On the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals (premiering Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW), viewers will quickly learn that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) wants what his former protégé-turned-rival Marcel, played by Charles Michael Davis, has. It’s a stance Morgan has been known to playfully take on set as well. ”I’ve been trying to get Julie [Plec, exec producer of both shows] to let me wear a vest for two years. It’s a British thing. I just like the idea of it. What I would call a waistcoat,” he says. “And then one of Marcel’s henchmen, his right-hand man Thierry [Callard Harris], shows up – vest in every scene. And my thing was, Klaus has a few necklaces. From the beginning I’ve done that. And then I’m like, ‘Here’s Charles Michael Davis with a cool necklace. But not only that, leather wristbands.’ And he looks like he spends every day in the gym. On the backdoor pilot, my stand-in was this sort of weedy-looking white guy. Charles Michael Davis’ stand-in was this hugely buff guy. I was like, ‘Look, this is how they see us. These two guys together.’” Morgan got a new stand-in when the show, which filmed the backdoor pilot on location in New Orleans, set up shop in Atlanta: “Now my stand-in’s too handsome,” he says, laughing. “He’s like a younger, more handsome version of me. Now I’m intimidated by my stand-in. I’ve been shot in the foot.”
In the spirit of Klaus/Morgan wanting what others have, we invited him in to different staffers’ offices at EW HQ to see what he’d like to steal from them. Let the tour begin:
Staff Writer Darren Franich’s office
“First thing I’m seeing is the poster of The Prisoner. ’I am not a number, I am a free man,’” Morgan says, quoting the ’60s British TV series starring Patrick McGoohan. “ ‘Orange Alert.’ But I think I want something I can play with as opposed to a poster…” He heads to Darren’s bookshelf, which is lined with action figures and other collectibles. “Half-red, half-green Hulk – that’s tempting,” he says. “The Bane figure. I would take the Bane figure just to do the voice the whole time. [Solid impression] ‘Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.’ And I think he based it on Sean Connery. Don’t you think that? ‘And this gives you power over me?’ It’s like, [quoting Connery from The Rock] ‘Stanley Goodspeed.’” We try to be helpful and point out a semi-hidden bottle of tequila. “I can get tequila anywhere. And I did a film in Mexico, and I’ve gone off tequila since then,” Morgan says. His final choice: The DuckTales lunchbox that Darren received promoting the re-release of the video game. “For nostalgia’s sake, and out of left field,” he says, before noticing some books on the shelf. “Okay, let’s get a giant bag and fill it up,” he says, laughing.
Executive Editor Kristen Baldwin’s office
“I’ll take the MacBook. I mean, I can get a good price for that,” he says, checking out her desk while she’s gone. Just then the phone rings. “I’ll take this phone call,” he says, laughing. He moves on to investigate what’s in front of her windows and spots a Barbie doll at a piano used in an EW photo shoot re-enacting Lady Gaga’s 2010 highlights. “It’s also a candle holder,” he says, picking up a tea light from it. He continues looking around. “A lot of dolls in here. I’m not judging, I’m just saying. A lot of dolls,” he says, noticing her Beverly Hills, 90210 dolls in their original packaging as well as Spice Girls dolls. He thinks he’ll go with her Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots (“Didn’t these guys do Toy Story 2 or something?” he says), but then he spots her Back to the Future flux capacitor. “Definitely that. It made time travel possible. I mean, come on. Now I just have to find a DeLorean to put it into.”
Assistant Managing Editor Dalton Ross’ office
On the way here, we make an unscheduled stop in TV critic Melissa Maerz’s vacant office, where Morgan gets momentarily lost in the former music critic’s CD collection before joking that he’d take her ”antique,” an old Samsung television set, and “throw it through a window to demonstrate how rock ‘n’ roll I am.” We arrive in Dalton’s spacious abode. Initially tempted by the whiteboard walls (“You could have a lot of fun with those,” says the artist), Morgan’s a big fan of The Walking Dead, which Dalton covers, so he makes a beeline to the box showing the small replica of the Governor’s zombie head tank that accompanies the special edition season 3 Blu-ray. He’s disappointed when he finds the tank missing from its box. But then he spots it on the coffee table. “It’s here!” he says. “But where are the heads though?” He’s dejected again when he sees that Dalton hasn’t yet assembled it. Luckily, the season 2 set only requires you to put a screwdriver through the eye of a zombie – just like Andrea did in Dale’s RV. Picture time.
Staff Writer Kyle Anderson’s office
First, Morgan assures Anderson that having seen a lot of offices on his tour of EW, his is indeed one of the tidiest. “I’m tempted by the Huey Lewis and the News album,” Morgan says, spying Sports on vinyl. (“Most people are,” Kyle quips.) “Wow, is that a vinyl or a book?” Morgan asks hopefully, turning his attention to a deluxe reissue of Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. “That’s a CD version. I’m gonna put that back,” he says. He ultimately settles on his initial choice – Kyle’s WrestleMania VII “Macho Man” Randy Savage doll (that’s the year he had the retirement match with Ultimate Warrior). While longtime wrestling fan Kyle has it because he considers “Macho Man” Randy Savage his “spirit animal,” Morgan says he’d steal it “for my years sticking his image into a sticker book, along with all the other WWF stars. That was massive in school. I remember Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, the Bushwhackers, the Legion of Doom.” (Perhaps that explains why he’s proud of the fact that he did his own dangerous stunt in the Originals’ fifth episode: “It involves leaping from a 15- or 20-foot drop into a fight move,” he teases.)
Staff Writer Mandi Bierly’s office
“I’m gonna replace my real-life friends Paul [Wesley] and Ian [Somerhalder] with the utterly dissimilar cardboard cutouts,” he says, seeing the standees of Stefan and Damon Salvatore. (They’ve been used for work, I swear. The photo of Morgan’s Immortals co-star Henry Cavill on the wall, not so much.) The Hairy Hunks: A Celebration of Shaggy Stallions picture book catches his eye first on the bookshelf. (That was Megan Mullally’s pick when we caught her breaking into EW’s offices.) Browsing the DVD collection, he gets to one of two Kids in the Hall boxed sets and admits he doesn’t know what it is. A Canadian sketch comedy show/troupe, I tell him. “Oh… Canadian,” the Brit deadpans. “No, I’m kidding! I’m kidding!” I offer to actually give him a set if he’ll watch it, but he’s concerned about traveling with it since he doesn’t check luggage. (“Well, I could try to fit it in my girlfriend’s suitcase,” he says, before deciding against it.) Ultimately, he settles on a book from the top shelf: Frozen Planet: A World Beyond Imagination, a tie-in to the BBC/Discovery nature series. “I bet it’s got amazing photos,” he says, flipping through a few pages before we move on.
Social Media Guru Nika Vagner’s office
Okay, we know this photo is blurry, but there was much excitement when Morgan did find something to take with him. “I’m gonna probably take one of your books,” he informs Nika after complimenting her clean, zen office. She suggests Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Blankets. He’s read it. Michael Narducci, a writer/producer on The Originals, gave it to him. “I thought it was the greatest thing because I related to – not that I had a very religious upbringing – but the sort of fun he had with his brother, pretending the bed is a boat and all those things,” he says. He goes back to browsing. “I would probably take this,” he says excitedly, picking up Heads On and We Shoot: The Making of Where the Wild Things Are. “Take it, take it,” Nika says. “I have another. I promise.” “Are you serious?” Morgan asks. “I’m actually stealing something! Ah, yes! This is amazing. Result!”