5 Behind-the-Scenes ‘Vampire Diaries’ Secrets From Director Joshua Butler — Exclusive
Prepare to get schooled in The Vampire Diaries 101.
Wetpaint chatted with director Josh Butler, who has helmed a grand total of 11 episodes of the CW series, and got some intel about what goes on behind the scenes.
And we found out some amazing tidbits — everything from first reactions to Joseph Morgan, how a memorable Delena scene came together, and more — so read on and relish in TV history.
Joseph Morgan had star power from the very first time he stepped on the set.
“In the first two seasons it was fun to really introduce a lot of the characters,” Joshua said, recalling his work on “Klaus,” Season 2 Episode 19, the first time we meet Joseph Morgan.
“You’re standing on set realizing that this person is a star,” he continued, referencing the spin-off The Originals and just how far this “iconic character” has come.
There were lots of tears during Alaric’s funeral scene — including his own.
Season 3 Episode 20, titled “Do Not Go Gentle,” tugged at the heartstrings of many a TVD fan — including the director himself — because of Alaric Saltzman’s death scene while “Be Still” by The Fray played.
“That to me was an iconic moment,” the 42-year-old dished, adding that he was as invested in what was happening as everyone else was. “It was waterworks at the monitors for me when I was doing that episode.”
Saying goodbye to Matt Davis and his lovable character choked him up, and the New York native said getting all of the characters together in one scene is a “logistical challenge” and “probably one of the little things people take for granted.”
He’s responsible for one of the most iconic Delena songs in the show’s history.
We all have our favorite musical moments from TVD, but the big Delena one from Season 5 Episode 20, titled “What Lies Beneath,” featuring “Chemical” by Kerli is all thanks to Joshua.
“I found a really terrific song that I actually had discovered months before I directed the episode and I was like, ‘God, that’s such a great Vampire Diaries song,’” he explained. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s such a Damon and Elena song.’”
We all have those feelings sometimes when listening to the radio, right?
The last episode he directed felt like “vintage Vampire Diaries.”
Joshua left off his TVD career with the last episode before Nina Dobrev announced her exit from the series, and it was a big one for a fan-favorite couple: Steroline.
“Being able to have a nice cross-cut between Damon [Salvatore] and Elena [Gilbert] and Stefan [Salvatore] and Caroline [Forbes] at the end of that episode, it felt like vintage Vampire Diaries,” he said of “A Bird in a Gilded Cage,” aka Season 6 Episode 16. “It felt like the main characters were really being given very epic and memorable moments and it was my duty to not screw it up.”
He’s super happy for the show’s continued success post-Nina Dobrev.
“I really am happy for everyone involved in the show,” he gushed. “I’m a bit stunned by the fact that the lead actress, the beloved Nina Dobrev, could leave the show and it would find a new life.”
Dearest TVD Family, I've just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn't just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever. There's more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you'll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of SELF Magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert's life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her -- and to my work family -- as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend's pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for 'that Twilight TV show.' 😉 I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't. Love, Nina
The USC alum points out that surviving the 27-year-old’s departure is a significant one.
“It’s an interesting chapter in television history because there’s few shows that have succeeded when one of the main characters leaves the party,” he added. “So it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.”
The Vampire Diaries Season 7 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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