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Last week, news broke that the CW was actively developing a Vampire Diaries spinoff with showrunner Julie Plec that would center on Klaus (Joseph Morgan) — working title The Originals — and that the April 25 episode of TVD would serve as a backdoor pilot. Though she doesn’t want to say too much about a show with a fate unknown, EW was able to get a few teases from her.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The idea of doing a spinoff has been around for a while. Why was the time right to pull the trigger?

JULIE PLEC: It’s actually something that we’ve been talking about for two years, that we contemplated trying to get off its feet last year, but there was just too much work to do in too little time. So that gave us an opportunity this year to spend a lot more time putting it together — seeing if, obviously, our actors had any interest whatsoever continuing the life of these characters [Laughs] and if there was a story to tell. It all came together in a way that we finally felt would not detract from our most important baby right now, The Vampire Diaries, and would give us a chance to expand the universe with characters that we’ve had another year to get to know.

What can you tease about the April 25 episode?

The idea is that a turn of events in Mystic Falls sends Klaus to New Orleans to solve a mystery. He gets word that some people are making a move against him that might concern him. So he heads to New Orleans to try to figure who’s plotting against him and what they’re up to. And in unfolding that mystery, it takes him back to a town that several hundred years ago, he was actually one of the original settlers of and helped build. He reacquaints himself with a vampire that he actually turned back in the day, Marcel, who has created a whole set of rules and a whole society for the supernatural community that he’s in charge of — sort of tipping his hat to Klaus and saying, “You taught me everything I know.” So Klaus’ protegé is now the big king of the supernatural community in New Orleans and Klaus is stepping back into that.

Have you cast Marcel?

No, we start casting, I think, in the next week or two.

How would you describe him?

He is the life of the party. He is diabolical, and dangerous, and he is a rock star. If anything, he’s that kind of hard-partying, hard-living vampire who knows how to enjoy the most out of life in the French Quarter.

And so if it were to go to series, New Orleans would remain the setting.

Yes. When I talked about it to the network and the studio, I said, “In its own way, the French Quarter, with its less than 3,000 inhabitants, is the ultimate small town.” So it’s still a small-town story, it’s just a town that we all know pretty well. We all have our own party fantasy that we’ve either lived or wanted to live in New Orleans.

Fans have been wondering what could keep Klaus occupied, and how Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) will get involved.

That is all part of the big mystery. I will say no one should assume anything about the way this is gonna play out, because with luck, it will be a nice surprise for everybody.

Would there be a role for Elijah (Daniel Gillies) in the spinoff, because there needs to be.

Oh, in the world of Julie Plec [Laughs] and her obsession with Daniel Gillies, there is always a role for Elijah. It’s only a matter of whether in Daniel Gillies’ world there is an interest in having a job with Julie Plec. But I can hope the answer is yes.

So you have talked to him about the possibility.

Yes. Absolutely. You’d have to ask him where he stands…. By the way, make sure it’s clear that I’m being ironic when I refer to myself in the first person. [Laughs]

What about Rebekah (Claire Holt)? She’s back in the picture this Thursday, when TVDreturns with new episodes, but she and Klaus aren’t exactly happy with one other.

Right now, she’s really mad at him, and their relationship has several more mountains to climb in the next, even, five episodes, much less a future series. I think she’s another character that would be a tremendous asset to both shows. So it really all comes down to Rebekah’s future, and Claire’s future with Rebekah, and all that stuff that remains undetermined.

Would you have the title of showrunner on both shows?

I think. Truthfully, we haven’t talked about that other than that I would likely share that title with Caroline Dries on The Vampire Diaries and then be the showrunner on The Originals. The great thing about The Vampire Diaries is that Caroline has really come into her own over the three-plus years she’s been on the show and is a terrific leader, and an amazing writer, and knows the show inside and out. So I would still be there every step of the way, but she would be taking on a lot more responsibility than she already has. And Mike Narducci, who’s someone else who’s been very important on The Vampire Diaries, would come over to The Originals and take up the mantle there. So with luck, two brilliant people who’ve grown up in aVampire Diaries universe can continue to be brilliant as we split it over two shows.

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Fans of The Vampire Diaries’ biggest villain, Original hybrid werewolf/vampire Klaus, you may want to brace yourselves for the best news ever. A pilot for a potential spinoff from TVD has officially been greenlit by The CW in consideration for next season, Deadline reports.

The Originals, from TVD co-creator/exec-producer Julie Plec, will star Joseph Morgan‘s Klaus as well as series newcomer Phoebe Tonkin, who played werewolf Hayley in the first half of Season 4. The spinoff will focus on the fan-favorite family of Original vampires — the oldest vampires in existence — as Klaus returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, a town he actually helped build centuries ago. There, he is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel.

And here’s the best news yet: we will actually be getting a sneak peek at the new series during an upcoming episode of TVD airing on April 25, serving as the potential backdoor pilot. Plec will write the episode as well as executive produce The Originals (if it gets a series order) with Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo for Alloy, Warner Bros TV and CBS TV Studios. TVD showrunner Kevin Williamson, who is working on his upcoming Fox show The Following, is not involved with the spinoff.

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It’s something casting directors have clearly tapped into: some of her most memorable roles include a mermaid (H20: Just Add Water), a witch (The Secret Circle) and a werewolf (The Vampire Diaries, for which she’s won a following in the US).

She also starred in Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters and cult feature film Tomorrow, When the War Began, as well as last year’s shark tale, Bait.

“I really love playing strong, ballsy characters, whether on television or film,” she says. “It’s strange, I used to only get cast as the naive girl next-door, but then something happened and now the only call-backs I get are, like, the vixen or the mistress … the ones that cause trouble. Something happened when I turned 21.” She lets out a laugh.

Tonkin lives in LA, but is keen to return to Australia for work: “Being US-based is great, and we have a bit of an Aussie crew,” she says of mates such as Teresa Palmer (with whom she started wellness website yourzenlife.com), “but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t come home. I would love to do more work in Australia there. I’d jump at the chance to come back.”

Buy the February issue of Harper’s BAZAAR to read the full Young Actor’s Portfolio

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Theresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult play an unlikely couple in the upcoming horror-comedy ‘Warm Bodies’.  Palmer and Hoult were on set when HitFix went to visit, and they discuss how their characters and relationships function in the accompanying interview.

Hoult says, “You can hear the voice-over of my character, which is very eloquent.  It’s partly the way Jonathan [Levine, the director] is shooting it as well. You can’t see some of the more violent, gory stuff. You see it from his point of view because it’s something he has to do. The fact that it’s shot beautifully makes it less about killing someone’s boyfriend, which is never a good start.  The thing I really liked about the script is it’s about someone trying to retain his humanity. Through killing Julie’s boyfriend and eating his brains he falls for her and then regains that through being with her. That’s the great thing about Teresa: She’s such a lively, bubbly person anyway and that spark she brings to the character.”
Palmer also says great things about Hoult, adding that he made her role easier, saying, “It’s hard because I’m leading all of the scenes.  My character, she’s very high-spirited; she’s got a lot of energy. It’s almost as if I’m doing huge monologues after monologues. But Nick is so expressive with his eyes. He gives me so much without having to say anything. I really can just play off of him and I feel what he’s feeling. He honestly is the perfect casting choice for this role; he’s just beautiful in the movie.”

 

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LA-based Australian actresses Teresa Palmer and Phoebe Tonkin are switching their focus from the silver screen to balance sheets by launching a lifestyle website called Your Zen Life.

Palmer has starred in films including The Grudge 2 and December Boys, while Tonkin’s films include Tomorrow, When the War Began and Bait 3D. Tonkin also stars in The Vampire Diaries.

Your Zen Life describes itself as an online scrapbook, where like-minded people can share their knowledge of, and passion for, health and fitness.

The site only launched last month, but already counts New York-based Australian entrepreneur Michael Giles as a contributor. Giles is also a blogger for StartupSmart.

Palmer and Tonkin talk to StartupSmart about why they decided to create Your Zen Life.

Why did you launch the website?

Both of us are so passionate about health and wellness, and have witnessed the benefits of living a holistic, natural way of life.

Travelling and meeting new people gained us access to some of the best nutritionists and tools to live out our best, healthiest lives possible.

We wanted an outlet to share this knowledge and create a community of like-minded people.

The idea of inviting people to contribute to the site came from hearing feedback over Twitter and email. We realised that people want a platform to share their stories and inspire others.

How did you fund it?

We both self-funded the whole idea. It really is a passion project.

But eventually we want to get to a place where the site is making money, which we can put directly into charity, as philanthropy and being able to give back to our planet is in part the essence of the site.

Who is the site aimed at?

Anyone who is interested in creating a more Zen-like life. We want to inspire people to look after themselves, whether that’s emotionally, physically or spiritually.

What is so great about social media these days is the direct interaction between readers of the site, and from that we can cater to what our readers are interested in.

We found a lot of questions about living this way but on a budget, so we are conscious of that when we are writing or sourcing context.

Do you think star power has any impact on the site?

We believe the power of Twitter and Facebook has been pivotal to getting the word out about our site.

And being able to be in contact with some of the best professionals in the field of health and wellness is also a perk of being in the public eye.

But at the end of the day, we are just two twenty-somethings who are so passionate about living this way, and that passion is what drives us to make the site what it is.

What is your growth strategy for the site?

Getting traffic to the site is key. We are trying to maintain a level of consistency with the blog posts so that our readers can come to rely on our site.

It’s great to have people who drop by every now and then, but what we are after is loyal fans of the site who check it almost every day.

At this stage we are just trying to get the word out about the site.  

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Love and Honor finally has a release date!

The romantic drama starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer will debut in select theaters on March 22 and February 14th On Demand.

Love and Honor
 summary: When Dalton Joiner (Austin Stowell) finds out that his girlfriend Jane (Aimee Teegarden) has dumped him, he vows to go home during his one-week leave to win her back. His best friend Mickey Wright (Hemsworth) will do anything to help his buddy out – as long as there might be a few girls along the way. In just seven days they must get to the States, change Jane’s mind and make it back to the war without getting caught.

But when they arrive stateside they find Jane and her beautiful, committed activist friend Candace (Palmer) at the heart of the anti-war movement. Joiner and Wright must make some life changing decisions as they spend a week in July 1969 learning the truth about love, honor and commitment.
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Credit to: Jessie