Joined: 03 July 2005
Joined: 03 July 2005
he Vampire Diaries lost a few good (wo)men Thursday night, but one death was more painful and poignant than the others. Before we name this doomed character outright, I'll offer up a big Spoiler Alert, and advise you to move ahead — with caution — to find out how the offed actress really feels about her Mystic Falls fate.
Sadly, Sara Canning – aka Elena and Jeremy's beloved Aunt Jenna and Alaric's gal pal — was one of four actors to see their alter ego bite the dust in Thursday night's jaw-dropping installment of The CW's sophomore drama, and the most important one at that. Here's what the actress exclusively told TVLine about her too-soon Vampire Diaries departure.
TVLINE | It was so sad to see you go last night! How are you feeling about everything the morning after?
I actually haven't seen it yet — I'm a bad student! [Laughs] I'm sure I'll see it at some point, though. I had seen a lot of the death when I was doing ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement), so I had a taste of it.
TVLINE | I see that you've also had a taste of just how loyal Vampire Diaries fans can be. The outcry on Twitter over Jenna's death was outrageous — in a great way.
I was overjoyed by the situation on Twitter. I was just so happy and grateful for every single person who felt that Jenna was an integral part of the show, because I felt that way as well.
TVLINE | How do you feel about howJenna died? Do you think it was an honorable way for her to go?
I think so. It was a little sudden, but besides that, I wanted to wrap what Jenna meant in the show as best I could in the amount of time that was left for the character. We've seen her in the past few episodes realize that a lot had been hidden from her; she hadn't been protecting Elena and Jeremy as well as she thought she had been. Granted, she wasn't given the chance to do so because she was kept in the dark about what was going on, but what was nice about Jenna's final act was that it was her piecing the puzzle together when she went to kill Greta. The absolute last thing she could do was throw a wrench in the sacrifice plan. It was very perceptive on her part to realize that the witch was an important cog in Klaus' wheel, and that she needed to take her out — even though she wasn't successful. [Laughs]
TVLINE | How far in advance did you know that Jenna would be killed off?
About three week — which is quick, but that's sort of what you get with a show like Vampire Diariesbecause things change so quickly. And things change for [executive producers] Kevin [Williamson] and Julie [Plec] quickly, as well. So, it was a quick transition — both literally for me, and on the show.
TVLINE | What was your reaction upon receiving your final script? Were you surprised at all to discover the manner in which Jenna would be leaving?
Julie had explained Jenna's death to me beforehand, so I wasn't terribly surprised. I actually didn't know that it would focus so much on Jenna and Elena, and what she feels her faults have been. Our characters had a similar moment in the beginning of Season 1, so it was challenging for me to try and address something that's really at the heart of their relationship — Jenna going from Elena's friend to her parental figure. It was really interesting to deal with that in the middle of all the fear.
TVLINE | Speaking of "the fear," there was something subtle yet unwavering about Jenna's transition into a vampire. How did you approach that scene?
I tried to set some specifics for Jenna's transition and what that was like for her, because we've seen a number of characters on the show transition into vampires. I wanted to hold true to those characteristics but also put her own spin on it. We all know that when humans on the show turn into vampires, different qualities from their human/mortal lives intensify, so it was a lot to try and touch on in one episode — other than the actual sacrifice itself and wrapping up Jenna's journey.
TVLINE | It's no secret that the Vampire Diaries cast is a close-knit group, so I imagine your last day on set was an emotional one. Did any of your real-life feelings spillover into Jenna's death scene?
Paul Sommers directed the episode and he really wanted to shoot it in sequence, which I thought was great of him to give such consideration. It was such a large buildup to go from turning into a vampire, to the conversations within the ring of fire, to seeing Jules' death — which was so violent — to deciding to try to fight, so it was great of him to do that. The next night, after shooting the death scene, I was on set again for some shots just lying on the rock as a dead body. [Laughs] So it was an emotional peak… and then just lying there. Which is fine! It was really emotional, though, since [the show] has been my home for two years and I made a lot of close relationships in Atlanta. But for me, the scene ended up being about the last two seasons of Jenna more so than Sara leaving.
TVLINE | At least we know that dead people on Vampire Diaries usually pop-up again down the road!
I'm very grateful to Kevin and Julie for bringing me aboard this show and I really think the world of the cast and crew, so of course I'd come back. It would be much different to return to the show in that capacity, but I'd be open to it.
TVLINE | What's next for you? Any immediate plans?
I actually have a few things that I'm doing right now. I'm working on a short [film] that's a noir piece, and I'm really excited about that. I also am doing a film at the end of this month for Lifetime called The Hunt for the I-5 Killer, which is based on true events. I've been auditioning, but I just got back to Vancouver a week ago, so that's just a huge move to deal with.
Joined: 03 July 2005
"Vampire Diaries" star Nina Dobrev and executive producer Julie Plec may have warned us, but that didn't take the sting out of last night's jaw-dropping death on The CW series. Sure, we bid adieu to several characters during "The Sun Also Rises" (sayonara Jules, John and Greta!), but the most depressing demise belonged to Elena's lovable—and until recently—in the dark Aunt Jenna.
Though our tears have dried, we're still mourning Jenna's death here at Hollywood Crush. To help us through the grieving process, we got on the phone with very-much-alive actress Sara Canning to talk about her character's last good-bye and what's next for her.
Hollywood Crush: Please humor us while we do our due diligence. "The Vampire Diaries" is known for its unexpected twists and turns. Is there any way Jenna isn't dead?
Sara Canning: No. She's dead. I think that by them showing her funeral, they kind of were hoping to just make a nice book ending there—just to give Elena that chance to grieve her last parental figure. Well, Jenna and John, actually. As of right now, she's dead. I've moved away from Atlanta. So Jenna's dead.
How did you find out your character was going to be killed off? Was it a shock or did you see it coming?
It was very surprising. It was a very big shock. Julie Plec told me. It was quite shocking. But I mean, since Kayla Ewell's death—she played Vicki in season one—at that moment, I really sort of made the realization that anyone was game. And that just comes with being on a show like "The Vampire Diaries." Death is a very major part of the show. Though it was a shock, I think underneath it all, I also knew it always could happen at any point.
I also think it shows that "The Vampire Diaries" has integrity. It's not all intrigue without consequences.
We have seen people come back to life, but we've also seen some deaths that are quite significant—in the characters that they then affect. I'm not sure how Jenna's death will affect future story lines or not. There are definite emotional ties. It's definitely left Elena and Jeremy in a whole new situation.
Were you sitting on this news for a while? Was it hard to keep it a secret?
I wasn't actually sitting on the secret for that long. I found out a few weeks before I was actually gone. So it wasn't months and months of having to keep a secret because I imagine that would be very difficult. It was hard doing interviews, for sure. Because people would say, 'We've heard someone is dying,' and I was like, 'Yep. Someone's dying.' It's tricky doing interviews within that time frame. And only, obviously, the cast and crew and my family and a couple people closest to me knew. You have to really edit yourself and step outside of yourself and watch every word you're saying.
We know there's a Wall of Death on "The Vampire Diaries" set. Was there any sort of ceremony when your picture was added?
No. Not at all. [Laughs] But the funny thing is, someone on the crew who is very close to me is responsible for putting the photos up. And this person used—mostly it's head shots, a very nice civil-looking head shot—and my picture on the Wall of Death is not. So anyone who might be in the production office in the following years, go ahead and look for my photo on the Wall of Death. It's actually a picture another crew member took of me being super-ridiculous on location. It's me sort of, uh, maybe trying to resemble vampires of past, the old-school vampires. And, yeah, it's funny. It's a top-secret photo only people in the production office will see.
There wasn't much ceremony. I mean, it happens all the time. People die on the show all the time. For the crew, it's probably losing its shock value. I think when you're watching the episode, it's shocking. But it's just sort of in the crew's tool belt now. Everyone was very kind to me, and I'll definitely miss them a lot.
But you have to agree, though, that we've known Jenna longer than any character who's died before her. It's a little more profound.
Yeah. I hope so. I know that we've sort of seen Jenna here and there, and she's been sort of in and out. And a large part of her remains a mystery. But I really think she was really interconnected with all of the characters in some way or another. And she represented a very important part of Mystic Falls, at that point. We've seen Matt get in on the supernatural stuff with Sheriff Forbes. For a little bit there, Jenna was sort of the only one left in reality. I think she was a really important part of the show because of that. I think she was a constant reminder that even though all this crazy stuff was going on, deep down the show was also about people dealing with everyday things—the kind of difficulties and joys and excitement and relationship changes. And I think she really represented that.
Alaric has had very bad luck with women. What do you want to see in his future?
I think in the spirit of Matt Davis, I would like to see Alaric actually not even have a relationship be his key focus or his major plot line of the show. I had the most fun watching Matt Davis play Klaus. I think he had the most fun playing Klaus. So I would hope for Matt Davis that he gets to do more along those lines, and clearly he's not having a lot of luck with relationships. Maybe give the women a rest for a bit.
People would hate me for saying this because people love the bromance between Damon and Alaric, but how fun would it be to see Alaric sort of get in on the dark side a little more because he had such a good time playing with that?
What's your next step? Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I'm working on a short film that I'm really excited about because it's a film noir—a throw-back to that genre. I'm a big fan, so that will be a lot of fun. And I'm also working on a Lifetime film "Hunt for the I-5 Killer," so I'll be shooting that pretty soon here in Vancouver.
Any final thoughts or parting words for Aunt Jenna? Leave them in the comments and on Twitter!
Joined: 03 July 2005
Joined: 25 December 2010
Joined: 03 July 2005
Joined: 25 December 2010
Joined: 03 July 2005
"The Vampire Diaries" is not kidding around. For most of this season, we've been hearing about a sacrifice and that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) would die. So what happened Thursday night? Klaus went through with the sacrifice and Elena died. So did a lot of other people. But unlike them, Elena came back because, well, there's no show without her. With four deaths, if we're not counting Elena, the curse broken and several juicy reveals, this was quite an action-packed episode, and it's not even the finale. Obviously, next week will deal with Damon's (Ian Somerhalder's) werewolf bite, but the real action was Thursday night. I have a feeling next week's episode will play like a coda. But before we start worrying about Damon's life, let's take some time to mourn those who died.
Jules (Michaela McManus) -- I can't say I'm going to miss her. Jules came off as a harsh character, who turned Tyler (Michael Trevino) against Caroline (Candice Accola), so that's a big no-no. Still, she was forced into survival mode by her very nature and perhaps her instincts were well-intentioned. "I was just trying to help Tyler. I didn't want him to be alone," were her last words before Klaus killed her. I feel bad that she never found out the curse she wanted to break wouldn't even help her.
Greta (Lisa Tucker) –- Greta, Greta, Greta. Who were you? Why were you so loyal to Klaus? Why did you not think to put a protection spell on yourself? Oh well, that made it easier for Damon to snap your neck when he and Bonnie flew in for the kill. In a way, the entire Martin family died without leaving much of a mark on the show or on me. They came, they were devious, they served some purpose, and then they died. But we never really got to know or care about them.
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