Today I got the incredible opportunity to talk with Teressa Liane, set to appear on this season of “The Vampire Diaries,” to hear a little bit about her life and her experience on the show. Teressa is an Australian actress best known for her role on the Australian TV show “Neighbours” as Rhiannon Bates, and she joins the cast of “The Vampire Diaries” as Mary Louise, a “heretic” who is both vampire and witch.
You started acting very young. What is your favorite type of acting—musical versus classic theater, theater versus TV, etc?
“I really love any kind of acting that allows for a character to have an extreme quality. Growing up in theater is definitely where I found my passion and love for acting, so my passion lies in any kind of project that allows me to put that into action. I feel like, particularly with this show, anything that allows for an extreme sense of humor or certain qualities that aren’t necessarily realistic, that’s the kind of acting that I love.”
You’ve also done some writing. Tell us about your experiences writing for the stage. When and how did you get started?
“Originally, throughout high school, I did it in my spare time. When I was in drama I would write short plays and short films, and I discovered that I really wanted to get involved.
“I can tell you that her name is Mary Louise and she is a lethal, ruthless heretic. The heretics are this group of people who are basically both vampires and witches so they’re extremely powerful. She brings a lot of chaos to the show as well a wicked sense of humor, which she really applies to every relationship, whether it be people she’s known for over a century—‘family members,’ as she calls them—or people that she’s just now meeting in Mystic Falls.”
I’ve read that you were already a fan before joining the cast. How excited were you to get this role?
“Oh, yes! I was super excited. The show has been running for so many years and I was really aware of it, and I’ve always been a fan of the way that the show is a mix of drama a strange sense of humor that just kind of runs through every character and storyline. I was so excited when I got the call. It was really not a long process but it definitely went in stages. Meeting different people and going through the audition process was really exciting but very challenging. Getting that first phone call was life-changing, actually. I was so happy.”
Who were you most eager to work with?
“Well I think, obviously, the Salvatore brothers. They have created these characters that are so loved and have this sort of endearing quality. I wanted to see what they would do when they interact with this character. But also Annie Wersching is someone whose work I’ve been a fan of as well. It was amazing being able to work that closely with her, and there is this sort of maternal vibe that we get to play when working with her. So I was really excited.”
Have you ever read the Vampire Diaries books by L. J. Smith?
“No, I haven’t actually. I was into it as a TV series. I know it has taken on its own sort of life now.”
I recommend them. I read them in school. They’re pretty good.
Would you ever like to host SNL?
“Gosh, yes. I think that’s a dream of everyone.” [Laughter.]
You’re talking with Talk Nerdy With Us, so…talk nerdy! What kind of things get the nerd in you excited? What do you geek out over?
“Okay. Let’s see—I love to binge-watch TV. That’s something I just really, really get into. I haven’t played video any new video games since the original Super Mario Brothers, which I still continue to play! Going to the beach in the summer or anything to do with the family, that’s something that I really, really get into.”
I remember playing Super Mario Brothers for, like, ever.
“That’s right! You can seriously play that for hours.”
The Vampire Diaries premieres October 8 at 8/7c on The CW.