Joseph Morgan's Having A Bloody Good Time
Joseph Morgan simply can not avoid being bathed in blood. Or, fake blood, rather, lest you think he's some sort of off-the-clock killer. But his penchant for evisceration on-screen does give Joseph pause, as he jokingly wondered during our interview what that says about his subconscious.
Luckily fans have wasted no time wondering since our collective attentions are completely focused on the pair of performances he's currently giving as Klaus, the original evil on Vampire Diaries and as Lysander, Immortals' slave gone rogue. I caught up with the actor this week to find out what it took to get in fighting shape for the Greek God actioner, where tonight's Vampire Diaries takes fans and when they can expect to see his favorite Klaus moment, to date!
Insider.com: Congrats on the movie, Joseph. I feel like everywhere I look, there's Immortals posters!
Joseph Morgan: I know, it's turned into a pretty big deal, hasn't it? I didn't realize it would be this huge, but it's everywhere. I got back to LA and I couldn’t walk 100 feet without seeing a poster for it. But, I have to admit, it's rather pleasing to have people know what your movie is. And I'm thrilled. I had such a fantastic time shooting the movie. Just the other night I had dinner with some of the cast at [director] Tarsem's house, and it was like old times.
Insider: Was that the first time you all ate non-muscle building, ab creating foods with one another?
Joseph: [laughs] Yea, it was actually. I didn't think of that. We had lovely curry, were stocking up on bread and plenty of white rice. Tarsem was forcing us to eat everything we could, probably to make up for our filming diets.
Insider: Which was?
Joseph: We would eat egg white omelets, protein shakes, then we'd train really hard for two hours, have a break and eat all our mid-morning snacks. Then it was naptime for 30 minutes before getting back up for more training. We were like a pack of animals: grazing and exercising and sleeping [laughs]. But I must say, with no coffee and lots of exercise, I've never slept better in my life.
Insider: This wasn't your first boot camp experience though, right?
Joseph: It's my fourth boot camp, actually. I did a naval boot camp for Master & Commander, a desert boot camp for Alexander, I did an intense horse riding/chariot racing boot camp for a Ben Hur miniseries I did and now Immortals. It's funny because each time you think you've done it before, but it's incredibly painful and tiring [laughs]. I always think I'll get in the good shape once I have a part, but that's the worst decision. It's so hard to get there again, so you kick yourself for not staying in good shape. Luckily being on Vampire Diaries, where the word "shirtless" can appear in your script at any time, you stay at the ready. It's like shirtless roulette – someone has to take their top off every week.
Insider: Which is bloodier: Immortals or Vampire Diaries?
Joseph: They're both incredibly bloody [laughs] – and I wonder what that says about me that I gravitate towards these blood-soaked projects.
Insider: Speaking of, tonight is the big mid-season finale -- where the action will kick into overdrive, I'm sure.
Joseph: You know it. The episode is absolutely huge – Klaus is back in Mystic Falls, throwing this huge party and managed to get My Morning Jacket on very short notice [laughs]. One scene in particular features, what I consider to be, the best work I’ve done on this show to date. I hope people like watching it as much as I liked filming it – the whole thing is dramatic beyond your wildest conceptions.
Insider: Will we get the present day Klaus/Michael showdown we've been waiting for?
Joseph: I think it's safe to say that would be the logical place to take it. You know there's some sort of showdown coming since Klaus likes to think he's one step ahead of the game -- but something always slips through the cracks. It was a little weird to have that break since I wasn’t in episode 6 or 7, then I was doing all this period stuff in the origin episode – so it was weird to slip back into those slick, oily black jeans and the necklaces. But that's when I felt like I was truly back in the mix.
Insider: Coming off the amazing origin episode, how do you think Homecoming compares?
Joseph: Episodes 8 & 9 are like a one-two punch – it's more like a two-part episode than two separate stories. There's a reason they took us to the backstory in 8, it all comes back around. And it's interesting because, as you know, I'm a Twitter addict and some of the responses I got were very interesting. Like, "Dude, you took it too far. Killing your mom? That's too much." And so I'll be interested to see whether 9 will bring back some of my sympathy or if it was something unforgivable. We forgive our characters a lot in Vampire Diaries.
Insider: So you think tonight will bring people back to Klaus' side?
Joseph: Yes, I think that's fair to say. It's such a fine line when you're writing for a villain: they have to bring some humanity and sympathy to the character, so people understand him, but you don't want to turn him good. I think Julie [Plec] and Kevin [Williamson, creators] are on the same page with me there. It's difficult to walk that tightrope of making people care about him, but also have him be your villain. I really think they do a wonderful job of that. So many people on Twitter are confused by their own feelings about the character – they hate to love him -- and that's so exciting to me. And a huge compliment.
Insider: Looking towards the 2012 episodes, what are you excited about?
Joseph: Well, I can't say much, but one of the last scenes I filmed before I left to come to LA for the Immortals premiere is, what I believe to be the greatest scene they've ever written for me. They really do keep upping the stakes!
Immortals opens on November 11, while Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.