The huge surprise in the "Vampire Diaries" Season 3 finale was that Elena (Nina Dobrev) has finally met the fate she's been trying to avoid since the CW's series started: She's now a vampire. And that's all thanks to Meredith Fell (Torrey DeVitto), the doctor responsible for giving her vampire blood to save her life -- even if it couldn't preserve her mortal one.
Below, DeVitto, who also stars as the most devious older sister on TV in "Pretty Little Liars," talks about incurring the wrath of the Salvatore brothers in Season 4 of "The Vampire Diaries" (premieres Thurs., Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW); why Meredith did a good thing turning Elena; her absence from the highly-anticipated "Memorial" episode; working with her husband Paul Wesley (who plays Stefan Salvatore) and watching his love scenes; her return to "Pretty Little Liars," the role that still haunts her; playing violin for Stevie Nicks and much more.
Did you know Meredith's whole trajectory when you signed on for "The Vampire Diaries"?
No, not at all. I don't think they even knew exactly what would happen with her from beginning to end and I think that's something that everybody is still figuring out.
At what point in filming Season 3 did you find out that she would be the one responsible for turning Elena into a vampire?
I found out as I read the last page of the finale script. [Laughs.]
So they didn't warn you?
No, no. It's kind of that way with "The Vampire Diaries" and with "Pretty Little Liars." I really do just figure things out as they come in. Nobody really gives us anything until then because I think they're so afraid of things leaking and all that kind of stuff.
When we see Meredith in Season 4, are the Salvatore brothers really angry with her?
You know, I don't think they're too happy or pleased, but, here's what everybody is missing: Had Meredith not done what she did, there would possibly be no more "Vampire Diaries" because Elena would be dead. So can we just give Meredith a little more credit here? [Laughs.] Come on you sexy little vampires -- you'd have no girl to fight over so just get over it. [Laughs.]
Some fans have noticed that you're not in the promo pictures for Episode 2, called "Memorial." Can you say anything about that?
Oh, I didn't even know about that to be honest with you. [Laughs.] There are so many characters and there are so many things going on on this show that unless I have something to do with it, I really don't know because it's so hard keeping track of my own storylines, let alone everyone's storylines.
Recently, you cut your hair and there's been some speculation about your haircut -- and what it means for Meredith's fate on the show. Have you been surprised by "TVD" fans and their attention to things like that?
Gosh, you know what? I feel like -- and maybe you're going to think I'm crazy for saying this -- "Vampire Diaries" has crazy fans, "Pretty Little Liars" has crazy fans, but I swear to you, I have never met crazier fans than "One Tree Hill's." So I feel like I went through that already with "One Tree Hill" and I still go through that. I get at least five tweets a day still about Nanny Carrie. When my first episode of "Vampire Diaries" aired, Nanny Carrie was the No. 5 trending topic. There are no fans like "One Tree Hill" fans -- it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Nothing else compares really.
What was it like working with Paul, even though you two had the least scenes together out of everyone?
We had that one scene, but we didn't have any lines together. He just awkwardly fed me his blood from his wrist. It's kind of nice to just be in the same state and be working on the same show, but not at the same time. It's nice. I like it.
Was it weird being on set with your husband when he had a love interest that wasn't you and vice versa?
I mean, not really. If before getting married had I maybe dated a guy that wasn't an actor, I think that would make it hard. But because we both understand the technicalities of any type of scene like that and how it's acting and all that kind of stuff -- everybody thinks I'm lying when I say this, but it doesn't affect me like that. I'll watch romance scenes with him and I'm like, "Oh yeah! That was so hot. That was so sexy. Good job, Paul." So it's not weird at all.
Did you like shooting the bloody, action scenes?
Oh yeah. That's so much fun. I mean, it is very tiring and it's funny because you have to be careful when you're doing action because sometimes I get so into it and naturally, with a guy, they're so much stronger so you think you have to be stronger. In one of our action scenes with Matt [Davis] and I, I came really close to kicking him in the wrong place a couple of times. [Laughs.] You gotta be careful. [Laughs.]
Will you get in on any of the action scenes in Season 4?
No, not yet. I mean, you never know what can happen though.
What else can we expect to see from Meredith in Season 4?
You'll get to know her a little better in Season 4. I love playing Meredith because she's one of the very few grounding, human characters on such a crazy, supernatural show. So I really like her -- I think she's cool and confident and kind of holds her own amongst all these supernatural beings. You'll see her interacting with different characters, obviously since Alaric and her are no longer an item. [Laughs.]
You've played some villainous characters with Nanny Carrie on "One Tree Hill," like you mentioned, and Melissa on "Pretty Little Liars" is a bit devious. Do you like playing characters with a dark side?
It's so funny. I love it. It's so much fun and it is fun to be able to play something so outside of reality and outside of the realm of anything you would actually do yourself and that's always more fun when you're acting. But I think people think that I just gravitate towards these roles or that I look for them, and really they just kind of land in my lap. [Laughs.] I am looking for and hoping to do a light-hearted comedy pretty soon. Actually, I did a romantic comedy Christmas movie over the summer so I think people will see me as less of a psycho during that. [Laughs.]
Will you be in the "Pretty Little Liars" Halloween episode?
I am not in the Halloween special, but you will see me in the new episodes in January.
Did you know what Melissa would become when you signed on for "PLL"?
I had no idea. I just pegged her for some little preppy, snobby debutante. I didn't really know much past that. And then as things started to unravel, I was like, "Oh my god!" She's like a little debutante with a touch of Nanny Carrie with all these different things. I was like, "Alright. I like this. This is cool."
And the show has such a big cast so you can pop in and pop out.
Yeah, I do. People are always like, "How do you manage your schedules?" I'm like, "Well, it's such a huge cast on both shows." I never work more than two or three days on an episode that I'm on because there's so many people.
It seems like there can't be more than two Hastings in one place at the same time.
[Laughs.] That's so true.
Have you tried to get Paul on "Pretty Little Liars"?
[Laughs.] We always joke about that. I'm like, "Paul. What if you were A?" He's so funny. But no, it was a little bit of an issue of contention between us because he's actually never even watched a full episode. So next time you talk to him you can give him some shit about that.
I mean, he's married now. He needs to compromise. You've been on his show, he could at least watch yours.
Right? That's what I'm saying! [Laughs.]
What else is next for you?
I shot this romantic comedy Christmas movie over the summer and the director, Penelope Spheeris, did "Wayne's World" and "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Black Sheep," all these really great comedies. She's like this punk rock, amazing woman who I just really loved getting to work with. I love it because the movie didn't end with this cheesy, slap-on-the-knee thing. It was like, "Oh. This is cool. I like it." I finished up a movie, "Evidence," about a year ago and that should be coming out relatively soon. That was a lot of fun. We just did ADR so I got to see some of that and it turned out really well and I'm really excited. So hopefully both those movies will be coming out in the next year.
I also read that when you were younger you were a violinist. Do you still play?
I do. I have sat in with the Burbank Philharmonic and the Topanga Orchestra when they need someone if someone gets sick or something . But most recently, I played on Stevie Nicks' last album, which was a lot of fun. And I got to do the music video for the song and everything. It's called "Moonlight." I was so nervous because I grew up doing that, but then when acting took over, violin just became more of my grounding hobby. I hadn't played professionally [in a while] so I went in and it's like Stevie Nicks, Glen Ballard, all these Grammy winners just staring at me through the booth. And I was like, "Wait. Can you turn around? Don't watch me!" [Laughs.] So I do still play, but it's more of a hobby now and I'm always open to doing things when they come up.
"The Vampire Diaries" Season 4 premieres on Wednesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.