Michael Trevino Panel at the Chicago Convention
What would you do if you were a hybrid for a day [in real life]?
Vamp-speed to various women. – But I wouldn’t do anything [to them]!! – Just kind of [makes gestures with eyes] tease.
Do you do most of your own stunts?
Yeah a lot of them. I mean, when it’s the transformation scenes, I’m the one crawling around on the floor and getting cut and bruised up [because of the ground – being outside]. It helps make it truthful, but sometimes it hurts.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on set?
Recently, I had to shoot a transformation scene and we were behind schedule. We usually take our time with those scenes, but [since we were behind] the director wanted to do a series – which means to just go again and again and again – and we hit around the third or so time where he’s like “Again!” and I’m very upset and I got angry and started cursing at him and we’re doing this back and forth. But I got it done. It motivated me, but it was hard. I’d like to see the reel of that. I mean, at the end people were asking me “are you okay, man?” and I was like “yeah I’m fine,” but it was very intense.
Do you think TVD will or should ever be a movie?
I don’t know… maybe a made for TV [movie], not in theaters. Maybe me and Matt [Davis] will shoot a parody for Funny or Die [the website], we talked about it before and just never did it. [Audience yells out “Do it!”] Okay we’ll do it!! (laughs)
What’s your favorite type of music?
I have strange taste. My favorite band is The Doors. I also like to listen to rap and hip-hop and house music. Dub step is getting pretty big now, it’s great; I’ve always loved it. I grew up listening to house music – at all hours of the day – I’d listen to house music.
How has TVD affected you?
It’s been such a blessing: doing guest starring roles and recurring roles on shows, to finally being a series regular on a show where fans are so dedicated. I mean, you guys probably know more about the show even than I do. It’s great!
Finish this sentence: “I’ve always wanted to…”
Ride Shamu. This is true. If I wasn’t an actor, I’d want to be in those shows [like at Sea World] with the killer whales.
Was Tyler Lockwood who you originally auditioned for?
No. I originally went out for Damon. It didn’t work out. (laughs) I went out for – Stefon is it? [Joke on one of the Con-runners who kept pronouncing Stefan as Stefon] – and Julie [Plec] was like: “Tyler. You should read for him.” Thank God Tyler has evolved and is no longer a one-minded douchebag.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Atlanta?
Go out on the lake. Zach [Roerig] has a boat. Zach, Matt [Davis], and I’ll take it out. We’ll go out on the lake and wakeboard from July until about September, then the water level goes down and it’s not as hot. Definitely my favorite thing to do – being out on the water.
Who is your favorite actor to shoot scenes with?
It’s always a good time with Zach. And Candice [Accola] obviously. We [Candice and I] work well off one another. Another that’s real interesting, we butt heads a lot – in an artistic way, is Joseph Morgan. He’s always so prepared, so it’s fun to watch him work.
What’s your favorite episode in TVD so far?
My first werewolf transformation. It has been my favorite scene to shoot – and my favorite scene ever.
How old were you when you decided to act – is it something you’ve always wanted?
I must’ve been about 20 I think. I wouldn’t say always, it just happened after high school. I took classes at college and didn’t like it. Kind of wasted time – great thing to do, go to college and not go to class right? (laughs) My parents divorced when I was 3 or 4, so I’d go hang out with my dad, I mean what do you do to hang out with a kid? He’d take me to go see early morning shows [at the movie theater]. We’d watch one, then sneak into the next, then the next. The third movie was always rated R, but I’d be so sugar-rushed that I’d pass out by then. (laughs) So I’ve always been immersed in storytelling. And now I’m here talking to you people so it’s worked out.
Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog person. My mom had a cat; it shed hair everywhere. It would be embarrassing going to school – we had school uniforms – covered in cat hair all over. (laughs) But I do wish I could have a dog. I found out I’m allergic to dog hair now. I hope it’s something I’ll grow out of though.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
(thinking for a while) Teleportation! If I could read minds I’d go crazy. Who’d want to really hear all that all the time? I think to be invisible would be kind of perverted. I’d love to just beam wherever I wanted. Like if I’m at home, thinking I’d love to be at [whatever] restaurant. Teleport.
What was it like working with Aly [Michalka] on Cowbelles?
(laughs) Cowbelles… that was sure tough work. (laughs again) At the time, I was intimidated. It was my first big project, I was being flown into Toronto and I looked her up and saw that she was a singer and the different stuff she had going on… but she’s really down-to-earth. We still keep in touch.
Would you appear in Glee?
(laughs) I knew that [question] was coming. If I was able to do choreography and some stuff, I’d do it. No singing though. [Audience member yelled that he should slushy someone.] (laughs) I’d love to do a cameo and slushy someone. No lines, no dancing… just walk by and slushy someone.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not acting?
Eat. I try to work out and keep up a work-out regimen. I love to eat everything…. I’m trying to get better at pool. Zach [Roerig] is still beating me. We keep a running score for every time we play. I think Matt [Davis] and I are tied right now. Recently, I was playing some buddies, and I won two games in a row. I’m not that good – so they must have been terrible – but I was feeling pretty good. I had this girl come up to me and challenge me to a game. I told her I wasn’t that good, and she said she wasn’t either so it was okay. We played, and this girl who said she’s “not good” ran the table on me! (laughs) I was like, I can’t believe she’s going to hustle me right now. I felt so defeated. I’d just beat two other people! (laughs) So, pool I guess right now [is my favorite thing to do].
Do you have a guilty pleasure, if you can say it?
Bravo Food Network. I love watching those shows – Top Chef and Chopped. I’m always trying to take notes. I’ll pause it in the middle and talk to myself about the ingredients and whether I can make them [the recipes]. I love watching cooking competition shows.
Where is the coolest place you’ve shot while working on TVD?
Filming on location: Klaus’ big mansion. It’s Evander Holyfield’s [a well-known heavy-weight champion]. I didn’t get to meet him, but it was cool. He had his belts up and just to be in the “champ’s” house.
What was it like on 90210?
It was my first time to join the CW Network. I made a lot of good friends there. There was a lot of press on sets, so I got a lot of [exposure] for the 3 or 4 episodes [I shot].
In a fight between Klaus and Tyler, would Tyler even stand a chance?
Yes. It’s funny, I want to elaborate, but I don’t know what’s aired. [Well, the fight hasn’t aired yet, but he did imply with gestures that he does pretty well against Klaus.] (laughs)
What’s it like playing a hybrid?
I like it. Now that I’m both. I knew all along that I was going to play a werewolf. Once I found out I was going to be the first successful hybrid – which was a big deal – I talked to Julie [Plec] and it’s fun. A lot of fun. I like playing the hybrid role.
What is your all-time favorite movie?
Oh, so many. The Libertine with Johnny Depp. If you haven’t seen it – see it. It’s depressing and sad but the story and cinematography are amazing! Also the Godfather, both 1 and 2 probably because it’s my dad’s favorite so of course I’ve been quoting it for forever. (laughs) Oh and Nacho Libre – best comedy.
If you were stranded on an island and could choose any cast member to be with you, who would you choose?
Ooooh. I’d probably have to say Zach [Roerig]. My boy [Zach] is from Ohio – and he hunts. (laughs) He owns various weapons of death. I do not. With him, I think I’d be alright. I’d just follow along and do what he says, because he’d have a plan of how to hunt and find food, trap and make weapons. We’d find a way to survive.
What do you want to do while you’re in Chicago?
Well, I went to a Bulls game. Also, I like eating and checking out your awesome restaurants.
Is it weird seeing yourself on TV – do you watch yourself?
It’s actually a little uncomforatable. I’ll watch it once. But your critique of yourself is never good enough. I never look at it and just go: that’s great and awesome you nailed it! (laughs) It’s mostly like “No. Didn’t like that.”
What is your workout regimen like?
Random. I switch it up. Cardio some days – depends on what I have to do for certain scenes coming up. Shirtless scene – more cardio! (laughs) I just get in the gym with my headphones and just do whatever. I’ll look over and think “that looks cool; I’m going to go pick that up”. (laughs)
If you weren’t an actor or decided to stop acting what would you do?
My mom said I’d make a good lawyer. (laughs) I think I would, too. But I am thinking about maybe directing in the future.
Do you have any projects for the summer hiatus?
No. I did do an audition though. I got the script and read it, and I thought Zach [Roerig] would be perfect for the part, so I called him and told him to go out for it. When he went for his audition, he ran into Paul Wesley there. (laughs) So we’re all three going out for the same role. [Joking around for the next part, making faces]: Paul’s way wrong for it – it’s not right for him. (laughs) [Serious now] But really, of the three of us, Zach’s best for it.
What is it like working with Candice [Accola]?
It’s great! She’s so solid and positive and just picks things up. She’s the one I have scenes with the most, so we work well together. And it’s been great seeing how we’ve changed and evolved [as actors] from Season 1 to now. It’s such a shift. She’s awesome.
This might get weird, but…
Uh oh. (laughs)
… Just pretend you’re a woman. If you were a woman, what ten things would you carry in your purse?
(laughs) Wow. Uh, lipgloss. Gum. (thinking for a while) [Audience member yelled out “Tampons”] Depending on the time of the month (laughs). Car keys. [Stops and doesn’t say anything – audience yells out “That’s only four!”] (laughs) You girls really carry 10 things in your purse?!? Um, I don’t know, library card? [Someone yells out “Mace”] (laughs) Mace? – if you need it, depending on what city. Depending on your age: birth control – let’s be real here. Cell phone! Probably some of your boyfriends stuff if you have one.
What do you think: Tyler or Matt for Caroline’s heart? [Another yells out “or Klaus!”]
(laughs) Forget Klaus! Tyler would win. I see Matt getting with Elena – Don’t boo me! – not like right now, but later on eventually.
For the dance tonight [the Con’s Decade Dance], are you wearing a costume and will you dance with me?
A costume? Well, this is what I’ll probably be wearing, so if this is considered a costume… (laughs). Yeah I’ll dance with you. [Looks around and rest of audience.] But that’s the only one! (laughs)
Have you read the TVD books?
I read like half of the first one. We knew we weren’t going off of the books much, so we didn’t really read them.
What’s it like for you when you go home? Are you recognized everywhere you go?
No not really. I’m from LA, so there are so many other actors. But if I go to a mall – because it’s our demographic – I’ll get more looks and people approaching me. (laughs). It’s always the malls.
If you were in the Zombie Apocalypse, what would be your weapon?
(laughs) A flamethrower?
Who is the most eligible bachelor on TVD?
(laughs) Uh, I’d say Matt [Davis] and Zach [Roerig]. They’re ready and willing. (laughs)
What’s it like [as Tyler] being a werewolf dating a vampire [because your bite could kill her]?
Tyler loves Caroline, so he would never. It wouldn’t ever even cross his brain. She’s perfectly safe. [Audience: “awwwww”] (laughs)
Have you ever experienced pain close to what you have to go through for your transformation?
Into a wolf?! (laughs) No. I’ve never had any broken bones or major surgeries. But the transformation itself [acting it out] is exhausting.
Is it weird doing the transformation scenes? Do you feel weird?
I feel like a tool. Such a tool. (laughs) I laugh at myself. I mean, they want the money shot. But I’ve got dots all over my face [for the CGI]. I’m trying to growl – it’s not all that fun. (laughs)
Do you see Tyler and Caroline having a baby?
If Tyler’s still alive [after the finale] – I do. Maybe like late season 4 or early season 5. If Tyler’s still alive.
What’s your favorite X-Box game?
I tear it up at Guitar Hero. I mean, we’d play all night – we got all the expansion packs with the extra songs and stuff. Guitar Hero: by far my favorite.
First: alcohol – yes or no?
(smiles and nods)
Okay. What’s your favorite drink?
I’d say whiskey. Or an old-fashioned.
What’s your favorite food?
Mexican. I could eat sushi all day. But Mexican is my favorite.
What is a genre you haven’t tried that you’d find challenging?
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
[laughs and thinks about whether to say the story] Okay, I’ll tell it. I was in the 6th grade at a carnival. They had this one ride called the Sky Wheel – kind of like a Ferris Wheel that spins around fast [motions spinning in different directions]. I was on the ride with a friend….
Someone threw up on me. (laughs) And to make it worse, it was Mexican food. Like all this carnitas and… [miming wiping stuff off making a grossed out face]. I freaked out. I ran to the bathroom and tried to wipe it off. I went and told my mom – she was working a booth, so we couldn’t just leave and go home. My mom gave me her sweater so I could change. It was disgusting. And then the rest of the year at school, the kids would ask me stuff like “been thrown up on lately?” It was embarrassing.
Has anyone played a prank on you on set?
(thinks) No… to be honest. I’m kind of alert and quick at it. Sorry I don’t have a funny story for you guys. (laughs)
You seem sort of like a macho guy. Do you have any fears?
Oh yeah: spiders.
Do you have a hidden talent and would you show it to us?
Well… I guess mixing. I taught myself on two turn tables. But I don’t have the equipment in front of me to do it. [Audience member yelled “beat box?”] (laughs) No, sorry. I can’t beat box.
If you could write any other storyline for Tyler, what would you write?
Uhhh… that he has scenes with different people. (laughs) Like, maybe with Stefan and Damon. It’s funny because – there’s a scene coming up that I don’t think you guys have seen yet – it took me three seasons to finally have a scene with Kat [Graham]. I mean, just a one-on-one scene with no other characters. It’s coming soon. It’s the first time with just her.
Who are you closest to on set?
I mean, we’re all a family. But I’m always with Matt [Davis] and Zach [Roerig].
What would you like to do more of during your free time?
Writing. I’ve always wanted to write. I’m just too timid to do it. Also a short film.
What do you see – as far as the longevity – of TVD? Like, Buffy went for 7 seasons… How long do you think TVD will last for?
I see it for sure probably 2 more seasons. Probably not 7. [Some audience members shout out in disagreement]. Today, it’s too procedural. There’s a beginning, middle, and end to the story. It’s not like CSI that can just go on forever. But 2 more for sure I can see. Sooner or later, you run out of storyline. Then you’d be scrambling to come up with stuff and it probably wouldn’t be any good.
Do you have any tattoos?
I do not. I mean it’s not because… – although work-wise it is better – but I just haven’t had the itch to get one. My dad has got like – sleeves down his arms – and I think he’d probably tell me not to get one if I said I wanted one. But I haven’t really had a desire to get one yet.
You mentioned earlier about watching cooking shows. Can you actually cook?
I can grill. But as far as in the kitchen? I’ve attempted, but I haven’t been that successful.
Do you and Matt [Davis] share a belief in aliens?
Yeah. His is a lot stronger than mine, but we do, yes.
If you could pick any actor to work with, who would it be?
[Marlon] Brando. In his early years. I’d love to act and work with him. But even more than that, I’d just love to follow him around and pick his brain.
Last question: The Vampire Diaries – “Hunger Games” style. Who on the set would be the first to die, who would you team up with, and who would win?
I don’t really know much about the Hunger Games. [Person asking the question clarifies that it’s just based off of who he works with – not the actual HG characters] I’d team up with Matt [Davis]. What were the rest? Who would win? I would probably win. (laughs) And the first to die… Paul [Wesley]. (laughs) Paul wouldn’t survive. And I’d say that to his face.
[I tried to link all the pics where I got them from - most people had better pics from the Con than I did since I was busy writing - but I cannot for the life of me remember where I pulled this one from. If it’s yours, please tell me so I can link to you. Thanks.]
[Anything in these brackets (or parentheses) = my addition, generally for clarity. All of these were fan questions, some via a submission box, and some live.]
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