The Vampire Diaries Spoilers

The Vampire Diaries' Leslie-Anne Huff Previews Rayna at Rock Bottom: 'She's Lost Her Entire Life's Work'

Rayna Cruz may be the world’s most feared vampire hunter, but as we’re about to see, even bloodthirsty killers have their limit.

Picking up where last week’s episode left off — on the floor, specifically — Friday’s Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8/7c) finds Rayna staring down what could be the final hours of her last life. (You know, assuming she doesn’t back out of her plan to save Bonnie.)

“She just Beautiful Mind-ed all the names of the vampires in her head, so if you think about it, she’s lost her entire life’s work,” Leslie-Anne Huff explains to TVLine. “So not only is she being driven crazy by all the illusions and voices in her head, but she’s also dealing emotionally with hundreds of years of work having gone to waste. You’ll see how someone like Rayna, who’s such a tough and secretive character so far, deal with that. She’s been so strong and such a badass, so it’s fun to see what happens when she’s broken down.”

Below, Huff looks back on her experience with the show, sharing some of her favorite moments and scene partners. (Plus, we finally address the Elena-phant in the room.)

TVLINE | Much has been made of your resemblance to Nina Dobrev. Were you aware of the similarity when you auditioned for Rayna?
It wasn’t in my head at all. One of my best friends, this is her favorite show of all-time, so she may have mentioned it to me once or twice. But that was the last thing on my mind going into the audition. It’s obviously a huge compliment to say that I look anything like her, so I’ll take it.

TVLINE | At first, I thought it was just the fans noticing it. I was surprised when they mentioned the resemblance on the actual show.
I think it was fun to mention that and to toy with it. It gets the fans thinking, ‘Wait, is she a doppelganger?’ That’s one of the things this show does so well, dropping little hints for us to chew on.

TVLINE | Did you play catch-up before you started filming, or did you go in blind?
I had just started binging the first season when I got called into audition, and once I was cast, I tried to watch as much as I could. I especially watched Season 4 with the Brotherhood of the Five storyline.

TVLINE | What about the physicality of the role? Did you need any special training?
I’d like to say I’m very physically fit, but I certainly didn’t have any swordfighting training under my belt until I started doing The Vampire Diaries, so that’s one of the biggest gifts from playing Rayna — learning all of that stuff. As soon as I got to work, they put me into training with the stunt coordinator. It was fairly rigorous at first as they got me up to speed on the basics of stunts and swordplay. You’d be surprised how hard that is, and how hard it is to make it look real and effortless. That’s one of the things I really wanted to convey with her; this is just her, this is what she does and has been doing for 100 years.

TVLINE | Rayna has become a much more sympathetic character since she was first introduced. Did you know we’d be exploring her so deeply?
That’s how these things work, you just have to take it as it comes along. As the actress portraying Rayna, I always had the bigger picture of her story in mind. To me, she’s always been sympathetic. Whether or not everybody caught up to that, I don’t know. I’m such a family person, so close with my dad, so I kept that in mind when I thought about Rayna’s motivation. One of my favorite scenes to shoot was that series of flashbacks with her father.

TVLINE | They keep pairing you up with different people, which must be fun. Does any one scene partner stick out as particularly fun to work with?
Oh, Ian, of course. He’s so much fun to be around, and such a great actor. One of my biggest fight scenes was with him. But everybody was great. Coming into a show that’s been on for seven season, it’s a family over there, and they welcomed me with open arms. Ian’s just so fun and funny, which you can see in his portrayal of Damon. He takes his role and the show seriously, but he’s a funny guy.

How do you expect this Rayna situation to unfold, TVD fans? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. marydspain says:

    Here for Steroline! Can’t wait to see more of them in the rest of the season and season 8!

    • Stacey says:

      I don’t like Steroline or Calaric. But just so you know since you’re a Steroline fan, you probably won’t like this episode due to the Calaric fest. Most of the episode focuses on Enzo, Bonnie, Rayna, and Damon so you can always ff the Calaric scenes, that’s what I do.

    • Yuckkkkkk says:

      I’m here for Bamon. Bamon has the chemistry that this show desperately needs to keep viewers interested in.
      When Delena got together they were a borefest.
      BAMON is the hottest
      Steroline is like watching paint dry, boring, zero chemisty. Should have stayed friends, had “friend chemistry” like Lexi and Stefan.

      • Klaroline says:

        Agree, Delena was just a stab to Stelena shippers, and it was just a disaster for them to get together. Love Bamon together and Steroline should’ve stayed friends. Also, this whole Calaric thing just makes me want to puke. Does anyone else think getting with Ric is gross? I mean just because they’re raising two girls together, doesn’t mean they have to get together romantically.

  2. Stacey says:

    Good episode, love Bonenzo and Bamon! MM brought it and really made the episode for me. The ending though was pretty predictable. Should be an entertaining final 2 episodes.

    • Bwhit says:

      So there was more Bonnie and Enzo? I am really enjoying their dynamic…. It has gotten me more interested again.

      • Stacey says:

        Yes, there is a little more. But some scenes are bittersweet since she’s dying, but overall the Bonenzo was awesome. I especially liked the phone call this episode, MM owned it and brought out the feelings! And I love their dynamic as well!

  3. spindae2 says:

    I grew to like Rayna after the time jump. Would love for her to stick around but unlikely, guest stars are there to die.

    • LL says:

      Yeah so did I and I’m sad to see her go. It would’ve been nice to see more of her background and to see her pair up with Stefan eventually, since she was connected to him through the stone. I thought they had great potential.

      • zed says:

        yeah, that would have been very interesting- Stefan and Rayna could have been an interesting couple- especially with that mystical connection.

  4. Maria says:

    She is so beautiful . I love how the Cast and Crew admire love and respect Ian I hope they keep her on the Show.

  5. zed says:

    Loved Rayna!so badass!