Fa­mil­iar blood­lines

Things are get­ting a lit­tle hairy for Aus­tralian ac­tress Phoebe Tonkin on the su­per­nat­u­ral se­ries The Orig­i­nals, as Guy Davis dis­cov­ers.

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View­ers per­haps a lit­tle in­tim­i­dated by the very adult “adult themes” of shows such as True Blood have found a slightly less con­fronting al­ter­na­tive in The Vam­pire Diaries, which eases back some­what on the sex and vi­o­lence while pro­vid­ing plenty of ro­man­tic en­tan­gle­ment and a suit­ably com­pli­cated mythol­ogy.

The show has proven so pop­u­lar with its tar­get au­di­ence – who, it may be spec­u­lated, were look­ing for some­thing to fill the void left by the dearly de­parted Twi­light saga – that a spin- off se­ries was given the go- ahead, and hence The Orig­i­nals was spawned.

Fol­low­ing the ex­ploits of “orig­i­nal” vam­pire fam­ily the Mikael­sons, hail­ing from New Or­leans, it’s brim­ming with witches, were­wolves and, of course, vam­pires, bal­anc­ing out the su­per­nat­u­ral shenani­gans with a solid dose of melo­drama and in­trigue.

Smack in the mid­dle of it is Hay­ley, played by Aus­tralian ac­tor Phoebe Tonkin. Be­com­ing quite a fix­ture on Wa­ter, of Home and Away to the Rafters, US horror- fan­tasy se­ries, thanks to her roles on shows such as The Se­cret Cir­cle and The Vam­pire Diaries, Tonkin is per­haps best known to lo­cal au­di­ences for play­ing a mer­maid in the long- run­ning kids’ se­ries H2O: Just Add guest spots on the likes

and Packed and a ma­jor role in the hit movie Tomorrow, When the War Be­gan.

Play­ing Hay­ley gives a lot for Tonkin to sink her teeth into, so to speak. She’s an or­phan with no knowl­edge of her par­ents or her back­ground. She’s car­ry­ing the

Tonkin: “Even though she is one of the su­per­nat­u­ral char­ac­ters, she’s kind of the most hu­man char­ac­ter out of all of them be­cause she still doesn’t re­ally un­der­stand what this world is and why she’s here.”

the su­per­nat­u­ral char­ac­ters, she’s kind of the most hu­man char­ac­ter out of all of them be­cause she still doesn’t re­ally un­der­stand what this world is and why she’s here,” Tonkin said. “I re­ally like play­ing that el­e­ment to her.”

And while there’s a “feisty” qual­ity to Hay­ley that Tonkin ad­mires ( even if she claims not to share it in real life – “I’d go to a cor­ner and cry rather than con­front some­one,” she laughed), the ac­tress ad­mits there are plenty of tough sit­u­a­tions ahead that will test her char­ac­ter’s met­tle.

“I think she is still a lit­tle child of the mer­cu­rial Klaus Mikael­son ( Joseph Mor­gan).

Oh, and she’s a were­wolf … and the para­nor­mal pop­u­la­tion of New Or­leans doesn’t look too kindly upon her breed.

“Even though she is one of scared of Klaus,” she said. “She knows he can be a lit­tle re­lent­less in terms of what he does and doesn’t do. And they didn’t see this go­ing any fur­ther than it was meant to, this one- night stand that ended in an un­planned preg­nancy, so I think they go back and forth be­tween re­sent­ing each other and kind of sup­port­ing each other … but I don’t think they want to be in the same room to­gether for very long.”

Then there’s the very no­tion of be­com­ing a par­ent, es­pe­cially when Hay­ley’s search for her own blood­line has so far proven un­suc­cess­ful.

“But I don’t think Hay­ley is as scared of hav­ing this child as she is be­ing a preg­nant were­wolf in a place where were­wolves have been banned,” Tonkin said.

Even if Hay­ley re­mains with­out a fam­ily for the time be­ing, Tonkin has an un­of­fi­cial fam­ily of fel­low Aussies and Ki­wis sur­round­ing her on the Orig­i­nals set, with New Zealan­der Daniel Gil­lies and Tonkin’s H20 co- star Claire Holt act­ing along­side her.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s nice that when you’re so far away from home you have some­one there,” she said.

The Orig­i­nals, GO!, Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm

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