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