Julie Plec sat down with several news outlets to discuss her directorial debut with tonight’s episode “Let Her Go”. Check out what she had to say in the interviews below.
TVLine invited the first-time director to document her maiden voyage — one that, believe it or not, took quite a bit of convincing on Plec’s part.
“For five years, I was like, ‘I’ll never direct. Absolutely not. There’s way too much I don’t know,’” she recalled at a screening of last week’s episode. “Then I realized that I had said, ‘I’ll never be a writer‘ for years and years. I was like, ‘I can’t write. I’ll never be good at it, and I don’t want to try anything I feel like I’m setting myself up to be average at.’ When I realized those parallels, I was like, ‘Oh, maaaaan!’”
What went into the decision to direct Vampire Diaries vs. Originals?
For me, it was no question, because I know the team at Vampire Diaries so intimately after six years. I knew there was no margin of failure. I knew if I showed up and said nothing, they would still make the episode look good and be beautiful. It was a safe choice.
Now that you’ve directed once, do you think you’ll do it again?
I loved doing it because I get to think of one thing, and one thing only. I get to focus on one show, and I get to be completely immersed in it. But it definitely has a domino effect. EvenVampire doesn’t get to move forward as much without me. And Originals was moving ahead, but they were wishing I was there. So I feel it would be a little selfish to be like, “Hey, guys, I’m doing episode 19 now, because I love it so much!” I think I’ll very slowly dabble in it, and try not to shirk my responsibility as a showrunner, and leave the filmmaking dreams for the future.
Were you nervous to finally sit in the director’s chair?
The thing that made me most nervous, which is so dumb, is the call times because I’m a night person and I never, ever, ever get up in the morning. I’m so terrified of being late or missing my alarm clock that I get the worst anxiety, so I basically spent every day filled with anxiety, worrying if I’m going to get enough sleep or if I’m going to sleep through my alarm clock. It’s the dumbest thing, but another director said that to me. It’s a director’s worst nightmare.
Once you made it to set on time, what was the biggest challenge?
It’s an endurance challenge. You’re inevitably on your feet all day running around and tweaking things and moving from set to set and standing and jumping into set. I’m a writer, so I’m used to sitting on my butt for 12 hours at a time, and I haven’t had to be that active on the job. I was a waitress back in the day, so it’s a very similar feeling to coming home at the end of a double shift where every bone is aching and creaking. Physically, that was a challenge. Then creatively, they tell you that time is your biggest enemy and you never realize it until you are there…having to come up with the perfect thing to say in six seconds, especially to an actor, is not easy. That’s the biggest challenge because directing is all about communicating, and everybody needs to be communicated with differently. Actors have their own processes, and if you want to be respectful of their process, you’ve got to communicate with them in the language of their process, and keeping that all straight is a little bit of a head-scratcher.