And Stefan is just the complete opposite. He’s much more dignified and very serious. He’s humble, and he can be very quiet. He’s very internal, and Caroline is very external. I never thought that these characters would have any sort of chemistry or anything to talk about. And yet in Season 2 they’ve proved that they have so much more in common, and I can see that now. I think it also shows why Stefan had such a great friendship with Lexi. And I love that Julie [Plec] has mentioned that that’s how she feels that Caroline and Stefan’s friendship is growing into a new version of what he had with Lexi.
GN: Going into the break, should we expect some of the usual Vampire Diaries twists and turns by the end of the holiday episode?
Accola: Oh, no. Everything turns out great. Breaking news! We end up building gingerbread houses and singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs around the dreidel and Christmas tree. That’s how the episode ends.
IGN: That’s a huge spoiler, Candice. I can’t believe you just said that.
Accola: Yeah, and that’s it! That’s what happens. It ends with snowflakes and them feeding the homeless. We are awesome people, and that’s how it ends.
IGN: Then you turn towards the camera and say, “Happy Holidays!”