The Vampire Diaries" (Season 4 premieres Thurs., Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW) left viewers on edge with the knowledge that Elena (Nina Dobrev) is now what she's long tried to avoid -- a vampire -- and things in Mystic Falls will never be the same.
In the "Vampire Diaries" Season 3 finale, Elena told Stefan (Paul Wesley) to save her friend and ex-boyfriend Matt's (Zach Roerig) life, after the two got in a car crash -- thanks to Rebekah (Claire Holt) -- leaving them at the bottom of the same body of water where Elena's parents died and in the same fashion.
In Season 4, a lot obviously changes, not only for Elena. "'Vampire Diaries' will forever be different after Season 4," Roerig told HuffPost TV via phone. Below, the actor who plays Mystic Fall's lone human talks about the debt Matt feels he owes to Elena (and letting her feed on him), his volatile relationship with Damon (Ian Somerhalder), which character he hopes to have aggressive sex with, new love interests and why the "Vampire Diaries" audience will not be seeing the "Poor Matt" they've come to know anymore.
We didn't see Matt gain consciousness in the Season 3 finale. Will we see his immediate reaction after the crash in Season 4?
No, we won't see what happens to Matt right after the crash. We kind of jump right into everyone panicking about Elena being a vampire. But we do see Matt's feelings towards Elena becoming a vampire and that's guilt and now wanting to repay that debt to her.
Matt has become a real confidant for Elena. She opened up to him about her feelings for Stefan and Damon. How does her becoming a vampire change their dynamic?
I think she'll confide in Matt even more so now. Elena and Matt's friendship has always been kind of one that was always understood, that we didn't really see, but that we know took place throughout their childhood. And now, with Elena giving up her life for Matt and Matt sacrificing himself at times for her, I think this is a rekindled friendship and you see them grow closer together. You know, she has Caroline (Candice Accola), she has Bonnie (Kat Graham), she has all these other friends to talk to, but regarding the Salvatore brothers, I don't think any of them are that keen to the Salvatore brothers. So I'd say she comes to Matt, if need be.
Since Matt is still miraculously human, what role can he play in her transition?
I think the hardest part of Elena's transition is going to be feeding and not being able to do it the Stefan way. She just has a hard time doing it, so as hard as it is for Matt to bring himself to do it, he allows her to feed from him. And that's huge. That's really huge. It's kind of evening the scales a bit.
What's Matt's relationship like with Stefan as a result of the crash? He saved Matt's life, but as a result, Elena's a vampire. He must be pretty pissed.
Well, I don't think Stefan really is that pissed. He knows that to be human you need to keep your free will. He honored Elena's choice to save me and he's kind of OK with that because that's how much he really loves Elena. But I do think that Matt's going to be kind of perturbed with Stefan that he did save him and not Elena. You can look forward to Stefan basically telling him to put up or shut up, so to speak.
And what's his relationship like with Damon?
Well, it starts off a bit aggressive. Damon is furious that Matt was saved and not Elena and Damon can be a bit impulsive so you can look for Damon to try to hurt Matt right from the get-go. But now, the one thing I have in my corner is an awesome vampire bodyguard. Elena will try to keep Damon off my back. But what's interesting is that as the season's going on, things switch up a little bit because Matt's reaction to being told to put up or shut up and to be a man and help out whatever way he can, he kind of earns some respect from Damon. There's a moment when Damon gives Matt the "Attaboy."
What about Matt and Rebekah?
He definitely has a lot of resentment towards her. I think even though Matt's able to see the smallest bit of human in anyone, he still just can't see past what Rebekah's done -- that she put them in that predicament, that Elena's now a vampire or else it would have meant that he was dead. I just don't think that's anything that he can shrug off. Me, personally -- and this is covering a bunch of different areas of Matt's storyline -- I think that Matt and Rebekah should have some aggressive sex scenes, just get it out of their system, and then maybe he can be cool with her.
It sounds like there's going to be a lot of that aggressive sex this season.
Oh, it's all over the place.
Will what Tyler (Michael Trevino) went through in the Season 3 finale bring him and Matt closer?
Yeah. I mean, I think Matt and Tyler's relationship is interesting. As much as Tyler does to kind of piss Matt off and make him turn away from him, he still sees that childhood best buddy that he always had and kind of always gives Tyler the benefit of the doubt. Now that Matt's becoming more involved in things, I think they're going to be cooler with each other. We haven't really worked together much at all so far this year, but our characters are definitely on the same team.
Do you like that Matt's managed to miraculously remain human?
I love it. I love it. I think that it would be a mistake for the show and for Matt's storyline if he were to change from being a human at this point. A) It has a grounding effect on the show. And B) It's just a really relatable point for everyone. Our show is awesome because it's a great escape from real life -- there's all of this crazy stuff going on in kind of a normal setting. And then, there's this guy living a pretty much regular life with regular problems other than what his friends are going through.
I feel a lot of the audience reaction to that is, "Aw. Poor Matt."
Yeah. I think this season is ending the "Poor Matt" role that we've known him in. I can't really say too much, but good things happen for him.
Matt has dated pretty much every female character on the show. Will there be someone new for him?
Here's the thing: I don't think Matt's going to have any romantic interests, but there are going to be some girls that are romantically interested in Matt.
Are they characters that we know or new characters?
New. New and old. I think there's always that lingering thing between Rebekah and Matt where she wants to feel like a human and Matt is the closest thing to human on the show. So I think that's always there, but I think there might be a new crush happening on Matt.
It was so great the video that the "Vampire Diaries" cast made for Gabby Douglas and then everyone was so excited to hear she'd be coming on the show. Did she film her guest spot yet?
Yeah, she did and she is the sweetest little girl. I sat and chatted with her and her mother and her sister in the hair and make-up trailer for a little while. I unfortunately didn't have any scenes with her, but it was neat to be there when she came.
What else can you say about Season 4?
Season 4 is definitely the game changer. "Vampire Diaries" will forever be different after Season 4.
"The Vampire Diaries" Season 4 premieres on Wednesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.