Image Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CWIf you haven’t watched this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries and intend to, stop reading… Taylor Kinney — who drew his last breath as werewolf Mason Lockwood (at least for now) — always knew there was an expiration date on his guest arc, but he didn’t know the way it would end (with Damon ripping his heart out after torturing him). No one in the cast knew specifics until they actually got their scripts for the Oct. 21 episode. What was Kinney’s reaction when he read it? “I thought the lead-up was great, but yeah, I was like, ‘Really? Holy s—!,'” he says, laughing. Nina Dobrev had the best reaction though, he adds. Kinney saw her reading the script, which had come out the day before. “I thought she had already read it, and she just wanted to read over a scene again. So I sat down with her, and I asked her if she’d finished it, and I think before she even got the words out, I had told her what happened. Her face just dropped, and she was like, ‘Really?’ She got all worked up because she never likes to know what’s going on with an episode until she reads the script. She didn’t know yet.” So she was actually angry because he spoiled how he was leaving the show? “Yeah. She was really pissed at me,” he says, laughing again.
Kinney says he and Ian Somerhalder shot the torture scene for about 10 hours. “Some of the times when we’d get rolling with it, it seemed really real. Ian wasn’t holding back,” he says, with another chuckle. “I think that guy was really trying to kill me. We made the most of it, and it turned out great.” We mention that exec producer Kevin Williamson once told us that he and fellow EP Julie Plec actually debated whether to have Paul Wesley shirtless in Stefan’s torture scene last season. (“That almost did me in,” Williamson said. “‘That’s enough. Let’s keep the shirt on from here on out.’ I just thought that was too much. But we were like, ‘But that’s what would happen, so…'”) Was there any debate about whether fully-clothed Mason should have his shirt off so we’d get a better look at the wounds Damon inflicted stabbing him repeatedly with a hot poker (not to mention at Kinney’s tattoos)? “I opted to be totally naked,” Kinney cracks. “I said, ‘We should just go for it,’ but they said, ‘No, you will have your clothes on.’ No. It was never a question, really. I think that might have been maybe too gratuitous.”
Kinney has already revealed that his mother was the most difficult person to tell that he was leaving the show. So how did he finally do it? “Subtly,” he admits. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think she knows entirely. I was like, ‘Mom, it’s a supernatural show. You never know with these characters. They could reprise,’ and this and that. Because she loves it — her and her girlfriends, the people that she talks with. She just gets a kick out of it, so to tell her that this person is gone for good, it would just break her heart.” (One person in his family who might not miss Mason: His grandmother. “I try to get my grandmother to watch, and she has a light stomach,” he says. “My mom will call and say, ‘You got to turn it on. Taylor’s gonna be on.’ And my grandma will watch for maybe five minutes, then she’ll turn the TV off and call my mom back and say, ‘Good for, Taylor. But I can’t watch that.’ It’s pretty funny.”)
What’s next for the actor, whose credits also include NBC’s Trauma and MyNetworkTV’s Fashion House? “Staying busy in Mystic Falls purgatory,” he jokes. “No. Right now, I’m back in L.A. and on to whatever is ahead. I’m still pretty tight with everybody with The Vampire Diaries, and you never know. Anything can happen in Mystic Falls.” (Hear that, mom?)
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