The Vampire Diaries‘ Damon will have a blast in the past – and then get a blast from the past – starting tonight (on The CW, 8/7c), when Cassidy Freeman inhabits the role of Sage, an ol’ vampire friend who in the books was a male, but let’s face it — Cassidy Freeman? Yes, please. TVLine spoke with the Smallville alumna about jumping back into the genre-TV ring (literally and figuratively), how Sage will bring flavor to Damon’s current existence and the super opportunities presented to her post-Smallville.
TVLINE | You’ve had a nice run of straight dramas — guesting on CSI: NY, The Playboy Club, the upcoming A&E series Longmire. Were you tentative at all about dipping back into genre TV?
Absolutely not. This more fantastical kind of vampire-superhero genre? It was super-fun.
TVLINE | Yeah, Sage is out there clobbering guys and canoodling, looking both vixenish and violent… what’s not to like?
You know what I mean? [Laughs] It was a wide array of stuff. [Executive producer] Julie Plec was like, “Would you do it?” And I was like, “How could I not!”
TVLINE | How would you describe Damon and Sage’s relationship in the “1912” flashbacks?
It’s definitely a mentor-mentee relationship, and that’s what I kind of love about this character. I’ve watched this series since it first started, and Damon is that vampire we all love to hate, and he has such a grasp on what being a vampire means to him. And what’s really interesting about this flashback to 1912 is you figure out where that came from. When he was first turned, he wasn’t like that, so this gives great insight into his arc during the entire time he’s been a vampire.
TVLINE | Aww. That’s a nice reason.
Yeah! True love prevails.
TVLINE | What will Damon’s reaction be to seeing her again?
It’s one of surprise — that was a chapter of his life he thought was pretty much over. Plus, Sage was such a fantastical character in 1912 that you almost can’t imagine her in the present day, because things aren’t quite as heightened. To see her in the present brings back the memories of why he was who he was. Lately, Damon has been playing kind of a good guy, and seeing Sage reignites his bad boy ways — or his “tendencies,” I should say.
TVLINE | Is he wary of her when they reunite? Does he suspect she has an agenda involving more than true love?
I think Damon is wary of everyone, and everyone has an agenda. It’s definitely not wide-open arms, “Let’s hug it out.” There are a lot of question marks.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about you beating up those guys up in the 1912 boxing ring – specifically, my slight unease that you seem a bit too much of a natural.
Yeah…. I do have two brothers, and I’m used to beating guys up, so…. I came a little bit early for the episode and studied with John Copeman, the stunt supervisor. We rehearsed together for probably two or three days before we shot it, and then he hired some really talented stunt people to make it look like I knew what I was doing.
TVLINE | There’s a juicy new promo out…. What are we to make of the bed scene with Damon, Rebekah and Sage… who’s apparently stroking Rebekah’s face?
They released that?! I haven’t even seen that. I need to go online more often. Hmm…. Well, she’s definitely helping Damon figure out what Rebekah is up to. With any sort of threesome, you never know who to trust, but it’s definitely a sordid affair — and because they’re vampires, it has to happen in the bedroom. I think that’s one of the rules!
TVLINE | Like you, Erica [Durance] promptly booked a pilot (NBC’s Saving Hope) after Smallville, as well as guest roles — on Charlie’s Angels and Harry’s Law. Justin [Hartley] also has done the same. Was it a small relief to see yourself not get pigeonholed and round up work right away?
Yeah. I think it was more of a pigeonhole for Erica, obviously, because she played a character that was so iconic and had been on for much longer than I had. I felt really fortunate to be able to play Tess Mercer, but there is something to say about playing different roles. Smallville gave me such an incredible opportunity to get out there, and I think the fear was that might be the end, now that I had whetted my appetite with something that I love to do and with a character that was super-badass. How could I find something to live up to that? And I have. I have found really great characters in Playboy Club and now The Vampire Diaries, and even my little guest star on CSI. And I’m starting Longmire in a week (playing the daughter of Robert Taylor’s Wyoming sheriff), and that is very different than genre, so I couldn’t be more excited.
TVLINE | After I screened the Longmire pilot, I said on Twitter that it needed “50 percent more Cassidy Freeman.”
I know, I remember that! Thank you. Let’s hope that in the next nine episodes there is more Cady Longmire.