'Vampire Diaries': Cassidy Freeman on Sage, Damon's Roots and 'Smallville' Days

The Vampire Diaries Cassidy Freeman - H 2012
The CW

The Vampire Diaries Cassidy Freeman - H 2012

[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]

The Vampire Diaries is heading back to the 1900s and viewers will get insight into how Damon (Ian Somerhalder) came to be the way he is today.

In tonight’s episode, “1912,” viewers will meet Sage, played by Smallville vet Cassidy Freeman. At first glance, she’s tough, straightforward and as Somerhalder described to The Hollywood Reporter recently, “Sage is Damon’s Lexi (Arielle Kebbel),” a reference to Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) best friend introduced in the first season.

But in true Mystic Falls fashion, Sage doesn’t just stay in the past. As viewers will learn, she reappears in present day in next week’s episode, “Break on Through,” in search of her true love. (And no, it’s not Damon.)

Freeman, who begins shooting A&E series Longmire next week, chatted with THR about why Sage targets Damon in the first place, what to expect from her in coming episodes and if she was a “catalyst” for the Salvatore brother to become who he was meant to be.

The Hollywood Reporter: What was it like playing Sage in the 1900s?

Cassidy Freeman: The Vampire Diaries does [period] in a very beautiful way. They have such attention to detail, in terms of costumes, hair and makeup. It was a joy.

THR: Sage, in a way, is responsible for molding the Damon character into what he is now. Is she someone who helped him for the better?

Freeman: I think she helped him for the better. I think Damon is who he is in a way or maybe she was the catalyst for him to become who he wanted to be. In any event, she definitely inspired his way of being a vampire, which I don’t think the story would be here without that.

THR: What causes her to target him specifically?

Freeman: I think she saw something in him. I think she was attracted to something about him and she saw possibility in him. She saw his tendency toward being that kind of vampire that’s so free and seductive. She sees that seed and she wanted to help it grow.

THR: Sage will also be seen in present day. What events transpire to make her reappear in Mystic Falls?

Freeman: Yea, Mystic Falls is kind of out of the way. She comes back in search of Finn, the Original who’s her true love. That’s the real reason for her coming back but she definitely has more to do when she gets there.

THR: What is Sage and Damon’s initial meeting in present day like?

Freeman: He’s skeptical and wonders why she’s back but I think he’s happy to see her. They didn’t leave on bad terms by any means.

THR: What can you reveal about Sage in the coming episodes?

Freeman: Obviously Sage is in the books, even though she’s a man. Sage is somebody who pushes along the story of the books and really helps flush out the original storyline of The Vampire Diaries. She’s going to help that storyline along and it’s also important for fans to see where Damon started.

THR: You played Tess on Smallville for several seasons. Could you describe the differences or similarities between Tess and Sage?

Freeman: Coming back to the CW was really fun. Strangely enough, Tess and Sage do have similarities. They’re both strong women, they both know what they want and they go after it. But I think the difference between them is, where Sage is very open and emotionally free and able to express herself, Tess is more tight and buttoned-up and scared to be who she really was.

THR: Was there a specific moment during filming that stood out for you?

Freeman: There’s a scene in one of the present-day episodes where Sage really gets to show her emotional side and I don’t think I’m allowed to say for what reason but it was a really great scene to show her freedom. The boxing scenes [in “1912”], they were so fun. To be able to go through how much do you show that she’s a vampire, how much do you show that she’s a badass woman who can box.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.