Malese Jow Talks Jaw-Dropping 'Vampire Diaries' Return: 'It Was The Best Surprise Ever'

The sophomore season of The CW's "Vampire Diaries" was full of the requisite twists and turns we've come to expect, but executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec even outdid themselves with the closing moments of "As I Lay Dying."

Yes, we are indeed referring to the shocking, astounding, out-of-nowhere return of Jeremy's dead vampire girlfriends, Anna and Vicki. (It wasn't our No. 1 most OMG! moment for nothing!) Of course, the minute the closing credits rolled, we knew we had to call up Hollywood Crush BFF Malese Jow to dish about what we had just seen. BECAUSE ANNA IS BACK! Here's what the actress had to say about the big reveal, "TVD"'s "Bachelor" connection and Steven R. McQueen's ever-increasing adorableness.

Hollywood Crush: Malese! Oh my gosh. Let's start at the beginning. When and how did you find out you were coming back?

Malese Jow: I found out two weeks before they wanted me to fly out to Atlanta. So it was a huge shock. My manager called me. He started playing a game with me, it was the "Guess Which Show Wants You Back?" game. Prior to "Vampire Diaries," thank God, I had opportunities to hop on to other shows, so to be totally honest "Vampire Diaries" was at the bottom of the list. I never in a million years would have thought they wanted me back. It was the best surprise ever. It was a huge shock and it took a few days to set in.

I bet. I mean, the end for you last season was soooo final.

Yes! Same thing with Kayla [Ewell]. So the fact that they would try to write something to bring us back—it's just such an honor. I know a lot of people have died since I left the show, so I'm so hugely thankful to Kevin and Julie.

In this age of rampant spoilers, were extra precautions taken to keep your return a secret?

Definitely. The show is all about twists and turns. I mean, they rely on that and that is why they're so successful. So right after my manager told me it was "The Vampire Diaries" he went into the whole speech of do not say anything on the internet, don't hint at anything, which was really hard for me because I love my Team Anna fans. And then I knew immediately they would freak out, but the secret was well worth it. I'm so glad it was kept under wraps because it just made the shock a million times more amazing and effective.

What was the Twitter response like from Team Anna following the finale?

It was just a huge wave—they attacked my Twitter. It was so hard to keep up with all the comments. But to be totally honest, the love for Anna never really stopped. I got comments every single day, which I think the fans had a huge impact on me coming back. So once I did, and once they saw me, it was just intense love and everyone is so excited for season three, along with me.

What was it like being back on set? How long was the shoot?

It was a one day thing. They flew me into Atlanta. I got one day to enjoy the city because I missed it so much, and when I got to the set it was like school and going away for summer vacation and coming back and seeing everyone. It was like nothing ever happened. It was so great to see everyone. It was the final day of filming that they brought in myself and Kayla. That's how secretive it was. The script was written without us being the last scene too. The fact that we were the last scene...and that cliffhanger. It made it so creepy and exciting.

And you hadn't worked with Kayla before.

I hadn't even met her. It was really weird. We had both kind of lived out the same fate on the show. We both dated Jeremy and met a brutal death. So it was cool to meet her. She was so gorgeous. She's so tall and modelesque in person. I was like, "Oh man, you're gorgeous." It will be interesting to see how it works out—if we like each other in the third season, if we're on the same team, if we're going to have this big battle royale. There's so much that could happen.

Do we know 100 percent that these girls are ghosts?

They could be anything. Everything is up in the air. I know Kevin and Julie will not disappoint because we're getting into interesting territory... It's a big soap opera.

Have you been told how many episodes you'll be on next season?

No, to be totally honest I have absolutely no idea what's in store, and I think that's what makes it so cool. I'm just going to show up and leave it to the masterminds of the show. I'm very excited to see what they come up with and it's going to be great.

The obvious direction seems to be some sort of love square with Jeremy, Bonnie, Vicki and Anna.

Yeah, I mean, we're going to attempt a love square, I think. I'm not quite sure. The fact that three girls and Jeremy—he's going to have a touch decision. He has sort of a "Bachelor" game going on.

He'll be handing out roses each episode.

Exactly! He'll be like, "Anna, will you accept this rose?" [Laughs]

You recently posted a photo of you and Steven on set. Can we just swoon over Steven together for a moment? Would you agree that he's gotten even cuter since you worked with him last?

I didn't think it was possible, but he totally got cuter. He was just unbearably cute before, but he got a haircut and he looks good. He's like a fine wine. He gets better with age. I love Steven. We're best friends. Believe it or not, he's the biggest goofball I've ever met in my life. So don't let the pretty face fool you. He knows how to joke around, and it's never a dull moment with us. We're constantly laughing and making fun of each other. I was beyond excited to see him because we spent so much time [together] the first season.

Are you happy to see Malese Jow back on "The Vampire Diaries"? How do you think her storyline will play out? Give us your theories in the comments and on Twitter!