Starry Constellation Magazine has a great interview up on their site with Melinda Clarke. She discusses what it was like working on the set of The Vampire Diaries and her future on the show.
Q. As you mentioned you recently appeared on “The Vampire Diaries” as Kelly Donovan, what made you want to be a part of it and how were you approached to be on it?
A. I have to be honest, a part came up that I had been submitted for and I spoke with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec on the phone actually, and they decided that that part was too small and they wanted to save me for a different role. They discussed with me at length how they thought the character could go, and of course I was concerned about it being too similar to Julie Cooper, another mother stirring up trouble. Of course we could find similarities, but at the same time, to me they are very different. Ultimately after the end of the arc on “The Vampire Diaries” we still have only scratched the surface of Kelly Donovan, there wasn’t a lot of back story, we don’t know why she’s been gone or where she’s been. It’s been a little bit of a taste, a little bit of a tickle, for the audience probably to have this character blast through town and cause trouble for poor Matt. Hopefully there is room for the character to come back and only be Matt’s mom. We started just at one point but hopefully in other seasons we’ll figure out what really makes this woman tick and what her views are.
Q. Is there anything about the role that you found challenging?
A. Characters that are flawed, you definitely want to make them feel likable, sympathetic, and human. There were a few times I was curious why and how, I mean I still don’t know what possesses this woman to actually make out with her son’s friend. At one point when I was working with the actor who plays Tyler (Michael Trevino), and I thought to myself, “What grade are you supposed to be in?” Of course Michael is in his twenties, but he’s supposed to of course be in high school. At that moment I think we both had to laugh because I thought, “What would possess a woman to do such a thing?” There was nothing particularly challenging, in fact it was a lot of fun. I liked that the characters had room to play, and be bigger than life, and Kelly definitely was that. It was really nice working with Ian Somerhalder, we have very similar personalities, so we were able to just feel free to explore these characters in the very short amount of time that my character was on screen. The honest truth is that the part wasn’t a huge part, it’s really a tickle, a taste for the audience. I had to make up my own back story on why this woman does what she does. Usually people who have alcohol issues or substance abuse issues and are escaping from something. Like I said, I think she’s definitely escaping from something that I have to learn about, if the writers write about it then the audience has to learn about it eventually.
Q. Is it hard coming in for such a short stint when working on a show?
A. No, it’s a wonderful group, the only thing that’s difficult for me is that I have a child at home in Los Angeles. The only other difficult thing is that Atlanta was having the coldest winter that they’ve had in years and it was cold! I wasn’t prepared for six degree weather, and twenty degree weather, and snow. Other than that, it’s a wonderful cast and a wonderful group of people and they made me feel very welcomed and very comfortable, which is really important. Flying back and forth can be a bit taxing on anybody, but other than that, it was a wonderful experience and I’d be back in a second.
Q. Might we get to see Kelly return in the second season?
A. Sure, there definitely is. We left with the idea that Kelly could come back at any given moment, we don’t really know where she is at the moment. I don’t really know what the next scripts are or if they’ve said anything about Kelly. I am assuming that she packed her bags and left because ultimately she makes a sacrifice. She’s making her son’s life miserable, and she knows that, so she has to leave town. At this point I am not dead so that means I could come back any second and at any time.