I really loved Michael Trevino as the effortlessly cool rebel teenager Ozzie (Naomi's boyfriend) on the CW's 90210 remake last year. So I tuned in as soon as I heard that he'd be starring on the highly anticipated CW show, The Vampire Diaries (based on the series of books by L.J. Smith), and I wasn't at all surprised to find that he gives the show's best performance. I called up my boy Mike yesterday to get all the juicy details on tonight's premiere of Vampire Diaries (8 p.m. on the CW) and the 24-year-old Mexican actor (one of the coolest dudes in Hollywood) spoke to Vivo Por Tivo about his hot new role on the series, why he isn't worried about becoming a vampire on the show, and why he's nothing like his character in real life.
I had a chance to watch the pilot for The Vampire Diaries and you are terrific in it! Are you having fun working on the show?
Yeah! I am. We all had a blast when we filmed the pilot in Vancouver, and now we're all out here in Atlanta filming the series. Everything's great—the series as a whole with the cast and the crew and the writers—it's all moving like a well-oiled machine right now.
What prompted the show's move to Atlanta?
Because the show takes place in Virginia, there have to be woods and such, so it was between Vancouver and Atlanta, and it ended up being Atlanta.
Tell us a little bit about your character, Tyler Lockwood.
Tyler is an a**hole, man! He's a jerk. He's a bully. He's cocky. He's arrogant. He's the jock, the popular kid, and what he says goes. He breaks all rules, and it's just kind of the way he's been brought up.
Yikes! Is there anything that's remotely redeeming about him?
Yeah. As the season progresses, in episode 3 or 4, we meet Tyler's parents. For a while, it seems like he's one note, but when you meet his parents you kind of see there's something else going on there. There's a sense of entitlement. He's the richest guy in town and his dad is the mayor of the town, so he has this "I can get away with anything" kind of vibe. It takes a while for Tyler to come into play and have a bigger impact as far as season 1 goes, but there are big plans for Tyler down the road!
Big plans like maybe your character will become a vampire?
Definitely not, because in the series of books, Tyler turns into a werewolf! Long story short, my character's name is Tyler Lockwood, and the vampires' last name is Salvatore. The Salvatores and the Lockwoods have been around for generations and generations—that's why Tyler's family is one of the richest families. The show goes deeper into how werewolves came about. But it's pretty much my family always battling the Salvatores for the last 800 years.
So we know he's a jerk, and you're not, but are there any similarities between you and your character?
I played high school football like Tyler all four years, but other than that, not really. Even when I was in high school, I definitely wasn't going around picking fights. I wasn't the big man on campus in high school. I wasn't popular, but I was well known. I always went by my last name—nobody ever called me Michael, and that was just kind of a football thing. I was an athlete, but I wasn't as hotheaded as Tyler.
And I imagine you weren't a bully either?
Are you kidding? I got picked on! But I did play football all four years, so I was kind of with the jock crowd.
Is there any chance your character hooks up with Elena at some point?
He doesn't. There won't be anything going on there.
What about any other main female cast members?
Obviously, when you watch the series, you will gather that he's the type of guy who has a few females that he hooks up with, but as far as the storyline goes, and what we see, it's just between him and Vicki (Kayla Ewell).
With so many popular vampire shows and movies out like True Blood and Twilight, do you think people are going to embrace another vampire show like Vampire Diaries?
I'm 24 years old, so I can remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and this is the second generation. For 13- and 14-year-old girls-this is there time for that. Maybe they're too young for True Blood, but Vampire Diaries can be that for them.