WARNING: We're about to discuss the most shocking twist from tonight's mid-season finale of The Originals. If you haven't seen the episode or do not wish to be spoiled, leave now. For everyone else, grab your daylight ring and let's go!
Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new Rebekah in New Orleans!
When ETonline chatted with The Originals' most badass blonde Claire Holt a few weeks back, we asked her how she'd feel if Rebekah was forced to jump into a new body — and in tonight's mid-season finale, that's exactly what happened.
True to Holt's predictions of a "nice, cute little Victoria's Secret model," Rebekah's new body, played by CW newcomer Maisie Richardson-Sellers, is certainly a looker. But just what kind of vessel has Esther trapped her daughter into?
ETonline had an exclusive chat with The Originals executive producer Michael Narducci to bring you answers for all of your most burning body-switching questions.
We have a new Rebekah among us! Tell us about the latest Originals body swap.
MN: Well it's definitely not a new character in any way. It definitely is the Rebekah who we know and love who has been off raising hope for the past several months. Because of the events of this episode, what happens is she is tricked and trapped and she finds herself in a different body. We’ve seen what it's like for Finn and Kol to be in a different body and now we're going to see what it's like for Rebekah too.
What is it about actress Maisie Richardson-Sellers that made her the perfect choice to play Rebekah?
MN: She's such a phenomenal presence. I mean right from her first audition you really see an incredibly strong sparkle and there's a great beauty — not only with physical beauty but there's a great inner beauty — that comes up in her performance. There's also just this incredible strength. When I think of Rebekah, I think of a character who for a thousand years has gone toe-to-toe with two of the most dangerous and strong creature in existence: Klaus and Elijah. There's a great power there and Claire effortlessly brings that power to the role and if we were going to have another actress take on that role, it was definitely something that we needed to have. We looked at a lot of different people and held a lot of different auditions and there are a lot of really great actors but we all unanimously thought that Maisie was just such a great addition to our show and perfect in every way to play this part, which is kind of a sacred part.
How long have you known that you wanted to swap Rebekah out of her body?
MN: This is one of our most beloved characters and we knew pretty early on that we were bringing back Finn and Kol through Esther, who hates vampires and she wouldn’t bring them back in their original bodies. So we knew that the body-swapping storyline would be a big part of the season so we also knew that inevitably, in order of Esther's plan to have a true threat, somebody would have to get swapped.
What can you tell us about this body that Rebekah is now trapped in?
MN: We have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Who is this person that Rebekah has gone into and what kind of a vessel is she? Is she a human, is she a witch is she something else? And we'll find out what it will be like for Rebekah to be inside this person and what new powers she might have. Also what Rebekah instincts, character traits and strengths will she have to rely on now that she doesn't have the power and strength of a vampire? We really have a great opportunity to explore who Rebekah is.
Is it possible that Rebekah will prefer this new body versus her old one?
MN: As we know, from watching Rebekah on The Vampire Dairies and season one of The Originals, she has always longed for the possibility of being mortal and having a family of her own. Is this a case of "Be careful what you wish for" because in order to have a family you have to be mortal but in order to be mortal you're, by definition, vulnerable. So we'll be placing Rebekah in situations where she'll have to rely on a whole different set of skills and it really brings out that great strong, fiery, never-say-die, never give up character that I love so much in Rebekah.
If this body does allow Rebekah to embrace her witch heritage, how do you think she would react to having powers?
MN: We've already explored, a little bit, the idea of Kol being a bit of a witch prodigy and he enjoyed being able to practice magic. Then he lost that gift when he became a vampire because obviously vampires can't be witches. Rebekah too is the daughter of Esther, a very powerful witch, so would Rebekah have had any inclination towards magic? If this body weren't in fact a witch, would she want to jump out of the body that she is in and go into another body in order to have those powers? Would she be desperate to return to her original body because she knows it would be the best possible means for defending her family and defending Baby Hope? So all of those questions are things that we're going to explore with this storyline.
The Originals returns to The CW on Jan.19, 2015.