'The Originals': Charles Michael Davis Previews Marcel's World War I Backstory

"Things get real. Like, 'Real World,' real. Instead of seven strangers picked to live in a loft, you have, like, 20 vampires living in a compound," he tells THR.
Annette Brown/The CW

Things are looking rough for The Originals' Marcel.

Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) has spent much of The CW series trying to maintain any grasp of power — and peace between the warring factions in the city — and things were looking up ... until Finn (Yusuf Gatewood) trapped the (hungry) vampires and werewolves in Mikaelson compound.

Davis spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about things getting "Real World real" for the trapped vampires, getting to dive into Marcel's World War I backstory in "Brotherhood of the Damned," Finn vs. Marcel and more.

What are you most excited for viewers to see in Marcel's big episode?

The flashbacks. The stuff we did in the trenches, for World War I. Matt Hastings, our creative director, had always wanted to do some flashback war scenes. We hinted toward it in season one — we shot Marcel returning from war. He thought we owed to the audience to see Marcel in the war. You get to see Marcel become a leader. I know the present day, you see him leading his inner circle. In World War I-era, he doesn't have that group; [he's] going off to war. You get to see how he gets to lead, and lead himself from being under Klaus.

In present day, he and the vampires are locked in the compound. How bad will things get for them?

The vampires, keeping them under control is tough enough, but they're all locked up in the compound, and they're all hungry. Things get real. Like, Real World, real. Instead of seven strangers picked to live in a loft, you have, like, 20 vampires living in a compound. It gets real.

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Are the struggles the vampires are dealing with while they're locked up making him question how much he can depend on his allies?


With the flashbacks, it's a reminder of who he really is, the decisions he made. He got a little caught up with trying to maintain his kingdom and his relationship with Rebekah (Claire Holt/Maisie Richardson-Sellers). There's a responsibility in his calling. This episode is a good reminder moving forward. The audience will get to know his real character through the flashbacks. Not that he'll change, or have a change of mind about anything — if anything, it'll reinforce who he is at his core, rather than change some of the things at his core.

Finn is being touted as the "key villain" of what's to come. What's coming up between him and Marcel?

Finn's really on a mission to bring down the family. So as the audience knows, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) does have a big secret with Hope [being alive]. Finn's going to do whatever it takes to dig that out. So he's going to go after the Original family, and if/when that doesn't work, he'll go after anyone close to him. So he'll go after Marcel.

Rebekah is trapped right now, but when she is eventually released, what can you preview about the shift in the dynamic between her and Marcel now that she's in a new body?

That's something Maisie and I are still figuring out. It'll be a different dynamic, for sure. Just for the fact it's not Rebekah in Rebekah's body. When you're in somebody else's body — and somebody else was already occupying that body, too —  it'll always be between them. It's going to be really tough for them to jump right back into the romance and try and resolve things when there's this bigger issue.

How will Marcel react to Freya's apparent return?

Probably with surprise, like the rest of the Original family will. To know there's another family member out there [alive]. And this family member pre-dates Marcel, so Marcel didn't have any interaction with Freya. So he'll be discovering her for the first time. It depends on her actions: if she's a friend or a foe. If she's threatening anything Marcel wants to protect, she'd be considered an enemy. And if she has the same interests, maybe she could be an ally. Depends on where her character goes.

With all of the shifting danger, who or what do you think is the biggest threat to Marcel right now?

Currently being trapped in the compound, it looks like he stands to lose everything, with a werewolf bite. But he resolved things with Klaus. I think your life is measured by the strength of your relationships, and not the things you accumulate. And he stands to lose those relationships, especially with his inner-circle of vampires he's built. It might just be a party of one. That's what he's dealing with.

Are you excited to see what's in store for Marcel? The Originals airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Twitter: @marisaroffman

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