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An Interview with a Vampire

The Vampire Diaries leading lady Candice Accola King shares what gets her blood pumping

Vampires might never age, but TV shows about vampires can often have an expiration date. It’s impressive then that after seven years on the air, The Vampire Diaries has remained exciting and, of course, popular. Here, Candice Accola King, a show veteran who this season is becoming the series’ leading lady, discusses its longevity, the changing way fans view TV and what her own off-duty binge-watching habits look like. 

You’ve spent nearly seven years on The Vampire Diaries. How has the show changed over the seasons?

This year we’ve seen a couple of characters depart the series, and so, structurally, the writers do have some new concepts happening. We’re doing some flash forwards, which are really fun. Those have been my favorite parts. We’re going a couple of years into the future and getting glimpses of what the lives of these characters have become. We’re going to spend a lot of this season trying to figure out how they got from point A to point B. 

Your character, Caroline, is stepping into the spotlight this season. What’s in store for her?

We left Caroline last season just newly accepting the fact that her mother died and realizing that she needed to take time to grieve. It was the first time in the whole series that we’ve seen her choose herself instead of choosing a boy. I thought it was a really big moment of grace for the character. As we get into season seven, we’ll see her struggle as she’s trying to take care of herself as well. We’ve got a lot of new characters coming in, a whole bunch of new faces, so we’re going to see how Caroline responds to all these big changes that are out of her control. 

Has the audience of the show changed at all over the course of its run?

It is a long chunk of time. What’s been really fascinating is that when we first started is when Twitter was getting pretty big but Instagram wasn’t a thing at that point, which is kind of creepy to think about. We’ve gone through that change of how social media affects a show, but also there’s been the introduction of Netflix and Hulu and all of these different ways to watch television. We do have a lot of viewers who have been with the show since the very beginning, but what has really been fascinating to me is the onslaught of viewers that have just joined up recently. 

Is it the kind of show you think people are binge-watching?

That’s been a really common thing that I’ve heard, “Hey! I love the show; I just started watching it. I got mono and just binge-watched the whole thing!” It’s been fascinating how much television and the way that we view it has changed in the past seven years. To be a part of it has been a really fascinating ride. 

Is that how you watch TV?

Recently, I was like, I think it’s time for me to start watching Scandal, to go on Netflix and catch up and then catch up on this season once I’m done. It’s just a completely new way of watching television that wasn’t really around several years ago.

I can’t imagine you have much time for that, being in the middle of filming the new season. 

We are always kept very busy! It’s a really interesting working on a series for seven years, since we’ve not just been together for this long as a cast, it’s also the producers and a lot of writers and also a lot of crew. We’ve had a lot of the same crewmembers for almost seven years now. So being through all that time with each other, it really is a family. To be able to go to work surrounded by family every day is just such a blessing.