The Vampire Diaries: Kendrick Sampson on Jesse’s Intentions and Sexy Study Dates With Caroline — Exclusive!
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network    

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries: Kendrick Sampson on Jesse’s Intentions and Sexy Study Dates With Caroline — Exclusive!

Caroline’s love life is complicated. She’s got a sexy temperamental admirer in New Orleans, a preoccupied boyfriend up in the Appalachian mountains, and now, a hot upperclassman at Whitmore. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think Caroline was a contestant on The Bachelorette!

But Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) could be more than just a college crush. In Season 5, Episode 4 (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”), Jesse is pulling out all the stops for Caroline when he invites her on a romantic study date — in the woods. However, this is The Vampire Diaries, where every new hottie carries a hefty secret. Should we be wary of Jesse?

Wetpaint Entertainment chatted with Kendrick Sampson about Jesse’s intentions, his plans to woo Caroline, and what the Klaroline fans have to say about all of this.

Wetpaint Entertainment: There’s so much that we have yet to learn about Jesse. It sounds like this week’s episode is a big one for Jesse and Caroline. What can you tease?

Kendrick Sampson: Jesse and Caroline have a little study date, and she opens up a little bit more. She makes an effort to get to know him a little better. You’ll find out some things about Jesse, especially in the way he interacts with Caroline. They’re starting to bond, and maybe his persistence gets Caroline to give in a little bit. He’s working hard for her!

Well, TVD fans are very protective of Caroline. Should we be worried that Jesse is hiding something?

You know, he might be. I think he’s a pretty sincere guy, but he might be. He’s definitely different than anything they’ve seen on Vampire Diaries before. He may have some things he wants to keep hidden — a little mystery going on. There are some good things coming for sure.

The Vampire Diaries: Kendrick Sampson on Jesse’s Intentions and Sexy Study Dates With Caroline — Exclusive!
Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW © 2013 The CW Network    

Caroline, being one of the fan favorite characters, is in the middle of a two very popular relationships on the show. Have you experienced any Twitter backlash from fans?

Absolutely! The ship wars — oh my god — are pretty intense. I got some reactions even before the show premiered. When they did the initial casting announcement, there were some really interesting things said to me, maybe a few death threats. But after the show aired, I was really surprised. I thought my Twitter was going to shut down with hate mail, but it was the complete opposite! I’ve gotten very few negative comments, and if they are negative, they’re more like, “We like you together, just not more than Klaroline.” I’ve gotten some nice hashtag Jeroline comments, which was interesting and fun. If they can’t have Klaus, I’ll take my second place.

Second place to Joseph Morgan isn’t a bad place to be!

Yeah, right? That’s a really good place to be! I couldn’t ask for better company.

What was it like diving into TVD in Season 5?

It was a smooth transition. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be because everybody has been together for five years and it’s like family. But they were really accepting and really excited about the new characters. They wanted to show us a good time. I was really surprised by how much fun it was. A lot of them are practical jokers and funny people. They like their fun, which I do too, so I was definitely a part of it. There were definitely some good times.

You’ve already had a scene with one Salvatore brother, so are there any scenes between Jesse and Stefan coming up? After all, he’s pretty protective of Caroline.

That would be nice! We’ll see — there might be.

The one thing Jesse does know, though, is that he has a little bit of information about Dr. Wes. Is he going to help Caroline figure it out?

Absolutely! There’s a lot of twists and turns that were unexpected even for me. At one point, during a table read, one of the beloved series regulars gasped during the table read while we were reading the new script. She was like, “Oh my god!” So if we’re getting surprised, I’m sure you’ll get surprised. There’s some pretty awesome stuff with Jesse.

Is he going to be Nancy Drew’ing with Caroline?

I think the Nancy Drew’ing should be left up to Elena and Caroline and team. Jesse will definitely be intertwined in some of the drama.

So sooner or later we’re going to find out he has a doppelganger because everyone seems to have one of those.

Oh, that would be cool! [Laughs] That would be kind of amazing.

Is Jesse sticking around for the season?

You will definitely be able to see Jesse for a while, and it’s very open-ended right now. You can expect some great things coming up with Jesse, and you really get to know him better.

And you filmed the majority of your scenes with Candice [Accola] and Nina [Dobrev], right?

He gets around! He gets to experience a lot of the TVD cast. That was fun for me, to take this character who is headed one direction and then he just gets introduced to this whole crazy world and all these crazy characters. He gets to have some fun with some other characters as well. But I definitely have some great scenes with Candice. There’s excellent eye candy in my scenes, so my job has been made a lot more pleasurable.

Well, this is the CW, so of course there are some shirtless scenes in your future!

There could be some shirtless scenes coming up. I’m sure the Klaroline fans will be all over that one!

You’re going to have to prepare yourself for all those tweets.

I don’t know what their reactions are going to be to a lot of the things coming up. If it’s anything like what it has been, I’m going to be waking up smiling. I get some really big surprises sometimes, especially from all the fans in France and the Philippines and Germany and Brazil. I’m like, “How did you find me?” Vampire Diaries fans are the best. They surprise me every day.

Your character is also really good for Caroline because she’s so tightly wound. Is Jesse going to teach her how to have fun? She needs college fling!

I agree. I think she needs to just give up and go dive in headfirst and do this hashtag Jeroline deal. I think she needs to let loose and have some fun, so maybe Jesse is the perfect guy for her. She needs to dive in, forget Tyler, and experience some parties! Well, I guess the last one didn’t go too well. [Laughs] Maybe we’ll just skip the parties and have some good study dates.

What do you think, TVD fans? Should Caroline move on with Jesse? Do you think Jesse is hiding something? Sound off in the comments!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 25 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW, followed by the series premiere of Reign.

Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!