The cast of The Originals sat down for their final interview with TV Line during San Diego’s Comic-Con. We will definitely see Caroline (Candice King) in the season premiere, but who else will we see? Who else does the cast want to see return? Find out in the interview below.

The cast of The Originals are live on Facebook during San Diego’s Comic-Con.

Last season, Joseph Morgan, who plays the deposed king of New Orleans Klaus, made his directorial debut on The Originals. Now, it’s time for Charles Michael Davis, who stars on the CW drama as Marcel, Klaus’ surrogate son and current ruler of the city, to do the same.

Davis stepped behind the camera for Friday’s episode, an intense hour in which Freya (Riley Voelkel) traps Klaus, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), and their daughter Hope (Summer Fontana) in the compound for their own safety. Ahead of the episode, EW hopped on the phone with Davis to talk about how he prepared to take on this new role on the show, discovered his directing style, and his favorite parts of the episode.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So let’s start from the beginning: How did it come about that you were going to direct an episode this season?
It all started from finding out that Paul Wesley had directed [on The Vampire Diaries] and just chatting with Paul. This was when I first moved to Atlanta. So this was season 1 of when we were shooting and they were still in season 4. But it just sparked the idea and I just started asking around. People told me the best way is to shadow and to show up at meetings and soon enough people will start talking about your episode and, “I can’t wait to be a part of your episode.”

I shadowed for about two seasons, two years, and I would fly back to L.A. from Atlanta to sit in the writers’ room for two or three days. Later in the year, I’d fly back and sit in with the editors for about three days. Then I even came back and sat in on a sound mixing session, and then I would also follow directors around on set. I would go on the set of Containment and go onto the set of Vampire Diaries and see how certain directors operated. Then we got to talking about it, and they gave [Joseph Morgan] an episode in season 3, and he did very well. So, it opened up the door for me and Daniel [Gillies].

Which directors did you shadow on The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and Containment?
Chris Grismer, I shadowed on all three, and I shadowed Michael A. Allowitz. I shadowed Matt Hastings a lot because he was our creative director and always on set. And Jeff Hunt, it was great to get his process.

What did you learn from shadowing these directors? Did you learn something new about your show after seeing it from a different perspective?
Yeah, I talked to the [directors of photography], too, and learned from their perspective about what the rules of the show were. That was the most interesting thing. It helped me because there were particular camera moves or certain lighting setups that we would stay very close to. So it made my choices for me. But before, there’s this phase when it seems like this big daunting task. Then, when you learn the rules, it’s like the rules of soccer: Here’s the field, you just can’t use your hands, you can kick the ball forward, and don’t go off sides. You’re like, “Oh I can handle that. I can work with that.”

Each director was different. Jeff Hunt, he was the Steadicam operator, so he had this very lyrical and smooth movement of how he liked to connect his shots. He taught me a lot about transition. Matt Hastings, he loved suspense so he taught me a lot of suspense, and he loved insert shots. So, he taught me the value of insert shots. Grismer had a very free-flowing style because he had so much experience that he was just very calm in the pocket no matter what was going on. He kind of showed me that you could also creatively come up with something or trust your actors. But what they all taught me is that they have their particular styles. So I knew I would be ready when I could come in and say, “This is my style. This is what I like,” as opposed to, “This is what we should do. This is what so-and-so did.” They were all fully realized as directors with their own style. Hunt even joked around that they called certain transitions, [where] you knew you were going to fade into black or go behind something, his trademark. I was like, “Oh, that’s really cool. I gotta figure out what my trademark is.”

And, did you figure out what it was?
Yeah, I did. I took a look back at some of the things I’d done and shot, and I loved rhythm. I also loved to move the camera with a certain flow and a pace, and I also leaned more towards the sentimental undercurrent. So I was really glad Carina [Adly Mackenzie] was writing my episode, because she loves a really good Act 6 — like, she just wants tears flowing by the time we get to Act 5 or 6. And I like sound transitions, so I had her work in some audio transitions.

It’s interesting that you mentioned rhythm, because the last time we spoke, you said you were taking ballet classes and djembe drumming lessons. Did those skills inform your directing?
Oh yeah, very much so. I’m still obsessed with rhythm. I was just chatting with a painter and I said, “What exactly does it mean when a painting is lyrical?” And I’m here in New York studying Shakespeare. So rhythm was everything for me. Alejandro Iñàrritu, in an interview, said directing is all about rhythm. If you’ve got good rhythm, you can be a good director. So I put a lot of weight into that. When I went back into editing my episode, I was very aware of the rhythm of when you get into a scene, how many seconds before you cut, how fast certain actors talked. We even paired sort of the older characters who speak a little bit slower with younger characters so that the scenes could move forward with a certain rhythm. It was a very, very conscious thing and something I still explore to this day.

What did you think would be the most challenging part of the episode when you first read the script?
Oh, all of it. I actually texted Carina afterwards and I said, “You’re joking, right?” I said, “For one, the script is really long, and two, there’s fire elements and there’s death and there’s new characters.” I was like, logistically, I can’t even wrap my head around [it]. I go, “Is there lighting everywhere? Is there rain everywhere? You guys realize this is my first episode?” She goes, “Oh no, Charles, I’m not holding back. I love this episode.” I was like, “So, you’re serious, this is my episode?” Then from there, I knew we would have to pare some things down and maybe remove some scenes and then work with the producers about how we were going to shoot this, logistically. I knew that time and money were also constraints.

How did you learn to handle to those fire elements and other big effects?
Preparation, that’s what a lot of people told me: as long as you’re prepared and you have an idea of what you want to do. So, I walked the sets and I imagined it in my mind. We have a great, great crew of people in their departments. They’re all true artists, so they really stepped up and they had a lot of suggestions about how we could do something, how we could make it work. [For example], the logistics of, is there a makeshift altar out in the cemetery? No? Then, what are we going to make this out of? I don’t know. But, Bill [Eigenbrodt], can you help me out? And he did, and he made it work for the camera and he knew we would probably want to shoot in this direction. Things started to fall in place. But, like I said, the script and the show itself already set the rules. It was just my job to fit everything in like it was a puzzle, like a little Tetris design just to make it work and keep that in mind and keep communicating it to everyone, like, “I only need this for the shot. I know we got fire and we got wind, but all I need for you to do is stand up and then we’re out of the shot and we can move on.” Just turning it into sizable pieces that we could really digest.

As you mentioned before, Joseph directed for the first time last season. Did you get any advice from him?
Yeah, he said, the politics will probably amaze you most of all, because you don’t really prepare for the politics of it. I got to really discover what that really meant. You know, different departments, by nature, are at odds with each other. So, it was about making decisions and moving forward. He also said the best advice he got from someone was, “Make a decision — any decision — even if it’s the wrong decision. You just don’t want to be standing there looking like a fool,” because then the crew loses confidence in you and the whole thing just goes to s—. After he said that I was like, “Okay, so where are we going? You wanna go? Are you going to walk out? I’m going to go grab my—” And he goes, “Charles, make a decision — any decision — even if it’s the bad one.” I just go, “Right, okay.”

What was it like directing your fellow actors?
It was great because they treated me like a director. They really trusted me. They looked to me in a way that was very open and receptive to direction. They cared for my opinion. They didn’t fight me at all or anything like that. And I would just go up and whisper in their ear. I would just make a few little suggestions here and there, but I would always speak to them very intimately. When I liked something, I mean, everybody knew I liked it. I would just cheer. My job was also to be everyone’s biggest cheerleader. So when the cameraman really hit a moving shot in two takes, you know, I was there yelling, “F— yeah! Way to go Ian [Forsyth]!”

When Yusuf [Gatewood] does this thing where he sets the skull down and turns it and he starts to chant up to the sky, I was just like, “That is an iconic shot. Hopefully that shot will be forever remembered. I will always seek to recreate that shot in anything I ever do again.” I didn’t even direct him. I was about to yell cut because I thought he wasn’t going to turn the skull forward, but he did it in this beautiful rhythm. So, I actually got to talk to him as if I was a fan, which I am. I really got to express that through direction.

Part of this episode involves Freya trapping Klaus, Hayley, and Hope in the compound for their own protection. How did you approach that storyline? Did you try to go for something more claustrophobic, for example?
I just had to look at it in comparison to the other plotlines to see what the other characters were going through. I had to find their arc. First Klaus discovers he’s going to be grounded and then he tries to deal with that frustration, and then it all comes boiling out between him and Hayley. But, it’s nice because now you see a different side of Hayley and Klaus’ relationship. I wanted people to really see that they’re really good parents and maybe that they could actually work together and be together. And the actors are really intelligent. So, they knew how to bring out those levels. It was nice because it was all on the stage and it was all in one room and it grew in its intensity. Yeah, that was one of my favorite ones to shoot.

Tune in for an all new episode tonight! We’re desperate for a fifth season. <3

The Originals‘ Freya and Keelin have spent all season dancing around their feelings for one another — sometimes literally — but based on a new batch of photos from Friday’s episode (The CW, 8/7c), their budding romance is about to reach full bloom, TV Line shared;

The stressful hour, helmed by first-time director Charles Michael Davis, finds Freya enacting a “risky plan that brings her face to face with their latest threat [and] an unexpected twist leaves her life hanging in the balance.” But that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on right now.

No, my eyes are going straight to the above photo of Freya and Keelin, locked in a dramatic embrace. It’s unclear whether the photo was taken right before their first kiss, or right after it, but the looks on both of their faces speaks volumes about the long-awaited moment. (To be fair, I’m not 100-percent certain there’s a kiss… but come on.)

“Freya’s normally so focused on getting things done and putting her family first that you never get to see this emotional side of her,” Riley Voelkel told TVLine earlier in the season. “We’re starting to see her form a relationship with someone outside of the family, and we’re learning that there’s so much more to her than we knew. She has feelings and desires!”

His character may have been stripped of his crown, but on Friday’s episode of The Originals (The CW, 8/7c), Charles Michael Davis is calling all the shots — from behind the camera, at least.
The emotional hour marks Davis’ first turn as a director, an experience he tells TVLine he would “love to do again,” even though he admits it came with a steep learning curve.

“A big part of it was just learning how to talk to people and find out what their needs are — if they’re feeling insecure, what they’re going through, all of that,” Davis says.

Like any good episode of The Originals, Friday’s installment is fraught with tension — both romantic and violent — but Davis says he’s particularly excited for fans to see one specific scene between Freya and Keelin that he considers “masterful.”

Of shooting the “beautiful” interaction, which is set in a bell tower, Davis recalls, “I would yell cut and [Riley Voelkel and Christina Moses] would both just look at me with these big puppy dog eyes. Like, ‘Did you get it? Did you like it?’

As for handling the fragile nature of Freya and Keelin’s yet-unspoken connection, Davis says, “I would just whisper into Riley’s ear, ‘You like her, but you don’t even know how much you like her. You can’t control yourself when you look at her. She just does something to you, and you’re trying not to show that.”
He adds, “Then I looked at Christina and said, ‘You really like her, but you can’t fully commit to it because you’re waiting for her to openly say she likes you. So your attention is all on her.’”
“I remember watching it and cheering,” Davis says. “They were both so good.”

Speaking of Freya scenes, TVLine has an exclusive sneak peek at one of her tense interactions with Josh — scroll up if you missed it! — but Davis says there’s more to the story than what we’re seeing.
“It got cut for time, but originally, it looks like Freya’s going to make a move on him when she walks in,” he reveals. “And he goes, ‘Whoa! I’m flattered and all, but you’re not really my type,’ at which point she’s like, ‘Look, I’m just here because I need your help.’” (Editor’s note: I’m not really sure he’s her type, either.)

The Originals’ next episode airs the 5th of May and carries the name “High Water and a Devil’s Daughter”. Here’s the official description and of course… The preview;

CHARLES MICHAEL DAVIS MAKES HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT — When it’s discovered that The Hollow’s latest servant is on the loose, Freya (Riley Voelkel) places a protection spell on the compound, forcing Klaus (Joseph), Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Hope (guest star Summer Fontana) to remain inside. Meanwhile, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) takes matters into his own hands when Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood) is reluctant to perform a dangerous ritual needed to strengthen their defense against The Hollow. Finally, while Freya enacts a risky plan that brings her face to face with their latest threat, an unexpected twist leaves her life hanging in the balance. Charles Michael Davis also stars.

The Originals’ 4×07: “High Water and a Devil’s Daughter” airs on the 5th of May and also is Charles Michael Davis’ directorial debut! Here’s the official episode description

CHARLES MICHAEL DAVIS MAKES HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT — When it’s discovered that The Hollow’s latest servant is on the loose, Freya (Riley Voelkel) places a protection spell on the compound, forcing Klaus (Joseph), Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Hope (guest star Summer Fontana) to remain inside. Meanwhile, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) takes matters into his own hands when Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood) is reluctant to perform a dangerous ritual needed to strengthen their defense against The Hollow. Finally, while Freya enacts a risky plan that brings her face to face with their latest threat, an unexpected twist leaves her life hanging in the balance. Charles Michael Davis also stars.

On the CW series The Originals, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) must turn to Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) for help uncovering information about the mysterious force that has set its sights on the children of New Orleans, so that she can save her daughter, Hope (Summer Fontana). And while Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood) are forced to team up, Freya (Riley Voelkel) and Keelin (Christina Moses) attempt to alter the power dynamic of the city.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, showrunner Michael Narducci talked about finding the perfect young actress to play Hope, the growing bond between Hope and Klaus (Joseph Morgan), just how dangerous this new threat will be, Freya’s journey, whether we’ll see Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) again, the purpose of Alaric’s (Matthew Davis) appearance in Episode 408, how impressed he is with the cast members who have also taken on episodes as directors, and how difficult his decision was to leave the show at the end of Season 4.

Collider: Jumping ahead in time meant that you had to find a young actress to portray Hope, who could pull off everything that such a complex role requires of someone so young. Were you worried that you wouldn’t be able to find someone, and how quickly did you find Summer Fontana?
We were definitely worried that it would be difficult. If we had not found someone as talented and amazing as Summer, I think we just would have done less with that character. We would have jettisoned her to the periphery of the storyline. We saw so many really talented people, but we saw Summer and she just made us sit up in our seats and really pay attention. And then, we had the chance to meet her and audition her some more. When we brought her on board, especially in Episode 3, we saw how amazing she was with out cast. And then, we knew that we could do what we wanted to do, which is to not focus too much on one character, but to have her be a part of what was going on in the family, in a very important way. She delivered beautifully, throughout the season, so we just got tremendously lucky. I will say that I think Summer Fontana is a huge star.

What can we expect from the growing bond between Hope and Klaus, as they continue to get to know each other?
The very first instinct was to portray that moment where the loving daughter looks at her dad and says, “I know you’re going to protect me, no matter what, and I appreciate that and I’m glad you’re here,” and then there’s the hug that we’ve all been wanting to see. But, there are other elements of being a family. There’s the moment when your child gets sick, for the first time. There’s the moment when you don’t know what’s best for them and you’re struggling to figure it out. There’s the moment when your child asks you questions that are difficult to answer, particularly questions about right and wrong, given that Klaus has a, shall we say, very flexible notion of right and wrong. It’s going to force not just Klaus but everybody to look differently at some of the moral choices that they’ve made, and they’ll either double down on the prospect of family above all, or maybe consider whether this is the kind of life that they want Hope to have. We spent all of Season 3 dramatizing the concept that anyone who gets in the orbit of the Mikaelsons is going to suffer and die. That’s the Mikaelson curse. Do we want Hope to grow up to be someone where anyone that comes into her orbit will die, because then we’ve just passed the curse onto this little girl, or do we want to help protect her and give her a fighting chance at a real life? That’s one of the big questions that I’m interested in exploring.

Saying “I’m going to keep you safe, always and forever” is a big promise to give someone, especially in a world like this. Can Klaus keep Hope safe from whatever this threat is, that’s after her and the other children?
Well, if I just said no, that would be really depressing. And if I said yes, than I don’t know if you’ve got any motive to continue watching. So, I will say that it’s much more complicated than a yes or no answer.

When I spoke to Phoebe Tonkin recently, she told me that the big threat this year is probably the most dangerous threat that these characters have seen or heard about, in their entire lives. What can you say about exactly what this threat is and what we’ll start to learn about it, in the next couple of episodes?
I’ll say that the rate of revelation, in terms of the knowledge you will gain about this entity, is going to be very fast. So far, we really don’t know anything. We know there’s a blue light. We know there’s this bizarre image of a snake or serpent eating its own tail, that continues to appear. We know that this thing affected Vincent and Eva Sinclair, years and years ago, and now it seems to have a hold on the gentleman who, in Episode 3, was holding the children captive, and it certainly seems to have had an affect on Detective Will Kinney, who is behaving in a way that is different from how he behaved before. It’s going to start off almost like a ghost that has influenced and is very selfish, and that wants what it wants and will do anything to get it. From there, we’re going to begin to see this thing take on a form. Once it takes on a form, you can expect that it’s going to be very dangerous.

When you have more alpha personalities in one place than is probably healthy for anyone, with the Mikaelsons, Hayley, Marcel and Vincent, can they find a way to work together effectively, where they see eye to eye, or will they also have conflict amongst each other, while they try to figure out how to handle this?
What you just pointed out is one of the challenges of working on this show. There are so many different strong personalities, and nobody is going to back down from what they believe in. Right now, they’re diametrically opposed. That’s really frightening. Some of these people should be on the same team, especially given the threat that they’re facing, but they can’t get over some of their past grievances. But, I think that’s an opportunity for new alliances to emerge and for people to argue in favor of their own point of view. That’s what I love, when you have two characters on your screen, in a scene together, and they’re both arguing, but they’re both right and they both have a point of view that is valid. Right now, if you have Klaus and Marcel in a scene together, they both have a perspective that is, in their own minds, correct, and I want to see that scene. I also want to see what happens when Marcel comes face to face with Hayley, and when Marcel comes face to face with Elijah, and when Marcel comes face to face with Hope. All of those things are going to happen.

What can you say about Freya and what her journey will be?
I saw a little bit of backlash against Freya online, and I thought that was interesting. To me, Freya is perfectly justified, in terms of what she’s doing. It’s not morally right, but from the vantage point of a 1,000-year-old witch who wanted, more than anything, to return to the family that she was stolen away from, she’s found and protected her family, and now there’s someone out there that can kill them. She doesn’t know Marcel. Klaus has a long history with Marcel. Rebekah has a long history with Marcel. Elijah has a long history with Marcel. Freya doesn’t know Marcel that well. Freya knows that Marcel can kill her family. If someone threatened to kill your mom or dad, or your son or daughter, you would stop at nothing to neutralize that person. That’s the path that she’s on, right now. She’s motivated to find a way to take care of the problem that threatens her family, and I believe that that is very much in character. Whether or not she begins to evolve and change and decide there’s a different course of action to take, I think that’s absolutely what we want to play with, as the season goes on. I will also say that her partnership with Keelin is really great. They have a tremendous rapport. Those two actresses are very fun together. Keelin is very worldly and contemporary, and Freya is timeless. She’s a witch. She’s a little bit bizarre and out there. Even when we first introduced Freya, in the witch’s mental asylum, she was a little bit bizarre. She watched cartoons, for the first time. She’s an interesting character, and those two playing off of each other is really fun. I love seeing them together, and they have a great journey to go on.

Might we see Kol and Rebekah again, anytime soon, or at least sometime this season?
I promise you that absolutely you will. We have Kol and Rebekah for about half of the season. We have 13 episodes, so you can expect them to be in at least six. They’ve been in two already, and they’re going to be in more.

We know that Alaric will be on Episode 8 this season. What brings him to town and what business will he have with the Mikaelsons?
The only thing I’ll say is that Alaric was establish, in Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries, as a teacher, an educator and a person that understood the supernatural, and who had spent a long time investigating the supernatural because his wife had disappeared and ostensibly been taken by Damon. So, here comes Alaric, and he’s got this encyclopedic knowledge of the supernatural. He knows all of the ins and outs of what’s going on in Mystic Falls and he was able to interpret the petroglyphs on the wall that outlined the history of the Mikaelsons. So, they may be calling upon Alaric to help answer some questions, and he might prove to be even more helpful than we might have expected.

It was nice to be reminded of the Klaus-Cami dynamic this season, and to hear how much Kol misses Davina. Are you always thinking about ways to pay some remembrance to those past characters and how important they were?
It’s not that we set out to pay service to them. It’s just that, if you’re being true to character, that is a big part of who these people are. Of course, Kol is still going to think about Davina. Of course, Marcel is still going to think about Davina. If you see Klaus tormented to the point of agony and his mind is shutting down, what might happen? Well, he might, in his delusion, remember the person who once gave him solace and who was not only a love, but a therapist, a friend, a coach, and someone who was his moral compass and demanded that he be his best version of himself. That’s who Klaus needed to be, in Episode 2. He needed to be the best version of himself, so he could pull that Tunde blade out of his chest, and I don’t think there’s a person, other than Cami, who could help him arrive at that place.

Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies and Charles Michael Davis are all directing episodes of the show now. How have you found working with them, in that capacity?
I want to say that they each did phenomenal jobs. People ask, “What performance impressed you the most this year?,” and I can talk about acting performances, all day. But the fact that these three actors did double duty and also were directors just blows my mind. Joseph directed for us last year and did an amazing job, and this season, he had a very technically difficult episode, which you’ll see this Friday. There’s a lot going on, with a lot of different storylines and a lot of scenes to cram into a single episode, and Joe is just tenacious. He will not stop until he gets it right, and I really valued that about working with him. With Charles, he became a student of directing, even in Season 1. He would follow directors and sit in on production meetings and really study how to be the best director possible, and all of that education paid off. Charles has one of our most emotional episodes of the season. There’s at least three scenes in Charles’ episode that, every time I see them, and I’ve seen them dozens and dozens of times, they make me emotional. Daniel also had an extremely difficult episode. He’s directed before. He’s directed his own film that he wrote. But it’s a different thing when you have to direct on television, on a tight schedule. It required him to know, backwards and forwards, the chronology of the Mikaelsons and all of the history and everything that our show does well. Daniel is someone who, every time he arrives for a meeting to discuss his character or a script, has got so many ideas and he’s so passionate about elevating the material. It’s impossible for Daniel Gillies to phone in something. Every single time he works, I’ve never seen him give up. He always tries to make things as good as they could possibly be, and he does that as a director, even more so.

Without knowing whether or not the show would be back for Season 5, how difficult was it for you to decide to leave The Originals, as the showrunner, at the end of this season? Was that something that you had to think a lot about?
Yeah. It’s kind of a personal question, but I will say that it was very difficult. I love Julie [Plec]. I love our staff of writers, I’m very close with them, and I admire them greatly. I think it’s because I love and respect everybody so much that I felt like I could leave and I would sleep well because I know these characters that I love so much are in great hands. But it was a situation where I had been on the show and done four seasons, and I got a great opportunity to go somewhere else. I thought a lot about my own family and creatively where I am, and I thought this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I really do love The Originals. I’m very proud of the stories we’ve told, over the course of these four seasons. I think the actors are tremendous. I think our crew is, without question, the best I’ve worked with. As I’m struggling to find the words as I talk to you, it was a very emotional choice and a very difficult choice, but I’m happy with the way things turned out and I’m really excited. I was able to write the finale knowing that it was going to be my last episode of the show, and with the help of our writers, our crew and our cast, I think we created a game-changing episode. If it’s the last episode of the season or the last episode of the series, for me, it’s my last episode and I’m proud of it.

The Originals airs on Friday nights on The CW.

Question: I’m going through Vampire Diaries withdrawal over here! What can you tell me about Alaric’s upcoming trip to The Originals? –Alice
Sorry to hear about your difficult time, Alice. Hopefully this can can help: Charles Michael Davis (aka The Originals’ Marcel) recently teased a scene he has opposite Matt Davis (Alaric) and Daniel Gillies (Elijah). “Matt took it upon himself to ad-lib a lot, so it was tough getting through that scene,” he said. “When they put out the bloopers for the season, I feel like that scene is definitely going to be in there.” (And here’s some bonus scoop for that blooper reel: It may or may not involve Beyoncé.)

[TV Line]

On The CW series The Originals, the Mikaelsons are reunited as a family, after five long years apart, and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) must attempt to reconnect with his daughter, Hope (Summer Fontana), who is now seven years old. At the same time, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) tries to determine the best way to protect the family, which is not something that Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Freya (Riley Voelkel) seem to be able to agree on, all while a mysterious witch plans to sacrifice a group of innocent children, including Hope Mikaelson.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Phoebe Tonkin talked about the mother-daughter relationship between Hayley and Hope, where Hayley’s focus is, now that she’s reunited the Mikaelsons, how Hayley feels about Klaus, Elijah and Hayley’s tight bond, conflict with Freya, how dangerous this new threat is, whether she would be interested in directing (a few of her co-stars have been directing episodes of the series), and which actor from The Vampire Diaries she’d like to see show up in New Orleans.

Collider: What have you most enjoyed about having the five-year time jump this season? What has it allowed you to get to do, that you wouldn’t have been able to without it?
I definitely think it’s been really interesting to show Hayley as a mother of a 7-year-old, and the challenges that Hayley’s faced, being responsible for this human being, who has questions of her own about her own family heritage and her own powers, and things like that. It’s created this really nice mother-daughter relationship that wasn’t necessarily there when she was a toddler.

And it must feel quite a bit different, as an actor, to actually have a child to interact and have scenes with, instead of just an infant or toddler.
That made a very big difference, especially for my character. As lovely as it was, for three seasons, having baby Hope, it brings a different dynamic to the show, having someone that is listening in on conversations and is very much a part of people’s storylines, and not just a sweet little baby in the corner.

Did the five-year time jump feel more like a reset for you, as an actor, and for how you’re approaching your character now? Did it feel like you had to do a lot of figuring out where her head would be, this many years after the last time we saw her?
I think Hayley spent the last five years doing nothing but trying to get the Mikaelsons back. I hope she at least had a couple of fun mini-vacations with her daughter, but I think she spent five years just trying to get them back. After five years of trying, it was such a big relief for her to finally do that, but it wasn’t so much a reset. Five years is a long time to spend looking for someone, or a bunch of people, so it’s just nice for her to have her life back again.

In the five years that we didn’t get to see exactly what Hayley was up to, what did her best days look like and what did her worst days look like?
I think her worst and her best days were probably the same. She was in a lot of pain for five years because she was without the people that she loved, who are this family that she’s become a part of. The best days were probably the days where she was getting close to finding out how to break the curse, and the worst days were probably the days that she felt lonely without them.

Hayley spent so much time on saving the Mikaelsons, who in turn saved Klaus. How does she feel about what Klaus went through, in that time, and about Marcel, who was responsible for it all?
She feels like what Klaus did was very selfless. He sacrificed himself for Hope, really, and for Hope to have some sort of a normal upbringing. Klaus has done some terrible things to a lot of people, but she was so very focused on helping him and saving him. They’re all very dysfunctional. Even her relationship with Marcel is quite dysfunctional, considering he’s the one that ended up doing what he did to Klaus. They’re all terrible people who have done terrible things, but they have this strange relationship with each other.

Hayley has been so focused on the goal of saving the Mikaelsons, so now that she’s done that, what will her focus be next?
I think keeping her child save is her number one priority, and it always has been. When they were on the run, she wasn’t as worried about keeping Hope safe because there were no Mikaelsons around her to bring in potential threats. So now that they’re back, as great as it is to have her family around her, her main focus is her kid and making sure that her kid is safe.

What is Hayley’s place among the Mikaelson family? Does she know where she fits in, among them?
I think she definitely feels a bit like the grounded figure. She brings a level of normality to this family. She’s just a mom who wants to protect her kid. That’s really all she wants out of her life, to protect her child. I don’t think she even cares about her love life anymore. She cares about her kid.

How does Hayley feel about Klaus, at this point? Is he just the father of her daughter, or is he the protector of her family?
She sees a space in family life for Klaus. I don’t think she wants her daughter to grow up without a dad. Hayley grew up without parents, and without a father figure. I don’t think she’ll ever be romantic with him, or maybe she will be, but for right now, she’s just trying to keep everything somewhat calm, so that her daughter has a father who can protect her. Klaus is very strong, which brings a level of protection to Hope, and I think that’s very important to Hayley. They’re trying, in their very unconventional way, to be good parents to Hope.

Where are things at with Hayley and Elijah? Are they finally free to explore what being together would mean for them, or is she really not concerned with her love life, at all?
I don’t think she’s that concerned with her love life. She has a 7-year-old daughter. There are a lot of threats that come at this family that are very violent and dangerous threats. She loves Elijah very much, but her love for Hope is all-encompassing. Once she finally gets some time with Elijah, which we’ll hopefully see in the next few episodes, there’s a true love and bond between them, but her love is now split, a little bit.

We don’t get to see Hayley and Rebekah together too much. What sort of relationship will they have?
Rebekah and Hayley don’t have that much together. Hayley and Freya have had quite a lot of stuff this season. They’re both very pivotal in the men’s decisions, and sometimes Hayley and Freya have conflicting opinions. They’ve both been starved of family for so long, in their respective ways, that they feel very protective of their family. They just don’t necessarily see eye to eye on how to support or advise their family members.

When you have two such strong women, like Hayley and Freya, who are unwavering in their own opinions and decisions, how do they move past those moments of tension?
I think you’re going to see a little bit of that kind of conflict, in the next few episodes. That’s something that we do explore, and that’s really nice to have. Freya and Hayley didn’t have much to do with each other last season, so it’s really nice to play with that, this season.

We know that whatever this new threat in New Orleans is, it’s going to have its sight set on Hope. How dangerous will things get for her, as well as the other children, especially when the Mikaelsons and Hayley are willing to turn to Marcel and Vincent for help?
Yeah, the big threat this year is probably the most dangerous threat that these characters have seen or heard about, in their entire lives. Anything that involves children is just a different type of stakes. The stakes are so different because these kids can’t protect themselves. We’re not only trying to protect ourselves, but we’re also trying to protect all of these innocent children who haven’t necessarily accessed their powers yet.

Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies and Charles Michael Davis are all directing episodes. What’s it like to be directed by your co-stars, and does watching them try their hand at directing an episode of the show inspire you to want to try it yourself, sometime?
I would love to direct. We’ve been really lucky, on this show, that we have a lot of female writers and we’ve had quite a few female directors. Obviously, Julie Plec is our beautiful female creator. I do feel like, as a woman in this industry, The Originals, in terms of the staff, is quite well-represented. I don’t feel the need to put my hand up to represent my gender, in this particular family of creatives. But I’m definitely interested in it, and it’s been really nice to watch my co-stars direct, over the last couple of years. I think I definitely would be interested, eventually.

Julie Plec intentionally left the door to New Orleans open in the series finale of The Vampire Diaries because she wanted to allow for the possibility of maybe seeing one of those characters again. Is there anyone from The Vampire Diaries that you’d like to see show up in New Orleans, either as an ally or an adversary for Hayley?
I’ll say Candice [King], just ‘cause I love Candice and I’d love to hang out with her, during the day. So, I’d like to see Caroline Forbes show up.

The Originals airs on Friday nights on The CW.

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