'Vampire Diaries' exclusive: Michaela McManus talks Jules' motives (and Damon's shower scene)

vampire-diaries-mcmanus_320.jpg Image Credit: Annette Brown/The CWHearing that Michaela McManus originally auditioned for the role of Rose on The Vampire Diaries makes that scene in last week’s midseason cliffhanger, in which her werewolf Jules took a bite out of vampire Rose, somehow more delicious. Having wrapped for the holidays yesterday, McManus (One Tree HillLaw & Order: SVU) phoned us this afternoon so we could get to know the newest arrival in Mystic Falls a little better. Yes, Jules will be sticking around for a while when the show returns with new episodes on Jan. 27. McManus — who auditioned for Jules, found out that same day she got the part, and had one day before she was on a plane to Atlanta — says she’s filmed another three episodes and doesn’t know when her arc will end. “I’m always curious every time we get a script. It’s like, Hmm, what’s gonna happen to Jules now.”

So what did we learn? We’d do well to remember that exec producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec don’t write one-dimensional characters: “The fans don’t really know how to respond to Jules because as much as she is tough and a threat to Damon, she is also coming back to avenge her friend’s death, so you can’t really blame her for that,” McManus says. “She’s not outright crazy or mean. She’s just trying to protect herself and get back at Damon for what he’s done to Mason.” So does Jules want to make the ancient battle of the beasts her war, or is she just a provoked pacifist like Mason? “There’s this centuries-old feud between vampires and werewolves because they’re a threat to one another, and she definitely harbors a little bit of that,” she teases. “But the thing about Jules is, she has a sensitive side. She has to live with being a werewolf and every full moon transforming into this beast who wreaks havoc, but it’s not something she’s proud of or happy with. I don’t think she’s the kind of werewolf that just likes to go around tearing up people. She definitely has a hard time with it.”

Asked if she’s gotten to film a transformation scene yet, she says she’s shot a partial one: “Coming out of it is what I filmed. When they turn, they transform into this beast, and the morning after, it’s discovering what happened last night. It’s kind of like blacking out when they turn. They’re not necessarily conscious of what they’re doing.” For the first time in her career, McManus is doing stunt work and she’s loving it. “Jules gets pretty physical, and I think people will be impressed with her skills,” she says. “[The show] is doing a lot more action. It’s something to tune in for.”

Michael Trevino, who plays Tyler, told EW last week that Jules wants to take Mason’s nephew under her wing. “She feels kind of responsible for what happened to Mason, and he was this special person to her. So knowing that Tyler is there and he’s unprotected, she wants to take over for Mason and make sure that nothing happens to him,” she says. “She has good motives, I think.” (We’ll trust her, even though Trevino telling us, “She wants Tyler and she needs him — for what, I can’t say,” makes us cautious.) As for what exactly Jules’ relationship was with Mason, she’s not telling. (Did they live together? Did she sublet his place when Mason left Florida for Virginia? Or did she just have calls to his land line forwarded to hers?) But she says it’ll be made clear sooner rather than later. She’s also not revealing what Jules’ relationship is with Brady (Stephen Amell), another buddy of Mason’s who’ll come to town with a vengeance. “He’s a special friend, possibly, to Jules,” she says. Is Jules the kind of girl who has a lot of “special friends” we ask, hopefully. She just laughs. Not wanting to say anything that will set off a spoiler alert, she states the obvious: “His character is gonna bring a lot of trouble to Mystic Falls.”

From the promo for the Jan. 27 return, we know that Jules continues to face off with Damon (Ian Somerhalder), and McManus promises, even though Damon is feeling vulnerable with Rose, his “special friend,” going insane and presumably dying from Jules’ bite, he’s still the badass we’ve all come to love. “She’s after him, and he’s just as much after her. It’s really fun to see the two of them battle it out,” she says. “[Ian’s] so great. In real life, he’s such a charmer and so funny. When you’re working with him, he’s just completely unafraid to take risks. He changes things up, he’s always in the moment. It’s just a good time whenever I have a scene with him.”

Another reason we eagerly await the second half of the season — that much talked about shower scene Somerhalder recently filmed. There’s no chance Damon and Jules have a truce long enough for an unexpected romantic tryst, right? “It’s funny, because my mom actually emailed me when she read that story. She’s like, ‘This better not be you!'” McManus says, laughing. “‘That better not be you takin’ your clothes off!’ Hey, it’s The Vampire Diaries. They’re no stranger to spicing it up. So it’s possible. Who knows.”

Follow Mandi on Twitter: @EWMandiBierly

More on The Vampire Diaries:
Exclusive: Michael Trevino talks Tyler’s transformation, scenes with Damon and Stefan, and Jules’ motives
TV Insiders podcast: ‘Vampire Diaries’ exec producers break down the midseason cliffhanger
Exclusive: Kevin Williamson talks potential ‘Vampire Diaries’ companion series

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • Tha Phoenix

    TVD >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Am I right, fellow fans? :D

  • Tego Livi

    Somerhalder’s hot as a McDonalds apple pie, but nothing’s hot enough to get me to watch a show about vampires. I’m ready for this generations wave of monster shows to be over.

    • James

      Seriously, my brother said the same thing. He said he wouldn’t be caught dead watching a show about some “pretty boy vampire”. But I got him to watch Season 1 onliine and he is in love with the show now. Don’t knock it til you try it.

    • Summer

      I was REALLY reluctant to watch it myself. I read the books way back when they first came out (early 90’s, so WAY pre-Twilight) and enjoyed them as a kid. The show’s taken a couple of liberties, but its far from being a Twilight knock-off and, honestly, it’s a lot better than Twilight. At least Elena’s a little bit proactive.

    • Tai

      Lol, I agree with the apple pie comment. He is the only reason why I started and kept watching the show but believe me it starts to get really good about half way through the first season a lot of twists and turns ever since.

    • DebY

      Don’t knock it till you try it! Trust me… it is the best show you are not watching right now…and you should be.

  • Frank Anderson

    Jesus Christ this coverage of Vampire Diaries is getting ridiculous! There is a new post every day! You would think this was a top ten show, not a bottom ten pile of crap- which is what it is. Nit only does EW over-cover this show, but what they do cover is vapid and lazy. PS- if you like this show please just take a flying leap off a bridge. I don’t care that you don’t like that I’m dumping on your POS show.

    • Lilith

      Dear Frank Anderson, As a Vampire Diaries Fan I would like to wish a Very Merry Holiday because it is obvious by your comment that no one cares about you enough to do so.

      • Frank Anderson

        LOL- It is amazing how you can make a judgement call like that based off of my comment… Except I have an awesome family and just happen to hate that EW over covers VD. PS- Have fun with your vibrator tis holiday, cause I’m sure you have never seen a real life penis.

    • Sarah El

      Rude, much?
      Honestly, EW covers some things I would consider much worse on a much more regular basis (i.e. Dancing with the Stars).

      • Frank Anderson

        Hey… I actually agree with you. On both counts! ;)

    • jessie

      what is wrong with you? We all think its a great show ,entertaining. What type of show do you like Jersey shore? i bet. Those low lives who go drink and sleep around, I cant believe anyone would watch that.
      Dont be rude to us.

      • Frank Anderson

        Nope. PS- VD is Jersey Shore with blood replacing alcohol and douchebags replacing… Douchebags.

    • Bea

      My only question to you is:
      If you hate the show (and EW’s updates about it) so much, why are you bothering to read them and comment on them?
      Just curious…

      (and by the way, why do you know they have daily updates? I have grown to love the show and even I didn’t know that)
      Thou doth protest to much

      • Frank Anderson

        I only hit the VD story links to complain that they over cover the show and to harass people like you…

    • For a troll you r very sensitive

      Wow Frank, for a troll you are a bit sensitive, aren’t you? You come only to spread hate. Then return to answer every post against you. Somebody REALLY needs to learn to be nicer. Then you might have friends, and not have to only spread hate! I’m just sayin…

      • Frank Anderson

        I told them not to bother and they did, so I bothered them.

    • DebY

      Poor Frank….poor, poor Frank. Your life is so sad!

      • Frank Anderson

        You know 0 about my life, but I will guess about your too… You are a morbildly obese single girl with no relationship prospects and a cat. I bet I am more right than you are!

    • Emeri

      You obviously have nothing better to do with your time then argue with a fan-base you hate. So you must be a troll who likes to diss shows that they’ve never given a chance. Bitch about Twilight or other crap movies/shows that actually deserve it. TVD isn’t a flawless show, but it’s pretty freaking good. EW isn’t putting them on the cover of every magazine or anything. So go complain somewhere else, or better yet, shut up completely.

  • Tee

    Thanks for the Vamp Diaries update. They definitely haven’t been having a sophomore slump this year!

  • Joy

    Frank Anderson- If you do not like the show your choice. But I have a question, why do you care how many stories EW post about VD? Please also proofread before hitting Post Comment!

    • Frank Anderson

      I care because they cover crap like this to the detriment of much better shows. Also, I don’t care about one type-o… But nice try there!

  • Ashlee

    Frank, as a Vampire Diaries fan as well, I too would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, because like Lilith, I also believe no one could possibly care about you. I mean why else would you have the time to comment on an article about a show you don’t like?? Maybe we could start a foundation or start a petition to get you a life??
    P.S. Of course any self respecting Vampire Diaries fan wouldn’t care about you dumping on the show…..you are obviously not secure enough in your manhood to admit when you are out sexed by fictional characters.

  • Beverly

    Lmao!! Frank u are a loser!! Seriously?!? If u don’t like the show don’t comment on it!! It’s plain and simple!! TVD is an excellent show and as a fan just like the other lovely ladies, I will wish u a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Cuz I’m pretty sure Ur not going to get it anywhere else…Scrooge..

    • Frank Anderson

      It is so obvious all you ladies trying to claim that I have no one to wish me merry Christmas are so obviously fat, 18-30 year old single girls with 0% of getting a boyfriend any time soon.

      • Michelle

        And you’re a fat, 30-40 year old single man with 0% chance of getting a girlfriend any time soon. How does your own medicine taste?

        As for the coverage, honestly it could be a lot more. EW covers a lot of other shows far more than VD, and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t like Glee, but I don’t care that EW posts Glee-related articles every day. You have a choice, Frank: you can stop reading articles which you clearly do not like. Or, you can continue making pathetic comments on here. Your choice.

      • Misspriss_1

        Sorry Frank! You are wrong on that one. I’m young, hot, and had no problem getting and keeping, my man! Good try though…

      • Frank Anderson

        Not as bad as Missprisses rotten douche bags taste. Too bad you have them every morning for breakfast Michelle.

      • Sab

        WOW. You have some real issues to work out. Like how you talk to other people would be a good one… but wait you probably don’t have the balls to say anything like this to a person’s face so you spend all your time posting, what you think, are awesome, witty comebacks to women and girls (who represent to you the women) who have probably ignored you for your entire life.
        Get a hobby other than trolling comment sections online of shows you don’t even like and insulting people.

      • Frank Anderson

        Sab- Go get a hobby not responding to the people that make negative comments so that you can feel better about your pathetic life!

  • Abby

    Omg this shower scene with Damon better be worth the hype LOL. As much am team Damon I am not looking forward to this cos it’s obviously with either that skank ho Rose or the reporter :o :o.
    I want it to be Elena dammit:(. Why is Rose not dead? She needs to GTFO :(.

    P.s Frank get a life jeez desperate much?LOL

  • Shannon S.

    JEEZ Frank…I can understand being bored online and reading articles on shows you don’t like (I read about the Twilight movies sometimes…even though I have no idea why), but this is just ridiculous. Kudos to the fans in this talkback for taking the high road. I’m a married man with kids who got sucked into this show because my wife likes it, and I have to admit I actually enjoy it now. Have a Merry Christmas all by yourself Frank!

    • Frank Anderson

      Lol- You are snobby about Twilght but like this crap? When did your wife replace your balls with a mangina?

      • Tai

        Why don’t you be mature and stop responding.

      • Frank Anderson

        Who is less mature, the troll or the loser who feels the need to respond? ;)

      • For a troll you r very sensitive

        Frank Mature? This person has zero promises for much of a life, so he must spread only hate. Very, very sad!!
        I’m ready for the next Vampire diaries update!! Mandy, give us some new scoops! Thanks!

      • melanie

        really? doesn’t anybody here have a life? if u don’t agree with frank, just ignore him.. cause the attention is what he wants. for frank.. get a life…

      • Frank Anderson

        Lol…Melanie. You give advice then go straight against it. I bet you are one smart cookie!

  • Misspriss_1

    Adding my Merry Christmas to Frank as well! Poor guy. No life or prospects for one. So he must add a nasty comment about a show that he has yet to try, on a board were there are actual fans who love it. And as a devoted fan, I wish you a very Mystic Falls Happy Holiday, and a Founding Families New year! By the way, we have a very nice tomb for you to crawl in and hide away in shame!

    • Greg

      LOL yeah he should totally go in the tomb hopefully the spell also keeps lonely creeps in too.

  • Misspriss_1

    Oh and thanks for the update Mandi! Is it January 27th yet??? Waiting, waiting, waiting!!

  • Amber

    I was hoping Jules wouldn’t be on that long.

    • Tai

      I agree I hated her on OTH and this is just going to make me hate her more. I want them to bring Lucy back.

      • Misspriss_1

        I agree too, not liking Jules and don’t see that changing. Lucy seemed pretty cool though, and very beautiful also! And with Luka seemingly NOT a true friend for Bonnie, she could use a pal like Lucy..

    • Katy

      Ha me too, I’m not liking her all that much, and she bit Rose who I kind of don’t hate.

  • Shane

    Awww…Frank….honestly I have a feeling you watch some pretty bad stuff, otherwise you would recognize good writing.
    Being about twice the age of most of TVD fans, I was reluctant to watch the show though I pledged to support Ian (because he was Boone on my second favorite show of all time Lost, after NYPD Blue, West Wing and just before Studio 60) so I did watch and after show #2 I was wrapped up in the writing.
    It is what seperates it from the rest of the shows aimed at this demographic. And now, I couldn’t give it up!!!!
    (And Ian….beautiful inside and out).

  • mulan

    I really miss Mason, he was soooooooo hot, the brothers are beautiful, but I want Mason back his more my type of a guy

  • chaha

    I love the Vampire Diaries. Jules is going to be a great addition to the show. Hope she stays a long time. The reason why the show is getting boring is because they have Damon acting all whipped/walking around like a lost puppy chasing his brothers girlfriend. Can you say YAWNNNN. If they want to bring back to show to it’s greatness they should have Damon being th old Damon that we loved, the Damon that killed/tortured and was a manwhore. This Damon BORINGGGG. Oh yeah his fans are are a little out there, can you say bullies. If Damon fans don’t get there own way they complain. To the point I want to chew my arm off.

    • Casey

      You shouldn’t generalize all the Damon fans. I’m one, and I could care less about him right now. give me more Tyler and Caroline! Also, I’m getting tired of the anit-Damon fans complaining about the Damon fans. They aren’t the only obnoxious people.

      • Casey


      • Katy

        I know Tyler and Caroline are my main reason for watching as of right now I do love Damon don’t get me wrong, but Tyler and Caroline are my favorite relationship, I like Stefan too, so I’m not die hard I guess.

      • Misspriss_1

        Your right Casey…. I love Damon, he is the reason that I watch the show. I don’t bash anyone for not liking Damon, but I do seemed to BE bashed for liking him! Doesn’t seem very fair. But I will keep on expressing my adoration for the very hot Ian/Damon!!

    • mj

      ohh frank… let him be…poor guy…

      And chaha’s right, Damon’s kinda boring, crawling for Elena I mean, I know the show has HUGE differences with the books, but Damon’s actually a bit more bad-ass, always annoying Stefan and Matt! I want to see that… oh and wish Jules make it ’til the season finale!

    • jillybean82

      That’s a generalization. I’m a Damon fan and I quite like the direction the show is headed right now, besides the fact that I think Stefan and Elena could use some happy time together. I do agree that Damon needs to gain back more of his edge. I still like him though. SOME Damon fans complain, but Stefan fans do their fair share of whining too.

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