Exclusive Interview with 'The Vampire Diaries' EP Julie Plec at the ATX Festival

Julie Plec is best known for her role as the Executive Producer and writer for ‘The Vampire Diaries’.  With an admirable knack for juggling her producer and writer duties with enthusiasm and passion, the Mystic Falls Mastermind has created an incredible TV show with excellent ratings and an enormous fan base.  Honest Reviews Corner had the opportunity to meet the voice behind ‘The Vampire Diaries’ at the ATX Festival recently held in Austin, Texas.  Read our interview with Julie below.

How did you originally get involved with writing?

“I was a development executive, which essentially means that I worked with other producers and directors and filmmakers. I helped them with their projects. I helped them come up with ideas, and figure out how to structure their ideas. I was their sound board. I did that with Kevin for quite a while. Over the years I was always helping other writers, and I never really thought of myself as a writer, until I realized I was writing, and that I’d been writing for a really long time. I got an opportunity on the show I was producing called ‘Kyle XY’ to write a script, and I really liked it. As of that moment I was a writer!”

You like to read a lot of books like “The Fault in Our Stars”. Do you have a favorite book?

“Yes, I love that book so much! I don’t have a true favorite, because it shifts every time I read something that I love. “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Book Thief” are the two books that in the last couple of years just blew my mind. I love them so much. It’s funny because they’re both young adult novels. They are so not young to me. They are beautiful stories, and such good cries.”

Did you read “The Vampire Diaries” before signing on to do the show?

“We were given it to see if it was a project we wanted to do. I read the first three books over a day in a half to see if it was a world that we would want to explore.”

You are friends with many other writers, is there a writer you haven’t had the opportunity to work with that you would like to?

“I’ve never met Joss Whedon, and I’m a huge Buffy fan. I love his characters and the voices he gives them. I love the worlds that he creates. I love the way he manages his own fandom, and inspires those who work for him. I look forward to one day sitting down across the table from him and picking his brain.”

Was the “once more with feeling” line a Buffy reference?

“I don’t remember. I want to say that I did that for real, but I may be making that up. I know Ian said it both ways. They had used an alternate take and I made them put “once more with feeling” in because of that episode. I don’t remember if I wrote the line or not, so I can’t take complete credit.”

We are currently in Austin. Who is your favorite FNL character?

“I love that show! It’s hard because I love them all for different reasons. Obviously everybody loves them some Riggins. He is the sexiest, most ridiculous, amazing, fabulous character. Then there’s Coach Taylor who is the world’s perfect man. It doesn’t get any better than Coach Taylor, except for maybe Tami Taylor who is the world’s perfect woman. I look forward to seeing ‘Nashville’ to see what Connie Britton does. I was a huge lover of the Saracen-Landry relationship. I loved Landry. He made me laugh so hard. Then at the end I never thought I could love anybody more than the characters that I’d been with for three years and then Vince comes in. Vince was magnificent. FNL had no weak link. It was so perfect across the board.”

You are currently working on the film “Tiger’s Curse”. Do you prefer film or television?

“This is my first movie. What has been fun about it is diving into a new world, new story and new characters. What’s difficult is that you have to get it done in 110 pages. It’s a completely different way to look at it. You can’t introduce something and then pay it off in six episodes. You need to have a beginning, middle, and end, which I’m not used to.”

Both ‘TVD’ and ‘Dawson’s Creek’ have many tear jerker episodes. What has been the most tear jerker episode for you?

“How can you not cry during the series finale of ‘Dawson’s Creek’? It was heart breaking. The finale of season one with Joey outside the prison made me cry. On TVD the hardest I’ve ever cried was watching Rose die with Damon during her dream. That scene killed me. Alaric in the cemetery made me sob when I watched it for the first time. Also in the ghosts episode of season three when Anna found her mom I cried.”

Do you have team on DC or TVD?

“I loved Pacey, because I love Joshua Jackson. I remember talking to Kevin about whether Joey should choose Pacey or Dawson. I was torn down the middle, because there was a case to be made for both. That’s how I look at relationships. One will present itself to be the right choice, because the journey will take you there. If you write thinking you know how it ends, you will miss out on some great opportunities along the way. For TVD, I’m team Salvatore. The journey that I know I want to see on TVD is the one between Stefan and Damon. I want to see them more in love as brothers by the end of the series than ever before. I hope we get there, but maybe the journey will take us in a different direction.”

What has been your favorite TVD plot twist?

“When we were talking about season two Kevin pitched me the scene in which Damon tries to kiss Elena and she rejects him. Then Damon gets upset and kills Jeremy. I was like “WHHHHHHHHHATTTTTTT! Are you out of your mind?” I realized that since I had such an extreme reaction to it that it was perfect for the first episode in the second season.  We were saying anything can happen and that season two will be just as crazy as season one.”

Who is your favorite character to write for on TVD?

“I have the easiest time writing Caroline, because she’s so fun and bubbly. I loved writing Damon and Alaric bromance scenes, especially at the bar, and I looked the most forward to writing Damon and Alaric scenes so that’s bitter sweet. Damon is tough. Kevin is great at the one-liners so there is more pressure when I try to write for Damon. I want to live up to Kevin’s greatness. I love Elena deeply, but she is difficult to write for. The heroin is always the most difficult to write for. She has to be sturdy and safe, yet layered and dynamic at the same time. It’s complicated.”

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