In the season six finale of The Vampire Diaries, the show is saying goodbye to Nina Dobrev and Michael Trevino, who have both been on the show since its pilot. So we talked with the jock-turned-wolf-turned-hybrid-turned-temperamental-human about his time as Tyler Lockwood, from the day he auditioned to the day he said goodbye … and maybe more.
See what Trevino had to say about all of his Vampire Diaries milestones:
I remember going in for Damon. That didn’t work out so well. Then I went in for Stefan, and I got the no on that. And then Julie Plec said, “Why don’t you do Tyler?” And I said, “Sure why not?” I auditioned for Tyler and in the process—one of the last moments until you book the job is you do your network test and then you do your studio test. Well, out of everybody that was doing the test—and I can remember seeing Kat Graham there, I remember seeing Zach Roerig—you’re allowed to get 5, maybe 10 minutes in with the director before you do the test. And for some reason, we ran out of time and I was the only one who wasn’t able to get a director session in before the test, so I remember freaking out about that. [Laughs]
[The audition] was a scene that got cut in the pilot. We’re in the Mystic Grill and Stefan is there, and I end up bumping into Stefan and knocking over his tray of beverages. Tyler nudges Stefan as Stefan is trying to speak to Elena and drops a bunch of beverages and food, whatever he got. They got rid of that, but we did shoot it. Stefan’s supposed to act like this big bad guy and I’m supposed to be afraid of him at the time.
TYLER’S FIRST WEREWOLF TRANSITION
That process was with [director] Marcos Siega, and we shot that with him over the course of two, 12-hour days of very emotional work. It was a marathon. There were very specific points with having to break my leg, or break my arm, or I’m spazzing out a bit and there’s growling—so it was two very long and exhausting days. And luckily, by the time we got to season 3, season 4, it got easier. We kind of just had Tyler run into a dark corner and then come back out as a wolf. We didn’t show so specifically what was happening with him.
I remember having to get really, really fit, and after our second day when we were completely done, I remember our first AD ended up buying me an extra large pepperoni pizza because I had been starving myself to look good and getting ready. Now we just put a couple dots on me on my face and then they fix it all in post-production. Now it’s easy.
HIS FAVORITE STORYLINE
It’s a love-hate type of thing because I enjoyed being the first successful hybrid, just because I was more powerful and I was able to have a little bit of vampire ability. But with that, the downside was being sired to Klaus, obviously. That was never fun. But I did enjoy being the big bad, “Okay, he’s a hybrid now.” And the fact that even as a werewolf, your bite can kill a vampire—whenever they reminded Stefan and Damon of that, I enjoyed those scenes. Where it was like, “Hey listen, if he bites you, you’re dead.”
You had Tyler who was just this cocky guy, and then he became a werewolf, and then he became a hybrid, and I think the hybrid was the peak of it. And then also, fighting with Klaus. I enjoyed working with Joseph Morgan because he’s a great actor, and so it was fun to work opposite him for almost a full season.
HIS FAVORITE SCENE PARTNER
I would have to say [my favorite scene parter] is between Candice [Accola] and Zach Roerig for different reasons. Those two are my favorite to work with. We just have a blast and joke around a lot.
But my favorite scenes are the group scenes, because not all of us are always together. I have a scene with Nina [Dobrev] in the finale, just her and I, and it was kind of funny because we were like, “we rarely ever have one-on-one scenes together.” It was special, but it was just kind of funny because it just doesn’t happen. Whenever there’s a day where there’s all of us together, it was very enjoyable because we all get to hang out. We see each other in passing, but we don’t really get to work with one another all day, so that’s pretty fun.
SOUVENIRS FROM SET
I didn’t [take anything]. This wasn’t to me like Friends, because the show is still going to go on. I couldn’t take something that’s still going to be used or needed. [Laughs] I think when it’s all said and done, Atlanta’s great and I totally see myself going to visit my friends in Atlanta. So I’ve thought of a few things. Anything in the Lockwood study for sure.
Tyler’s story is kind of a difficult one. Because with the werewolf storyline, it’s very specific, and I’m happy to have been on the show for six years and have them find a way to put me in there and keep it interesting and fresh. Our writers are grea,t and they have such a difficult job trying to make all these storylines cross paths or make sense with one another. So to be honest, I’m surprised I even lasted this long. But if it wasn’t for the hybrid storyline, I don’t know where Tyler would be right now. He’d probably be out in the Appalachian Mountains.
It’s been a crazy journey, but I’ve made so many memories. I feel like we made history. If anything, we made history on The CW, so I’m very proud of everything that we’ve done. And I feel like the show’s just going to take a turn for the better. It’s going to be a different show now. It’s going to be fresh for all the fans.
I am happy with [Tyler’s] goodbye. I think people will be okay with how Tyler’s storyline ends.
I will say as everybody knows, on this show, nobody ever really dies, nobody ever really goes away for good. And if I was ever asked to come back on the series, I would do it in a heartbeat.
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE FOR TYLER
Take a chill pill and stay away from anybody named Klaus.