Malese Jow, Torrey DeVitto, and Kat Graham Trio Panel at the Chicago Convention
What was your audition process like?
KG: There’s this time in TV known as “Pilot Season” and that’s when I auditioned. I was kind of put on hold. I got the part, but then I was told it was positive I was getting replaced [with another actress] after the pilot. (laughs) I had to do a screen test, and with the big executives, it was nerve-racking.
TD: I have to say, there is nothing more terrifying than trying out for a role. (laughs – KG and MJ nodding) I actually also auditioned for the pilot to play Elena, but I knew I was too old for it. I auditioned again a year ago, but I didn’t get the part. But then I did get this one [for Meredith Fell].
MJ: I actually auditioned for a couple of pilots that didn’t get picked up. I was on set filming another show when I got the call to come in [and screen-test]. I went up in front of the producer and bombed it.
[Questioner was from Germany I think] Have you ever heard the German dubs for yourself? If so, what did you think?
All: No. [One of them said they’d heard the dubs for another language and that it was really weird seeing themselves and hearing a different voice, but it wasn’t German – she couldn’t remember the language].
If you were a man –
KG: [in a deep voice] “How did you know?!” [all laugh]
– what part would you want to play?
DV: Oh gosh – Brooding Stefan (furrows brows in imitation)! [audience laughs] I think I’ve done a character study on him over the years. (laughs)
KG: I guess Joseph Morgan [Klaus].
MJ: Why not? I’ll be Damon.
Who do you admire?
MJ: I love my mom.
What would be your dream role?
TD: Would it be redundant of me to say a psychopath? [Joke because that’s basically all she plays – all are laughing.] I would love to play a role like Angelina Jolie’s character in Girl, Interrupted.
KG: I’d love to play a character in a biopic or sci-fi type. Something huge like that.
MJ: I agree [with Kat]. Or a comedy like Bridesmaids.
This is a question for Kat Graham: Is it hard to remember the words to the spells?
KG: I love that you asked that! (laughs) The spell scenes are the hardest thing I have to do. They’re always so intricate and specific. I’ve gotten scripts before with just entire paragraphs of Latin gibberish. I’m like “Really?!” (laughs)
This is a question for Torrey DeVitto: The Vampire Diaries or Pretty Little Liars?
TD: I don’t know! I have to say – there are no fans like One Tree Hill fans. I think that I’ll be Crazy Nanny Carrie until I’m 60! But they’re both fun in different ways [TVD and PLL]. I’d say that Pretty Little Liars is like high school, like home… and The Vampire Diaries is like leaving and going off to college. Does that make sense? (laughs)
If you could live in any era in history, what would you pick?
KG: Well, I feel like I already live in the ‘90s [1990’s] right now, and I love it. The ‘90’s.
MJ: I’d say the ‘40’s. I love Old Hollywood, and I’d love to live in that era.
TD: I’d love to live in the 1800’s.
TD: Yeah. 1800’s in England. I’d just like, live in a library. (laughs)
Do any of you believe in ghosts?
KG: There was this one time on set, the lights kept flickering on and off. Everyone kept asking me like “are you doing that” [because she plays Bonnie the witch] and I was like “uh no; I’m like a hired actor! I’m not doing that.” (laughs)
What is your most embarrassing moment?
MJ: I don’t really know. I have one (looks at Kat) about Steven [McQueen]. (Kat laughs)
KG and MJ: [Both Malese and Kat told the story, taking turns as one would be laughing or feeling too awkward to keep telling it.] Once, we had some downtime between scenes. Kat and I had our computers out on Tumblr, searching tags. Steven walks by and stopped to talk, and he said he didn’t know what Tumblr was. So she and I search his name. (both stop, laughing) Someone got a little too happy with Photoshop. They had posted pictures… of a naked man’s body… with Steven’s face Photoshopped onto it. It was awkward.
KG: Steven and I had to do a scene right after that and we couldn’t even look at each other. (laughs)
KG: One of my most embarrassing moments was that I walked into a wall. I was doing lines, and I turned around to walk off – and just walked right into a wall. It was on camera and everything.
What is something on your Bucket List?
TD: You guys have such thought-provoking questions.
[all three sitting there thinking]
TD: To make a Bucket List! (laughs)
MJ and KG: Yeah. (laughing)
What is your favorite song right now?
MJ: I’m just going to say it. “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber. Love that song. No shame. [all laugh – some audience cheers]
A question for Kat Graham: What do you prefer doing movies or TV?
KG: Well, that depends. I want to be able to do it all. (laughs) I don’t know; it depends if the movie or show is good.
How did you get into acting?
TD: I took an acting class, and I fell in love with it. When I turned 18, I packed up and moved to LA. Sorry, that’s a really terrible story. [audience laughs]
MJ: I was like a shy kid that just came alive onstage. I went and did a pilot season when I was 10 and I just never came back home. I was cast on my first regular season at 12.
KG: I’ve been acting since I was a child. I started when I was 6.
This is one for Malese Jow: Was it hard to play a ghost?
MJ: Definitely. They weren’t really descriptive about her [Anna] in the beginning. I didn’t know what I was – didn’t know if I was a ghost or a zombie or what – for the first two episodes. (laughs) It was probably actually harder for others though, for the people in the scenes with me. They had to pretend like I wasn’t even there. At the same time, I was still Anna, just a ghost. So it was a fun process.
What is your favorite TV show?
KG: The Borgias.
TD: ALF and Six Feet Under.
MJ: I’m a reality TV junkie. I like the Voice. I also like PLL actually, too. And American Horror Story.
What is your favorite dessert?
MJ: Froyo [Frozen Yogurt]. And BoBo Milk.
KG: You’re so healthy. I’m like, cheesecake! Ice cream! (laughs)
TD: Cake. I love Funfetti Cake. Do you guys know what that is? That cake with the little colorful pieces in it.
Malese, what do you miss most about being on the show?
MJ: Kat. I miss the cast and crew. I also miss the character in general. She’s my favorite character that I’ve played so far.
Do you have any phobias.
TD: Oh, I have lots. Like, seeing dots on my arm and thinking they’re diseases. Clausterphobia, fear of not turning things off, like my straightener.
KG: Something crazy like Pancakes? No. Elevator doors. It’s really weird.
What is your favorite thing about your character?
TD: Clearly so much. (laughs)
KG: I love meeting all of you. My favorite part about TVD, playing Bonnie, is about portraying such a strong young girl. She just has so much conviction. It helps me to grow [as a person].
Do you have any upcoming projects?
MJ: I do actually. I’m back working on Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon. I’m also working on a pilot coming out with JJ Abrams and Mark Schwahn called Shelter.
KG: Well, right now I’m working on promoting my new song “Put Your Graffiti on Me.”
TD: I shot a thriller film last year that should be coming out soon. It’s a found footage movie called Evidence. [If you don’t know what “found footage” film is, click here].
If you could pick any actor to work with, who would it be?
KG: Stanley Tucci. I just saw the Hunger Games – that weird smile. I should have worn my blue Hunger Games hair today instead of like this. [audience laughing]
TD: Monica Bellucci. I love her.
MJ: I’d love to work with Anne Hathaway. I’d also like to work with a comedic actress.
KG: Kristen Wiig.
MJ: Yeah, it would be great to work with Kristen Wiig.
What has been your favorite episode so far?
KG: Episode 5 [of this season, “The Reckoning”] with Michael Narducci. I loved doing that underwater scene [with Zach Roerig]. That whole episode was just great. Every character had such great moments. Matt dies to help the very people that have put him where he is [in such a rough place], Stefan is finally forced into giving up his humanity, and of course it’s the episode where Tyler is turned into a hybrid.
MJ: My favorite is my [Anna’s] flashback. I worked with Kelly Hu on that one, and it was so great to get to see the backstory on Anna. It was just really cool. I had some great scenes with Stefan as well.
TD: My favorite to watch so far has been the episode where Elena falls off the bleachers and Stefan caught her – like, showing that he still cared.
Do you guys watch the show?
MJ: Yeah. It’s cool to see the episodes after they’ve gone through post-production and come into completion.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
TD: I went to South Africa on a safari when I was younger. That’s probably my favorite so far.
KG: I was in Ethiopia on tour with the Peas and a couple of us snuck away to an orphanage. It was pretty incredible.
MJ: I’d love to travel more. I love anything on the East Coast – there’s just a lot of history there.
When you retire, where do you want to go?
TD: Somewhere on the beach. I’d love to just be there – with no cell phone.
KG: Somewhere in California.
Kat, do you like dancing or acting better?
KG: Both at the same time. [audience laughs] While singing and riding a unicycle.
[Someone yelled out asking her to sing for us. She did. :-) ]
Is Anna going to come back on TVD?
MJ: I don’t know anything. But anything can happen on The Vampire Diaries. That’s what’s so great about this show.
What does the blood taste like?
MJ: I only ever had to taste it one time. I had to drink it from Steven’s hand [the episode where he figures out she’s a vampire]. It’s disgusting. It’s just dyed corn syrup and they just put a pool of it in his hands – and I had to drink it and look like it tasted so great and was what I wanted.
KG: They went through this phase where they wanted Bonnie to have a lot of nose bleeds. So they kept shoving it up my nose, making me tilt my head back and hold it like that until they called action. Then I’d have to drop my head and get it to come down.
Do you have nicknames for the cast – and if so, what are they?
KG: We all have nicknames for each other.
[audience laughs and one yells “Team Meatballs”]
KG: We call Nina Looch or Neens. We call the guys mostly by their last names. McQueen, Roerig, Davis.
KG: I call Paul “P-Dubbs”.
KG: Yeah. You’d be T-Dubbs. [audience laughs]
This is one for Torrey: What was it like working with James on One Tree Hill?
TD: Oh he’s a very, very nice guy. Really pleasant. We didn’t hang out outside of work, so I don’t really have any stories. But he has nice eyes – and he’s good to look at isn’t he? (laughs)
A question for Malese: Does Anna have a last name?
MJ: As far as I know, Anna does not have a last name. I’ve heard someone say “Johnson” before. I don’t know where that came from, but it’s not her last name. (laughs)
For Kat: We’ve been seeing a lot of sad and unhappy Bonnie this season. Does she have any fun in the episodes coming up?
KG: Yeah! In the decade dance episode she has a lot of fun. Something ca-raz-ay happens.
Last question, for Torrey: Which do you like playing better: Meredith Fell or Nanny Carrie?
TD: Oh goodness! I love Meredith because she’s so strong and smart. But you can’t beat Nanny Carrie. It was funny though because I’d never worked with Brady until the first torture scene. (laughs) I was wondering, what did this guy do to piss them off so much that they made him be tortured by me for a whole season? [audience laughs]
[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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