EXCLUSIVE: Julie Plec on "Dark Place" Ahead for The Vampire Diaries

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Just how many werewolves are coming to Mystic Falls? Who will play Klaus? And, seriously, how many times can we expect to see Ian Somerhalder shirtless over the second half of season two?

These were just some of the questions we asked The Vampire Diaries producer Julie Plec in an exclusive interview, the first part of which we've excerpted below.

Vampire Diaries Cast Photo

Overall, what can we expect when the show returns?
We’re going to come to the end of what we’re calling our werewolf chapter, which will really take that story to a really dark place and really change a lot of characters lives, not necessarily in a good way.

We are going to dig deeper into the secrets of our new witches and what Bonnie's role is going to be in their story, and of course it's all about the fear of the impending Klaus, and who’s going to be fighting on who’s side, who’s bond is with who, who’s going to betray whom, and is this curse going to be lifted at the hands of a sacrifice that would kill Elena. We’re full steam ahead.

Do you ever fear the show will run out of storylines?
We never worry that we’re going to run out of steam because we know we have a lot of story to tell and that story can go on and on. What’s complicated is every episode is brand new. Rather than working on a CSI or even X-Files, where each week you have this formula to build off of, it’s like we’re starting a new movie from scratch each week. It’s trying to do that at a level of consistency of quality week after week, it’s just a really daunting task.

More than anything it’s not do we have enough story, it's how can we tell the best story possible every week in the time that we have. All of us are control freaks and perfectionists, so we kill ourselves trying to do it and I’m proud of it. Either the show will get cancelled in five years or we’ll die before one of the two things happen (laughs). We’re always going to try to make it as great as it can be.

How many more werewolves are coming to Mystic Falls?
That I can’t say, but I will say Tyler isn’t the only one, as we’ve just met Jules. Jules was talking to someone on the phone during the previous episode, and it's quite possible that that somebody might be showing up to town pretty soon.

Will we ever see Nina Dobrev take on more than two characters/episode?
That would be so cool and so hard to do. If we were ever going to do that to that poor thing, it would have to be the storyline of the century. Who knows!

Is there a clause in Ian Somerhalder's contract about appearing shirtless a certain number of times per month?
(Laughs.) No. It’s funny, we had a little bit of a drought of our shirtless boys this season, because we only put them shirtless when it feels right for the story. But I looked at Kevin and I was like, “everybody’s had too many clothes on for the last 6 or 7 episodes. This is wrong. So we’ll be seeing more bare-chested boys as we go into the New Year. All totally organic to the story, as always, of course (laughs).

Do you have any idea who will play Klaus?
None whatsoever. We started the casting process, we’re early in it. We have high standards, and high hopes. It's going to be very tough to not only hold their own against Ian and Paul, but also Daniel Gillies [Elijah], who a pretty tremendous actor. We’re taking the casting very seriously and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

** We'll post part two of our interview with Plec near to the January 27 return of the show. Head over to our Vampire Diaries forum to discuss her answers now.

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Damon

Damon: Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you for that.
Elena: You're welcome.