‘Vampire Diaries’ Somerhalder: Social Media Changed World #TCA15

Pasadena, Calif. -- The CW’s The Vampire Diaries and spinoff prequel The Originals have rabid fan bases and social media has allowed them to communicate with writers, actors and producers.

“These spaces, I guess we could call them, created an environment to transfer a lot of information very quickly,” said The Vampire Diaries’ star Ian Somerhalder Sunday during The CW’s 2015 TCA winter press tour day. “Then all of a sudden it becomes this crazy organic beast.”

“It’s really changed the whole face of the planet,” he added.

Somerhalder was joined onstage by executive producers and writers Julie Plec, Caroline Dries and Michael Narducci and The Originals star Joseph Morgan.

“It’s the audience and the media that keeps this show alive,” said Somerhalder.

Morgan, who plays Klaus Mikaelson on Originals, echoed Somerhalder’s sentiments, saying that social media gives fans direct access to actors.

“There’s always people who really feel strongly,” he said. “As long as people are feeling one way or another about it it’s a good thing.”

Social media also affects the writers and producers, though. Plec, who cocreated The Vampire Diaries and Originals with Kevin Williamson, said she has to be careful not to let the feedback affect her “creative head,” adding that she found herself even questioning her choices.  

“There are mistakes we’ve made on the way, a casting thing here, a story thing there,” said Plec. “But overall the arcs of the relationships and the stuff that we’ve done…I wouldn’t do it any differently.”

Narducci equated social media to live feedback from a play or a laugh track.

“Our job as writers and as performers is to create the best stories that we can and if we sought to pay fan service or we tried to just do things that people are telling us to do we wouldn’t be infused with the level of passion that necessitates the great stories that we’re trying to tell,” he said.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—Somerhalder, who will direct an upcoming episode of The Vampire Diaries, said the show is much more than the mythology. “There is a lot of mythology. But at the heart this is a story about people.”

Morgan added: “That’s what it’s been about from the beginning.”

—Plec was asked about the ending of The Vampire Diaries and whether the original planned close had changed. “Kevin and I came up with and then cried over a perfect ending…and really stuck to that for many, many years. And now the show has actually gone on. It’s been a lot longer than we ever could have dreamt of. So, it’s evolved but it’s still rooted in that same idea. So, we’re still on that same path.”

Somerhalder chimed in “That could not have been more evasive.”

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.