'Vampire Diaries': Michael Trevino talks Tyler's transformation (and his first leather jacket)

Michael-Trevino-VampireImage Credit: Patrick Ecclesine/The CWEven before season 2 began, producers of The Vampire Diaries were talking about Michael Trevino’s beefed up role as a werewolf. So SPOILER-THAT-ISN’T-ACTUALLY-A-SPOILER: Last night, in episode 7, Tyler Lockwood finally (accidentally) killed someone and activated the family curse. (Read our recap.) Shortly after the episode aired on the East Coast (which Trevino watched while flipping back and forth from the World Series), he phoned EW to talk about what’s next for young Mr. Lockwood, which scene he’s yet to shoot that’s making him nervous, and why episode 210 is already one of his favorites.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Watching this episode, I was like, finally! We’ve known it was coming for so long, and now it’s on. Did you have a bit of that reaction to?
MICHAEL TREVINO:
Yeah. It’s official now. It’s just a hint of it. It’s at the point where the next few episodes are going to be about preparing for the next full moon that comes. You’re gonna see Tyler do more research, because now he realizes he’s not going to be able to stop himself — it’s just inevitable.

Have you shot that full transformation yet? Are we going to see you shirtless and chained like Mason was?
We have not shot that. I think we might shoot that next week. It’s gotta be soon. I’m not sure how exactly it’s gonna happen, to be honest with you. I would think that he’s gonna go down to those old ruins were Mason was and probably do what he was doing and just lock himself up. And hopefully he doesn’t hurt anybody. He won’t be able to control himself, especially the first time.

Are you doing anything special to prepare for that? Are you bulking up even more?
I’m trying to, yeah. [Laughs] As far as hitting the weights and dieting, it’s hard to do. So just a little bit, nothing extreme. 

We’ve all been enjoying the scenes between Tyler and Jeremy, and now, with Caroline covering for Tyler, it seems there could be a bond forming there. Should we expect them to develop an unlikely friendship?
I think that they will. You have two people who have a secret. Maybe she’ll, in the future, tell him her secret. Why does Caroline feel the need to want to help out Tyler? ‘Cause Tyler doesn’t really have anybody. He was just fighting there with Matt, and Jeremy seems to be having a little situation with Bonnie. It seems like Caroline is opening herself up to him. I would imagine he’d go to her for help or just to talk to somebody.

And Tyler hanging out with Caroline won’t go over well with Matt.
That’s a whole ‘nother thing. I imagine that it’d turn into some kind of trio here, or Matt just saying like, “Hey, you’re gettin’ awfully close to my ex-girlfriend.” That whole dynamic will come into play, I believe.

I keep forgetting that Tyler has no clue about the vampires.
It was funny, the episodes that we have shot already [since "Masquerade"], there’s been a couple lines in a couple scenes where I was like, That’s right. Tyler doesn’t know about vampires in Mystic Falls. He had one run-in with Stefan and Damon in season 1, but then Damon erased his memory. Tyler is still in the dark.

When he finds out about vampires, should we expect him to have Mason’s mentality — let’s not make this our battle — or will he have the natural werewolf aggression toward vampires?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t think he’d want any problems with the vampires. He’d just want there to be peace.

As an actor, would you like to rumble with Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley?
It would be fun. But you don’t want to get on Damon’s bad side as a character ’cause then, who knows what’s gonna happen to you. [Laughs] So I’d rather not. I don’t even want to test it. As a fan of the show, it’d be nice to see. But I’d rather not. [Laughs]

It’d be fun for Tyler to trade barbs with Damon.
Absolutely. That would be great. I know there’d be some great chemistry, but let’s just not piss off Damon.

We know Katherine wanted Tyler turned, and that she’s now entombed, but is there anything you can tease about if/when they’ll meet up?
Obviously, Katherine needs a werewolf. Maybe it would happen when this next full moon occurs and Tyler does the transformation. Maybe then she’ll be more aggressive in seeking him and using him. But this is just speculation.

It was so easy to dislike Tyler in season 1 because of the way he treated Vicki. How do you want fans to feel about him? Do you like the idea of a love-hate relationship, or do you wish he’d be adored?
It was frustrating, because like you said, it was really easy to dislike Tyler. But now, we’ve seen the family that he comes from and what he has to deal with at home. He’s not just this bully or punk; he has a heart. Yes, he has problems. Yes, he has a temper, but there’s more humanity in him. I think fans of the show are gonna see that in the unlikely friendship that happens between Tyler and Caroline.

What about Tyler’s storyline to date has surprised you most?
I think when Mason came in, and how quickly his character evolved and started gettin’ in the mix with Stefan and Damon — I was surprised by that. And the bond between Tyler and Mason — during our hiatus on season 1, I wouldn’t have seen that happening so soon. But of course, I loved it. Taylor Kinney just set the tone with the whole werewolf attitude.

Is there anything you’ll incorporate from Taylor’s performance into Tyler?
You know, I remember asking him how he prepared for the transformation. Then I saw the episode where he transformed, and I saw where he feels like his body’s real warm, and it’s hot, and he’s kind of breathing heavy, and it’s coming, and it’s just like this intensity that’s going throughout your body. I think that’s just something I’m gonna have to play around with and see, because not until we’re shooting it am I gonna see what works and what doesn’t work. I think I’m gonna have to go somewhere dark and to a vulnerable state, where it’s just so terrifying at the same time. Tyler is cocky and he’s always got things under control, but he obviously doesn’t want this curse. He was scared to death when he saw [that girl] collapse and hit her head because he knows what’s to come. He doesn’t want any part of that, and because of that, it will show the vulnerable side of him. With the next full moon coming, it’s like a countdown, and he’s terrified. Showing that different side of Tyler will be nice.

Are you already thinking about how you’ll get to that dark place? Will you use music? Are you that kind of actor?
I can’t really say. I’m just gonna have to close my eyes and go somewhere really dark. [Laughs] I’m gonna have to play with a couple of things. It could be music. It could be studying films. I’m actually terrified as an actor to even try, just preparing for what’s gonna happen and to make it look as real and believable as possible. To do that, it’s gonna take a toll on me.

Yeah, like do you practice some in your living room before you get to the set? It must be a strange thing to contemplate doing.
The rehearsal process you do at home, I think it’s just writing down the backstory of what I think about Tyler. With me, some genuine emotion comes out of writing down these thoughts. I’ll start there, and then [Laughs] just go. Just go.

I thought the amber eyes tonight looked great. I’m excited to see you go werewolf.
Yeah, I paused it, because I was watching it on my DVR, and I was like, “Good.” Because the eyes were different from Mason’s — just a little. That I like. When we actually do the fuller transformation, I’m looking forward to seeing what my wolf looks like. It’ll be subtle, but just a little different from Mason’s.

Do you get a say in that?
I try to, but no. I don’t. I try to sneak in, and say, “Let me see some pictures.” But I don’t have a say, or approval, or nothing. [Laughs] But I try. I try.

The good news: Should EW do another Sexy Beasts bracket game, you will now be eligible.
Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. [Laughs] When is that? Is that another year? Did that just happen?

Yes, Damon/Ian just took the title.
Am I gonna be in the mix for 2011?

We’ll start the campaign early.
Okay, that works. I’m gonna hold you to that. If not, I’m makin’ phone calls.

To end on a similarly lighthearted note, I’ve been admiring in recent weeks the number of Henleys the men on this show have been wearing. What is your favorite look for Tyler? Because you look good in a Henley. I’m just gonna put it out there.
It’s funny that you say that. We’re shooting episode 210 right now, and I would have to say 210′s wardrobe is probably my favorite because I finally get to wear this leather jacket with a hood. You know, Jeremy, Stefan, Damon, everybody’s worn cool leather jackets, like GQ-style. And Tyler’s always just wearin’ like a sweater. [Laughs] Something always tight, but you know, I was just like, “Yo, give the man a jacket.” So I’m excited about this because I get to wear a badass-looking  jacket. So 210, look for Tyler in an awesome leather jacket.

More on The Vampire Diaries:
The Vampire Diaries recap: Teen Wolf Too
Taylor Kinney discusses getting his heart ripped out

Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • Flip

    Anyone else think Tyler and Jeremy would be hot together? There is a lot of chemistry between them in their scenes, and I get a real unspoken homoerotic vibe from those two.

    • Merry Bear

      Been saying that for ages.

    • TweedleV

      Me and my Bf have been saying the same thing since the begining!!! I hope it hoppens but am doubtful. grrr

    • smee

      NO!

      • Caren

        I feel the same way. No !! Let’s have one show on TV where everybody is straight, and I don’t have to watch that boy on boy kissing. I love this show too much to feel uncomfortable watching it.

      • phobias

        Don’t stop there. Lets have a world where everybody is straight, so we don’t have to look at people who make you uncomfortable. Or, if that’s not possible, maybe you may want to stay out of restaurants and hair salons, as people there may tend to make you uncomfortable. Also, church, the grocery store, and pretty much every other place in America. I recommend you just stay in your house, and you’ll be comfortable snugged in front of the TV watching 70′s reruns.

      • Sarah

        @phobias amen! preach!

    • Debi

      No!

    • Summer

      God, yes.

  • Anita

    This was a nice interview with Tyler! Thanks!

  • Tamara

    Season one was fantastic, season two started off good. Now it is just plain BORING. I would imagine this is a teen and younger show because there is zero sex. They’ve unfortunately jumped the shark when they broke Stefan and Elena up. Also Damon was bette when he was sleeping around.

    • rehabber

      As far as a teen show, not just, I have lots of friends well over 50 that love this show and it is a lot harder to write a show without the sex and bad words. This show always surprises me with scenes I am not expecting. And dang Damon is so hot.lol

    • Samira

      this show does not need sex to be fantastic. I love this show. the storyline is amazing. If all you care about Tamara is there being sex in this show, why don’t you just watch porn?

      • tamara

        Thank you for proving the teen part sweetheart. Remember Julie and Kevin teens change there minds, ALOT.

    • la

      Wow, someone is too obsessed with sex if that is a measure of how “good” a show is. You’re watching the wrong vampire show for that, go watch True Blood.

      • Ashley

        True Blood is a good show. Americans are too uptight about sex. I like VD too. Its possible to like both in different ways. And I dont mind the lack of sex in the show. Although I do think the sex scenes are weird because everyone always keeps their bra on. But I understand that those are the rules.

    • Fireflystare221

      No offense, but I can’t stand when people use jump the shark. It’s almost always used wrong. It means when a show has done something so ridiculous or unbelievable that it is unwatchable. Stefan and Elena breaking up was inevitable and not at all unbelievable or ridiculous.

    • EV

      I am disappointed in the show for other reasons: do these guys ever go to school? In every episode, they are at a party. How old are these characters supposed to be? At the party last night, they were drinking alcoholic beverages. Where’s the adult supervision?

      What about the girl who was killed by Katherine? Wouldn’t you think that there would be some questions about her absence?

      The wife says I think too much and take this show too seriously but Buffy at least had episodes that centered around her school. Wait, there was an episode at the school. If I remember correctly, there was a party going on outside …. :)

      Katherine has a witch create a link between herself and Elena but is not smart enough to know in advance that her witch is related to a Bennet witch. Yikes.

      • Ashley

        Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but most high school students nowadays either do drink alcohol or at least have tried it. It being illegal has never stopped anybody. Plus in small towns, its not unrealistic for people to be more relaxed about stuff like that.

    • Kristal

      If you want sex, stick to True Blood. This show isn’t just for teens, but it has to stick to the guidelines of a broadcast network 8pm show. It’s a great show that keeps me on my toes, without having to resort to sex or scandalous sexual scenes like another vampire show I know does.

      http://toointerestingfortwitter.blogspot.com

    • Kim

      How typical for an American to be disappointed with the lack of sex in their programming. No really, why are you Americans obsessed with sex? Not just that, but sex related jokes and a lot of dirty stuff? Life isn’t just about that. God.

      • Rica

        Now, now, don’t generalize about Americans. I could just as easily assume you’re British or possibly Canadian because you’re such a prude. Just making a point.

    • Izzy Santiago

      who says shows need lots of sex to be fantastic? vampire diaries still rocks with or without sex.

  • Jo

    Flip,

    No. That would be a waste of two hot guys.

    • Pffft

      Yeah, for fish like you!

    • Flip

      Not really. Double the fun!

  • eloise

    Started off great then just went down hill. Newsflash women love to watch romance and sex. This show has nothing but Halloween/guy stuff. Oh yeah for the younger gals they have hand holding. Time to move on.

    • Fireflystare221

      Thanks for generalizing our entgire gender. You made us sound really intelligent.

      I, for one, am a woman. Though I like romance and sex, I also like action, suspense, intelligent writing, and character development. The horror!

      • Casey

        You tell ‘em! Really, it’s unfair generalize all of us. And since when do men not like sex, huh? They’re more about the visual stuff than we are. I prefer good writing, plots and pacing rather than erratic storylines with lots of sex. (AHEM.) You act as if all women are vapid and horny.

      • Eloise

        My goodness for a grown WOMAN, check you spelling and grammar.

      • Amy

        Eloise – check YOUR spelling and grammar…. please don’t be petty because someone disagrees with your opinion.

    • Mocha

      I disagree. “Buffy” wasn’t all sex and romance, and it had tons of “Halloween/guy stuff,” but it was awesome. I don’t think “The Vampire Diaries” is going downhill at all; the storylines and writing are exciting, well-paced, and interesting, and the writers don’t have to rely on lots of hookups to create plots. I’m just loving this season.

    • Caren

      I don’t need to watch somebody on tv having sex to enjoy the show. I could maybe say that I watched tv shows for the sex if I wasn’t getting any, but I get plently at home and tv shouldn’t always be about sex. This show is still amazing. It’s the CW for gosh sakes, it’s not like we’re watching Vampire Diaries on HBO or CinemaMAX.

  • kimmy

    he seems genuinely excited and nervous about whats in store for him as an actor. its kind of sweet!

  • ago

    *sigh*
    Leather jackets… they look so good in leather jackets…

    • Casey

      Don’t forget tuxes. They look good in those too. They were all very drool worthy last night. If only they could’ve slipped in some shirtlessness…oh well. There was too much going on anyway.

  • sarah

    This show has in no way gone down hill. It is exciting, tense, involved, dark, scary, and sexy. You never know what is going to happen. There is a surprise or cliffhanger a minute. The plot is super fast paced. It always keeps you guessing. What show are you watching?

    • al

      totally agree. every episode is better than the last. i actually have a really hard time believing lots of guys watch this show, and i certainly dont think its “nothing but halloween/guy stuff.” stupid comment, @eloise.

  • sarah

    And Stefan and Elena breaking up in no way qualifies as jumping the shark. I don’t mean to be rude, but do you even know what that means? Then breaking up moved the plot along and introduced a new dynamic. You wanted it to be static?

    • Fireflystare221

      100% agree. I can’t stand how incorrectly and over-used that phrase is.

  • B-

    This show always surprises me. Whenever I think they are turning right, they turn left. Last night’s twist with Katharine being bonded to Elena and having her get hurt too was great. The rest of the episode was just better from there. Tyler turning into a werewolf surprised me even though I have been expecting it. And Caroline beat the crap out of Matt! Good work Kevin Williamson for bringing us a great and entertaining show each week.

  • Dana

    Yay!!! Tyler is going to turn into a werewolf soon!!!! Tyler is one of the good-looking guys next to Mason!! =) Can’t wait!!

    • Myra

      Heq yes! Team Lockwood! :]

  • Honey

    I am so glad Elena and Stefan broke up! Now it can be Elena and Damon, they have much better chemistry! I did not like Tyler is season 1 because he was a jerk, but now I am starting to like him! OMG how hot is Damon! In the beginning of season 1, I hated Damon, but towards the end of season 1 I prefer Brother Damon over Brother Stefan! Team Damon 4ever!

  • amy

    The ratings will be down next week. You can only take so much horror. I agree with the jump the shark remark.

  • karrie

    i love tyler and jeremy but im actually really looking forward to tyler/caroline!!!

  • Nelly

    Tyler & Caroline <3

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