Grace Phipps on How She Got Cast on The Vampire Diaries and How the Cast Welcomed Her to the Show — Exclusive
Talk about a killer role! Grace Phipps (Nine Lives of Chloe King) scored the role of April Young on Vampire Diaries Season 4, and it’s introduced her to the show’s hardcore fanbase. When Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with Grace, we had to know how she landed her guest spot and what’s next for April.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How did this role come about for you? Grace Phipps: I first went to the audition, and I loved her [April] because I have this scene where she walks up to Mystic High. And I love that she so wasn’t able to do deal with the manners of “My dad just died.” I just thought that was so amazing. When I read that character, I loved that she just spoke in a very self-aware way and almost self-deprecating way. I love that because I do that, and I was like “I don't know what I'm saying,” or like, “Uh, is that a polite way to say that? Thank you, for being sorry that my dad — do you say, thank you? I appreciate your sorryness?”
So you had to audition. Were they aware of your previous work? I think everyone's aware of my previous work, but I definitely auditioned. I kind of like the idea of having to audition for things because then I would show up on set and be like, how do I know if everyone's going to know I can be okay at this? So, yeah, I went in. And I did a callback, and then I auditioned for Julie [Plec, executive producer].
That's such a fascinating universe, where anyone can die at any point. it seems like everyone's kind of living on their toes? It is a little bit of that. I don't know. I think it makes people nervous, but for me, it's just so fun to be there. The only thing that I would be concerned about if I didn't get a good death. Like if anything happens, and I got this like lame death, that would be super disappointing. As long as my character has a good arc, and I get to be on the show for a while, that's kind of enough.
Now that April has been compelled to forget the entire hostage episode, where do we go from there? I really like that kind of friction where she's just in her home town, trying to fill her time and not have to be sitting at home thinking about her dad. So she's living in an entirely different genre than everybody else because she just doesn't know. She's a girl with one problem instead of girl in a supernatural universe where everybody's fighting all the time.
Is she going to start being aware? I assume they can't keep her in the dark forever. I think it's hard to not eventually end up knowing what's going on in Mystic Falls because there's so much going on. It's very à la Jeremy, Season 1.
Have you ever had a fan experience like this on anything before, or is this your first encounter? No. Fandom for this show is intense. It's great though. This is what I love about the fandom for this show. It's all so positive, and it's just people like wanting these things for the characters online. And all these Tumblrs. It's not like, “I hate that character,” ever. It's always people loving the show, and a real connection.
Who's been the most welcoming person on set? I have to say one morning, I was walking in my fitting and Claire Holt was walking into hers. And she was like, “Hey. You're the new girl. Take my number. If you're bored in your hotel, call me.” It's like going into a new school a bit because they've been there for so long. And for her to do that… And Candice [Accola] is so sweet and so lovely, was immediately welcoming to me. And everyone's actually been really nice and welcoming. I just like that moment with Claire. I tell that story all the time because that's just such a nice thing. She's like, “I know what it's like to live in a hotel.” She did it all last year. So she's like, “Call me.”