by Ryan J. Downey
Klaus isn't the only Original who has history with Marcel.
Last spring's backdoor pilot that kicked off "The Vampire Diaries" spin-off, "The Originals," saw vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus return to New Orleans, the city his family helped build 300 years ago. He found the town now under the control of his former protege, Marcel, who keeps the witches in check with some sort of secret weapon and lets the vamps party all night, "Lost Boys" style.
Last week's series premiere more or less told the same story, but from the vantage point of Klaus' brother, Elijah. There were some new revelations via flashback, plus that heartbreaking ending where Elijah gets a dagger as his reward for trying to help Klaus. Again.
Tonight's "House of the Rising Son" is the Rebekah-centric episode for all of you who think of Claire Holt as the greatest Australian export since the Hemsworth brothers. Ms. Holt spoke at length with Hollywood Crush and a small group of television reporters about tonight's episode, shortly after an advance screening—in the same room the Brisbane-born actress first auditioned for "The Vampire Diaries."
"We're going to see more of the history of Marcel and the [Originals] family and how we got to where we are now," Claire teased about tonight's episode and the remaining first season to come. She described the flashbacks as "fun" to shoot, "despite the fact that I'm always in corsets that are much too small for me." Marcel's origin comes to light via flashbacks tonight, complete with the revelation that he really, really wanted to get Rebekah out of one of those corsets. Almost as much as he wanted to be a vampire.
Claire was joined at the Q&A by Leah Pipes, a.k.a. Camille, the modern object of affection for Marcel. Leah is no stranger to vampire TV shows (or spin-offs), having gotten her start as a teenager in an episode of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spin-off, "Angel."
"There's definitely two girls pining after one guy," Leah conceded, promising that plenty of people will be kissing on the show. But the pair were quick to point out that "The Originals" won't have the same "love triangle" focus that helped make its parent show such a hit.
"This is a much more political show," Leah said of the scheming of Klaus, Marcel, the witches and everyone else. "It's a turf war. Everyone's fighting for New Orleans. It gets complicated in the wonderful way that 'The Godfather' gets complicated."
Claire said she's been comparing it to "The Sopranos" but that she liked Leah's comparison even more. Tonight's episode promises revelations about Marcel's secret weapon, the fate of Elijah post-dagger and Klaus' master plan for taking back "his" city. Marcel has put a little "M" just about everywhere you look in NOLA, but Klaus is quick to point out that "M" will soon stand for "Mikaelson" again.
"I feel like [the show's themes] are something everyone can relate to, with family," Claire observed. "It's allowed us to explore something different [with these characters]. It feels fresh and exciting and something that we haven't really done before."
"The Originals" does offer a lot of familiarity for Claire in other ways, though. Tonight's episode boasts the first meeting between Rebekah and pregnant werewolf Hayley, played by Phoebe Tonkin. But Claire and Phoebe go way back. They starred on the mermaid (!) teen show "H2O: Just Add Water" together back in Australia and have been neighbors and BFFs in Los Angeles for quite some time.
Phoebe was part of "The Secret Circle" (from "TVD" executive producer Kevin Williamson), and after years of running lines together for auditions and so forth, the two pals are finally on the same show. "There's a sort of bonding that happens with Hayley that is natural and more of a family type thing," Claire said of tonight's episode. "We've both been betrayed or left behind by our families.
"But right now, she thinks that she's just going to pack up and leave as soon as she finds Elijah," she said of Rebekah's plans. "There's obviously history that makes her stick around. Like a very hot guy." That hot guy, of course, being Mr. Marcel Gerard.
Tune in tonight for "House of the Rising Son" and check back tomorrow morning for our recap!
Are you digging "The Originals" so far?