Kevin Williamson Talks Gay Vampires and Casting for Klaus
Last time we talked to TVD executive producer Kevin Williamson he gave us the scoop on Damon Salvatore’s shower scene. This time around, he’s spilling the deets on casting for vindictive vampire Klaus (James Van Der Beek, anyone?) and getting serious about casting gay characters on the show.
Take a look at Part One of our interview with Kevin Williamson here.
Can you say anything more about when we’re going to see Klaus? What episode? Is he cast? We’re not exactly sure what episode he’ll show up in. But I would venture to say — we have not cast him yet — and we’re heavily casting right now.
Are there candidates or a type you can reveal? A height? A race? An age? I’ve got to be honest — there are about 100 auditions I need to go home and read through. There aren’t any types — I want that really great actor to surface, and then go, “Wow, I can write for him. He’ll work really well.”
Are you casting a name we already know or someone new? We’re looking at both — people who might be familiar to an audience. But most importantly, we want the right actor. So I’m guessing it’ll probably be someone we don’t know.
Age-wise, would he be an age-appropriate mate for the characters you have? Yes. Keep in mind, Klaus is someone who in his history seduced Katherine in Bulgaria. So he would have been someone suitable for her. Not an old man. And by old on the CW, I mean 31. Hey, I’m 45.
Since you’re talking about casting, how do you feel about the article in Newsweek that said Hollywood is not casting gay actors in gay roles? I just look at the actors when they come in to audition. Whether they’re gay or not, I don’t ask them. That’s not how it works.
The article’s point is that out actors who everyone knows are out are not getting cast in leading roles. Would it have concerned you to cast an out gay man as Damon or Stefan for fear the audience wouldn’t accept them? I’m at a place in my life where I’m over that. Bring me the right actor. That’s for someone else to worry about. That’s not my issue. My issue is telling the story, making the best show possible, and finding the best actor who will marry himself to my writing. And I could give a rat’s ass if he’s gay, straight or whatever.
Would network executives interfere? I don’t know. I’ve never come across this situation. I’d love it and I’m all for it. I’m gay as a goose, so bring it on. Bring me a gay actor who’s perfect for the part, and he’ll get it.
Are there any gay vampires to show up on the show? All vampires are gay in my mind. We’ve got to get some in Mystic Falls. But I have to kill some people off first. We’ve got to make room for them. I keep envisioning a world in which I can get Caroline’s dad in there. Because he’s a founding family member, and we’ve already established him as being gay. I think it would be great to have a fierce gay man come in there and run that council. I don’t think we’ll get around to it this season. You want to do it right — you can’t just bring him in to bring him in.
Are we looking at a Moldavian bloodbath at the end of this season then? No, not that bad. The gay thing about leading men and women, that’s a tough and very important issue. I remember the union had a whole panel about that at one point. I’ve got friends who are out there, plugging away.
Jane Lynch was very honest and provocative the other night, because she said she doesn’t think that middle America is ready to accept a gay actor in the leading role. She feels like [viewers] need to be able to project their romantic aspirations 100% on that person. So if they know that actor’s gay, they’re going to have a hard time. She also went on to say that she thought network suits would have that fear. If you really cast the right actor for the right role, it’s not a problem.
Maybe we don’t have enough out actors yet who fit the leading man persona. There is a small pool of our actors, I can only think of 3 or 4. And then if you say which one of them is a leading man, then it narrows. Because there is a difference between a character actor and a leading man. The good thing is, I also work for the CW, and they’re all about diversity. They want us to cast them, cast them, cast them. That’s a badge of honor for them. Every time I cast a role, it’s always about where’s the diversity.
Is it more acceptable for vampires to be gay? So you have carte blanche on your show? I think vampires are gay anyway. Like I think the whole werewolf story is one big coming-out metaphor. So making him gay is almost too on the nose.