As Oliver on “The Originals,” Chase Coleman is the real deal. Okay, not a werewolf, but an honest-to-goodness Southern boy born in Alabama and raised in Louisiana. As the scheming little brother to Jackson (Nathan Parsons), Oliver's intentions aren't entirely clear yet, but we're betting they will be soon. Coleman didn't give away much in my conversation with him, but he did talk about making a deal with the devil, loyalty, and what happens when you're dead (on “The Originals,” of course).
The show films in Atlanta and takes place in New Orleans. Aren't you from Louisiana?
I live in Los Angeles, but I'm from Monroe, Louisiana. I lived in New York for seven years, I was in Los Angeles for a little over a year, then they flew me over to Atlanta for this. It's an eight-hour drive from home, but it's funny; it's making a full circle of my life. I know and I've heard that they do film some stuff in New Orleans, so I'm really hoping I get to do that. That would be so much fun! I have friends there so we'd have a blast.
What's Oliver up to? I'm questioning his loyalties.
I think we can definitely pay attention and there are some things we are going to learn soon. He's extremely passionate, he has a lot of emotion, he has a lot of anger and rage he has built up over the years for his pack, and he feels things are not justified. He feels he deserves so much more, and that's what's leading to all this craziness. Things are coming to a head in the [French] Quarter. I feel the war is coming. There's blood in the streets, and it's just gonna happen. Something is going to happen.
Could the werewolves ever become hybrids? I realize it's not great to be sired to Klaus, but there are benefits to it.
He technically probably could, and Jackson thought Klaus was proposing that idea, but Jackson said that he'd rather be dead. If you remember that scene, I said I'd rather turn every full moon than make a deal with Klaus, but the possibility of power of moonlight rings and the potential to take back our power is just too tempting not to risk it.
So Oliver is doing Klaus' dirty work now?
Don't get me wrong. I had a scene with Klaus when I brought in Cary, and I don't know if you sensed any kind of resistance, but I felt there was some defiance. I think Klaus could be a means to an end. Klaus and [Oliver] are very similar, in that we both have agendas and goals.
And yet Oliver seems to have so much conflict with his brother.
I touched on it a little bit in some of our scenes, but you can see the difference between Jackson and Oliver. He believes more in the peace aspect. He doesn't want a war, doesn't want a fight. But that might need to happen. He's willing to defend his pack. Loyalty is such a strong aspect among all of us, but loyalty can bring up some crazy reactions in people. And we're two very different people. As you've already sensed, we both want the same thing, but we don't want to go about it the same way. When he first presented the idea of making a deal with Klaus, I was like no, are you out of your mind? This could reveal some stuff in the future that may lay down some big bad stuff. Or maybe we will get along, who knows?
How has it been joining the cast? A lot of them have worked together since “The Vampire Diaries.”
It's been an absolute pleasure working with everybody. It's very familiar. I've gone out with the cast and crew, and we go and hang out with 'Vampire Diaries' people, and I watch [that show] and love it and the characters. It's so much fun to be able to come to my work and have people who are so embracing and familiar, I don't want to ever leave set. I just want to watch them film and hang out. I hope and I feel I belong.
So many characters die unexpectedly on this show. Is that nerve wracking? And RIP Thierry. Didn't see that coming.
Oh, it's pulling my heart strings. I loved that scene. It was a shock. That's what's so crazy about 'The Originals.' I'm nervous every time I get a script. Production gets to read [scripts] before the cast does, so they've all read the script before you. They'll come up to me and say did you read it? Do you know? No? Oh, I won't tell you.
Is there anything you guys do to say goodbye to an actor when a character has been bumped off? I'd think there'd be a ritual by now.
I haven't been there long enough, but think that they probably have their own thing that they do, with cake and candles and a little celebration of some sort. Because it's a family there. It really is.
You're a werewolf, so have any fans howled at you yet?
It's funny. I haven't experienced that yet. But I haven't been around that long, because Oliver only came on two episodes ago.