The Originals is facing a whole new kind of threat this season, and it’s particularly bad news for Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), since it appears to be a blue light that steals children.
The CW series just jumped ahead five years between the end of season three and the start of season four and revealed that the original family had spent those five years in coffins and cursed, or in Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) case, weakened and kept in a dungeon by Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). As of last week, even Klaus had been freed and was on his way to seeing the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a toddler, but there’s a much larger threat on the horizon now.
We got on the phone with Phoebe Tonkin to talk about that looming danger, and about just how much of this season will be concerned with Hope’s safety.
E! News: So far this season, it has been really interesting to see how things have changed during the time jump. Was that kind of exciting for you to start the character from a whole new place?
PT: You know, I don’t think necessarily Hayley had the reset that the other characters did, having been kind of in a box for five years. I think Hayley’s been working, since the end of season three, trying to break the curse for them. I think really she’s stopped looking for them or looking for a way to save them for the last five years, so I think when we find her again, not that much has changed other than the fact that she now has a seven year old daughter as opposed to a toddler.
Is that more interesting for you as an actor that Hope is now an actual character, instead of basically a baby?
Yes! We also got so lucky that the actress who plays Hope, Summer Fontana, is probably one of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with. She’s seven. She was born in the mid 2000s, if that, and she’s so brilliant. So yeah, we got really lucky, and I think they even wrote, when she was cast, more, because they realized how much she was capable of doing. So that really, being on set with this young girl who just is such a natural actress, yeah it definitely added to the storyline to have a character who actually has questions about her family and her heritage and her bloodline. You know, it’s not just a kid in a corner in a little baby bassinet.
What does Hope know about her family? We haven’t heard much from her in these first couple episodes.
She knows about her dad. I think Hayley has always told her enough about him, and I think Hope probably idolizes her dad a little bit. And so when they finally get to meet, which I think is this episode, it’s kind of sweet. Hope was such a little baby when her dad went away, and so I think she has small tiny memories of him, but she’s now a young girl. And so I think it’s going to be nice for them to develop their own memories together over the season.
Will we actually get time to see the dynamic between them before danger starts up again?
Well, it is The Originals—there’s always something getting in the way of just like a normal, Sunday night movie night with mom and dad and Hope. I think the threat this year is really big, and the stakes are really high, and it directly affects their daughter, which in turn, makes everything very serious, because she obviously can’t necessarily protect herself. She’s a seven year old, but yeah I think there’s some really nice daddy-daughter moments in this season.
What is the dynamic like between Hayley and Klaus, now that he’s free and they can be parents together?
I mean they’re definitely trying to coparent this kid as best as they can. They’re also not necessarily the best models for children that had great parents, so I think they’re kind of working it out together. But you know, I think they’re both overly protective of this kid and making sure that she’s safe, so I think they’re trying to work out how to have some sort of a healthy dynamic for the sake of their kid.
Will we get any happy family scenes, whether they’re movie nights or not, at all?
Unfortunately, it’s New Orleans and there’s always some kind of threat around the corner. I don’t think there’s ever a world in which Klaus, Hayley and Hope are sitting on a couch watching Frozen. I wish there was, because I think that would be great, but you know, I think because of how dangerous this threat is this season, there really isn’t a lot of down time for these characters. I think their focus is protecting their family and protecting the city.
And what can you tell me about the threat this season—whatever’s stealing kids?
That’s something that we will, over the next few episodes, really kind of explore what it means and what it is and why it’s here. Definitely the biggest threat this family’s ever seen, and it’s definitely going to cause a lot of problems amongst the family.
So is that the major threat that they’re dealing with for the rest of the season?
Yes. It definitely, as the season goes on, we kind of learn exactly what this is and why it’s here. Yes.
Is Marcel still a major threat to the family, or is he kind of taking a backseat to this new threat?
I think because of how dangerous this thing is, yeah, I think it’s his city too, and this thing directly threatens the city that he loves and calls home, and so you know, in a very complicated way, this family, including Marcel, I think they’re all kind of part of this crazy family of errors, I think they’re going to have to find a way to work together in some capacity because it directly affects and threatens children of this city, and that’s obviously something that none of these characters take lightly.
So can we assume that Hope is a central character this season?
What can you tell me about Hayley and Elijah this season?
So Elijah and Hayley haven’t seen each other in five years. I think once they finally get to spend some time together…you know, they love each other dearly, and there’s a lot of sweetness there, but I think now that there’s a seven year-old involved, and even he’s Uncle Elijah, I think everyone’s focus now is this kid. So I think if anything ever gets in the way of protecting Hope…I think Hayley’s number one priority now, and as kind of it always has been, but her priority is this girl, is Hope. So if anything was ever to get in the way of that, I don’t think she would ever let it.
After spending so much time worrying about getting the Mikaelsons back, does Hayley have a personal journey in season four?
I think her personal journey is her kid. Yeah. I think these are very powerful characters. The Mikaelsons are very powerful, and I think that comes with a lot of outside threats. So I think Hayley’s focus now is just to protect her kid. I don’t think she really cares about anything else besides that.
We saw a lot of losses for everyone last season, and then Hayley kind of temporarily lost everyone close to her. All these years later, are those losses still felt?
Yeah, we definitely explore a couple of the painful things that have happened in Hayley’s life, but in terms of like, her relationship, I think five years have passed, and she’s just very grateful to have Elijah back in her life. I think it’s definitely been a lonely five years for her, other than having her daughter. But she’s very excited to get like Freya and Rebekah back, to have her family back.
The Originals airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on the CW.