On October 3, The CW begins airing The Originals, a TVD spin-off revolving around The Mikaelson Family, played by Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies and Claire Holt. A fact that still blows Claire Holt's mind since she was originally booked to only guest star on three episodes of The Vampire Diaries.
However, thanks to the perfect combination of acting and writing, Rebekah became oh-so-much more to fans and they went from screaming for Elena to "Stab Her!" to instructing Matt to "Kiss Her!" That final turn of events makes Rebekah's move from Mystic Falls a little bittersweet, but as Holt tells me, Mabekah goes out with a pretty memorable bang! That was just one of the juicy teases she offered up when I recently visited The Originals set.
ETonline: When you signed on for The Vampire Diaries, how long was it originally for?
Claire Holt: Three episodes.
ETonline: So what's it like to be sitting on the set of a TVD spin-off that you're starring in?
Holt: It's so crazy. I signed a three episode deal, packed my suitcase for 10 days and I'm still here. It's crazy. Joseph and I joked about it in season three because we love working together so much and love these characters but we thought it was a pipedream that would never happen. But here we are. It's awesome and such a joy to work with this cast and crew.
ETonline: Is it nice to have your best friend, Phoebe Tonkin, on the same show?
Holt: It's amazing because everyone else is in LA. It's tough to be removed for so long but you find ways to make it work. I fly back to LA most weekends now, and I feel like I have two separate lives. I have my family here and my family in LA, but you figure it out -- opportunities like this don't come along every day. When you get it, you run with it and everything else will fall into place.
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ETonline: Tomorrow is a big night for you as Rebekah leaves TVD and transitions to The Originals. Do you think Mabekah fans will be happy with how that relationship is wrapped up?
Holt: Look, there's no version of that relationship where things work out. Yes, they have a lot of fans and people want us to succeed, but as Matt said in the finale, he wants to keep his life a vampire-free zone. We have a great time traveling through Europe, but Rebekah comes to realize that maybe he's not the love of her life, and just someone who satisfied a need at a specific point in her life and helped her reevaluate her priorities so now she's ready to kick some butt in New Orleans.
ETonline: How would you describe their European adventures?
Holt: Very dirty. Surprisingly dirty actually. When I read the first script I was like, "Wait, what? Is that a typo? Is that real?" Even when we were filming it I thought, "Are we allowed to do this?" We're getting very risque in the 8 p.m. hour, but I think the fans are going to love it. All bets and clothes are off! However, I could have had far less attractive people to do it with. It wasn't hard, but it was shocking.
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ETonline: What excites you about bringing Rebekah over to The Originals?
Holt: I'm excited to get back to Rebekah's roots. The loyalty she's always felt to her family has been persistent throughout all these centuries and despite being betrayed by Klaus, she made an always and forever oath so it's been really great to get to explore the relationship more. The Vampire Diaries is dedicated to that love triangle, so there's only so much screentime you can get. As actors we're getting to grow with these characters, and there's so many amazing actors coming in for this show, and they're exciting to watch. The stories are so fresh, which is what's amazing about starting a new show. We're always in shock as to what the writers are bringing us.
ETonline: What's interesting about this spin-off is that we've spent quite a long time with these characters already and we've seen them really mature. Rebekah came in as the biggest bitch in all of bitchdom and slowly became a very human character who was longing for her humanity. Which version of her will we see on The Originals?
Holt: Here's the thing, I think we've had to take a step back with that, which I'm not against because I love playing sassy Rebekah. But she's still carrying on those more human traits. You see it in her relationship with Hayley because they have a sisterly bond whereas before she may have just not cared or bothered with this girl. I think Rebekah is going to lean a little more towards her sassy, bitchy self, but all for a good cause. It’s an excellent combination of the two versions we've seen of her.
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ETonline: How does she feel about this pregnancy?
Holt: At first she's coming to make amends so she doesn't really care about Hayley when she arrives, but then she starts to feel protective of her and this child and feels the maternal instincts she wouldn't normally get to nourish because she can't have a child of her own. It's kind of nice to have that bonding going on.
ETonline: So it's a genuine friendship? Rebekah's not trying to steal the baby, right?
Holt: I don't think so. Right now it's just a friendship, but you never know what Rebekah will do.
ETonline: We've also been told that Rebekah and Marcel share a past. How do you describe it?
Holt: Heated, intense, they have such a history together and I think it's really going to be apparent throughout the season that they have a real forbidden love, which is great. Passion that can't be fulfilled is an exciting emotion to play for me.
ETonline: Having shot four episodes, what are you most excited about?
Holt: I think everything about it is fresh and exciting and new and cinematic -- it looks amazing, the storylines are bold, it's a darker and sexier show about vampires relishing in their supernatural sides as opposed to trying to hide it.
The Originals premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.