THE ORIGINALS: Chase Coleman Talks The Fun Of Playing A Werewolf Willing to Go to War With the Vampires (2014)

"The Originals"
“The Originals”

In a world run by vampires and witches, the one thing everyone tends to forget are the werewolves. In the CW series THE ORIGINALS, the one key ingredient has always been the power of the wolves. Yet Klaus (Joseph Morgan) himself is a hybrid werewolf/vampire and his baby mamma Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is also a werewolf. It is so easy to get distracted by vampire drama and the witches plots, and the silly human rebellions against supernatural rule, but one should never forget about the werewolves. They are always there and waiting for their chance to strike.

In a recent exclusive interview, co-star Chase Coleman, who plays the werewolf Oliver, talked about what is starting to brew with the wolves and their pack, and how that leads to some complications with Hayley, who is trying to live amongst her kind and assume her role as one of its ranking members.

So how would you describe Oliver in your own words?
CHASE: Very passionate. He has a lot of energy. He also believes strongly in what he believes in. He believes it should get done, no matter what. He’s loyal. He’s emotional. He’s rebellious because he’s so angry from the past. This rage. He feels that they deserve so much more than what they have. They are living in the bayou. Nothing against the bayou. I’m from the South. In fact, that was my backyard growing up. But I think living out in the bayou can get at you a little bit when everybody else is off in the city and all have a roof over their heads. So I think Oliver has a lot rage. He’s kind of angry.

What exactly is Oliver’s position in the pack? He seems like a negotiator at times and an enforcer at other times.
CHASE: He’s like a brother to Jackson (Nathan Parsons), who is the alpha leader of the pack. I think you can consider Oliver a leader of the pack as well, although there is only one alpha. He’s literally Jackson’s right hand man, a lieutenant. The one Jackson always goes to for consolation, the one he always goes to for consultation, the one he goes to in order to talk about, “Should we do this? Should we do that? What do you think about this?” Because he can trust him. He’s basically family.

How does Oliver fit into Hayley’s life? Is it a pack member thing or is there some other familial connection going on?
CHASE: Hayley is from a different pack from years and years ago. Jackson and Hayley were betrothed, and that’s their destiny, so to speak. Back then, I think that is what it was. That was accepted. But I think over time Oliver has let that go. Things have changed so much. I think clinging to past familial things, old legends of our pack — I think Oliver is willing to let that stuff go because he thinks things need to change to get where they need to go. I think he doesn’t think Hayley potentially has what it takes. I think he’s questioning. I don’t think he really knows yet. He just doesn’t trust Hayley because she hangs out with Klaus and she’s carrying Klaus’ baby.

Yet Oliver made a deal with Klaus behind Hayley’s back. That was kind of questionable.
CHASE: Jackson made the deal and Oliver decided to go with it. He’s an opportunist.

If Hayley’s life was at risk, would Oliver step up to protect her or would he kind of just want to stand aside, thinking, “well, we’ll see where this goes”?
CHASE: Like I said before, he’s loyal. He doesn’t want to see Hayley get hurt and I don’t think he would hurt her. But then again, if it came down to Hayley and the pack, I think he’s loyal to the pack. I think it depends on the situation. He’s not a bad guy, and he’s not weak and he’s not gullible. He’s going to do what he feels is right for the pack. That’s where his loyalty lies.

How does Oliver feel about Hayley carrying a hybrid baby and there’s Elijah (Daniel Gillies) in the picture. Does that just wrankle Oliver to no end?
CHASE: The werewolves obviously hate vampires. The vampires are the entire reason they are in the bayou to begin with. They are the entire reason the werewolves were chased out of the city many years ago. So they have major resentment and rage that has built up in so many ways from all that; and Hayley is like a representation of that. Therefore, I think that’s where Oliver disagrees with Jackson on major points, because Hayley is carrying Klaus’ baby and is in this triangle with Klaus and Elijah, which are two of the Original vampires that represents everything the werewolves hate. I think that is where his hate for Hayley breeds as well.

This next week’s episode description mention that there may be an explosion amongst the werewolf pack. Is that like figurative or literal? What’s going on?
CHASE: I think you could consider it as a metaphor, in a sense. That there is war coming up. There’s a major, major war coming up, as I’m sure you have seen with the vampires setting the trap for the witches — with the blood and the slitting of the wrists, and with the vampires not kneeling down and trying to take control. And there was an explosion of action during the celebration of Benedictions. So I think the wolves are going to have something happen as well, in a sense, very, very soon. The wolves do not want to be left out. They are a major threat. So there’s a lot of stuff. There’s going to be an awesomely amazing explosion of action for us.

Is this going to be a coordinated effort, or will there be a difference in opinion between Jackson and Oliver in whatever they are planning?
CHASE: (Laughs) I think we may have some surprises. Something’s going on. Everybody likes to go behind each other’s backs. That’s the whole fun nature of the show.

For you, what has been the funnest part about portraying this particular role?
CHASE: The best, most fun part about playing the role is that Oliver is from New Orleans. He’s from Louisiana. I, myself, am from Louisiana. I’m not from New Orleans, but from Monroe. But as I said before, I grew up with the bayou in my backyard. That’s a great image, isn’t it? A little kid running around in the backyard, with the moss and all that stuff; so being able to bring my roots to Oliver is just awesome because I love to be able to play somebody that comes from the South. I identify with that. And obviously I love to play a werewolf. That is so cool. I think kids all want to be vampires and werewolves. So getting to play a werewolf from the South, and also a rebellious type — the one that doesn’t go with the flow so much and doesn’t necessarily agree right off the bat with what everyone would think is the right way to go. He’s not a sheep that follows. He is one that questions and I love a character that questions. I love a character that makes choices for himself. And we’re really going to see more of that in the future.

Were you a little daunted in this last episode when Phoebe’s character Hayley manhandles your character a little bit? How much fun was that to film?
CHASE: Oh yeah, when Phoebe manhandled me, everybody loved it. It was funny, even when we read it, everyone was laughing. It’s also funny because we actually did a take where Jackson thought it was hilarious while Oliver was getting manhandled by Hayley. Oliver and Jackson are basically brothers, and they gave grown up together fighting and punching and drawing blood and doing all kinds of stuff, and here I am getting wupped by this pregnant werewolf. It was funny and it was fun. I really enjoyed doing that scene with Phoebe. It was a lot of fun working with her and getting to do that stunt.

To see what big plan Oliver and Jackson have in store to push back against the tyrannical rule and rules of the witches and vampires, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of THE ORIGINALS on Tuesday, April 22nd at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.

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