Exclusive Interview: Katerina Graham Shares her VAMPIRE DIARIES
IESB: Once you had been cast and you had a chance to learn more about the character, was there something about Bonnie that you felt you could relate to?
Katerina: Her nature and my nature is very similar. She’s very quick-witted, but still very laid-back, and she has these funny little one-liners and cute things that she says. Her relationship to Elena is very similar to the texture of the relationships I have in my life. There are a lot of similarities.
IESB: Had you even been aware that this show was based on books, prior to being cast?
Katerina: I didn’t know it was based on books, before the audition. During the process, however, I realized that and that’s when I started reading the books. I have all of them and I study them constantly. I realized that, in the beginning, before the pilot even came out, the fans were fans of LJ Smith’s novels.
IESB: Were you a fan of the vampire genre before this, or is this totally new to you?
Katerina: I’ve always been a fan of it. I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and stuff like that. It was always a big thing. I’ve been a vampire on Halloween multiple times, and I’ve been a witch more times than that, coincidentally. I was just always really into it. It was always cool to do that on Halloween, or to talk to your friends about the new things in vampire culture, and stuff like that. Vampires have always been hot.
IESB: This season, you’ve had some great moments with Jasmine Guy, who plays Bonnie’s grandmother. What has the experience of working with her been like? What do you learn from someone so experienced?
Katerina: I really like working with her because we have very parallel careers. She’s older than I am, but we gone through a lot of the same things. She was on a TV show, she was a professional singer and dancer, and we even wear the same size shoes. We have so much in common. It’s been such an amazing opportunity to be able to work with somebody who has such great experience and who I can totally look up to. She’s just great. I love working with her. I think she’s just terrific.
IESB: You had that great Halloween episode this season, where Bonnie got together with her girlfriends and they had a seance, which ended with her getting possessed by her ancestor (played by Bianca Lawson). Did you study Bianca at all, so that you could take on some of her mannerisms when her character was possessing Bonnie?
Katerina: Yeah, I did. I would stay on set when she was shooting and I’d watch how she was. That also gave the director an opportunity to say, let’s try this or let’s try that. I knew what her mannerisms were and how she behaved and talked. As cute and as young as the demographic can be for The Vampire Diaries, and I think it’s obviously a bigger demographic than what people originally thought it was, so much work goes into it. I don’t want people to watch the show and say, “Oh, it’s just another young teen drama.” I want them to see that there’s a lot of skill that goes into it, from the lighting to the direction to the production to the writing to the acting to the real moments that a character has. It’s a great experience, but there’s definitely a lot of work that goes into it.
‘Southland’ actor joining ‘True Blood’
“Southland” co-star Kevin Alejandro is staying in the South with another high-profile series gig, joining Alan Ball’s vampire drama “True Blood.”
Alejandro, expected to appear in almost every episode of the HBO series’ upcoming third season, will play Jesus, a Latino orderly who is taking care of Ruby Jean Reynolds (Alfre Woodard) at her care facility and becomes involved with her son, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis).
Katerina Graham was and is the perfect choice for Bonnie. She plays the part so well. I’m glad that she studied the books and takes her character seriously.
And I cannot wait to see each character “evolve” as the season continues. Are you looking forward to Vampire Diaries coming back? Which characters do you hope to see evolve?
Woot Lafayette is gettin’ a boyfriend. And it’s about damn time. I love his character and it will be fun to see him getting some action (no pun intended.) How do you feel about Kevin being cast as Lafayette’s love interest?