“Look, we can all joke about it, but in order for a scene to look good, you need a lot of space to shoot in—especially when you’re a show that shoots on long lenses,” executive producer Julie Plec admitted to Hollywood Crush recently. “So yes, our dorm room is a little bigger than the dorm room I had in college.”
But that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna be awesome. “We establish a university that’s old and steeped in tradition and it’s been around for a while, and the room reflects that. It’s got the big arched ceilings and a good, old-world feel to it. So you will laugh, because yes, of course it’s a little bit bigger than it should be, but we’re proud of it.”
After a troublesome season four (that pesky no-humanity thing really hindered their friendship), the girls are back to normal and excited to re-start their lives in a place where nobody knows any of their baggage, let alone the fact that they’re vampires. “They’re really committed to enjoying life and enjoying college and being college freshmen,” Julie said. It’s a good plan—too bad it’s not going to work. “Of course things will go instantly, terribly wrong, because that’s what always happens, but they remain committed to trying to have a true college experience and it bonds them in a really good way.”
While the girls are in good standing, their romantic relationships might not be. Caroline and Tyler are still together, but things aren’t exactly progressing according to her plan. “Caroline went to all these great lengths to get Tyler freed from whatever mean and cruel servitude Klaus had him under and come back to Mystic Falls,” Julie said. Unfortunately, he gets caught up helping out some werewolves and isn’t in a hurry to return to the classes Caroline’s enrolled him in.
“Part of their first relationship conflict will be at what point does he show up and how much does he really want to be there? One thing we really want to play with the two of them is when you go away to college, a relationship that was cemented so strongly in high school goes through a few bumps along the road,” Julie explained. “We wanted a real human experience for them in addition to the supernatural stuff they have going on. They love each other deeply, but they’re also on two very different paths, so we’ll see where they land.”
Meanwhile, Julie said that “Damon and Elena are living the ultimate hometown hottie long-distance relationship. We all had that, where we went off to college and tried to keep a relationship going with a boy that we loved. Sometimes you end up marrying that guy, and sometimes by Christmas break you’re over. Part of the fun of Damon and Elena will be seeing how they handle being separated, and once it’s revealed to them that Stefan’s not just out living his life, that he’s actually in jeopardy, what will that do to both their relationship and also to Elena’s commitment to college?”
Luckily, there’s a new hot dude at school, Jesse, played by Kendrick Sampson, to distract from all the drama. “At this point, Jesse is just a dude. He’s a dude who takes an instant liking to Caroline, but of course her heart is a little bit spoken for. He’s somebody who we may see a lot of because he’s very charming and likable, and he’s a new face at college that’s got an eye on our girls. He’s a nice guy, the actor is, and he’s awfully pretty to look at.”
Unfortunately, as of right now his face is all we’ll get to ogle as there aren’t yet any shirtless scenes (We thought that was written into every CW contract?) “You know what, I’m sure it’ll happen,” Julie said, “and it’ll be worth its while.”
Are you excited about what’s next in season five? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!