'Vampire Diaries' Actor Zach Roerig: 'Matt Is a Nice Piece of Humble Pie for Mystic Falls'

In an interview with THR, the actor previews Thursday's "Dangerous Liaisons" episode, reveals a telling upcoming scene and explains why Matt keeps sticking around Mystic Falls.
Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW
"The Vampire Diaries"

No one's ever safe in Mystic Falls, not even the good ones.

Since The Vampire Diaries' current season began, good-natured jock Matt Donovan has been through the ringer. He's nearly died in an attempt to see his late vampire sister Vicki, his immediate family is nonexistent and his love life (once happily dating Elena and Caroline, at different times of course) has tragically hit a wall. But come Thursday's episode "Dangerous Liaisons," centered on a ball the Originals throw, he'll be catching the eye of another woman in town.

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Actor Zach Roerig spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what to expect from tonight's episode, why Matt keeps sticking around and an upcoming scene that may be telling for Matt-Elena fans.

The Hollywood Reporter: In Thursday's episode, "Dangerous Liaisons," the Originals hold a ball in their mansion. How does Matt get in on the action?

Zach Roerig: Klaus’ vampire sister Rebekah asks him to accompany her to the dance and he does, mostly out of fear. I’m sure he’s attracted to her in some ways but I’m pretty sure he’s intimidated.

THR: Were there any surprising things that you learned while filming the episode?

Roerig: We’re all pretty good dancers, I realized. We all took ballroom dancing classes before and we all looked pretty good doing it.

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THR: As of late, there have been several touching moments between Matt and Caroline and Matt and Elena. Will Matt continue to have that role?

Roerig: I think you can always have those moments sprinkled throughout the show. When you look for a purpose in every character, I think that’s definitely one of Matt’s sole purposes in Mystic Falls right now, being there for his friends. If you look at the bridge scene with Elena, moving forward with her in a new friendship based off their old friendship. Being there for Caroline on her birthday at the tomb, that’s definitely what Matt’s got going for him, since he has no family left.

THR: What are Matt’s motives for sticking around?

Roerig: At this point, Matt really has nothing to lose. Yea, he can leave town, he can go somewhere else, but Mystic Falls is the only home he’s ever known. Matt’s the only person left in town who is pure in every sense of the word. I think he wants to make sure Mystic Falls doesn’t self-destruct.

THR: Earlier this season, Matt risked his life to see his sister Vicki again. What’s the likelihood of a similar situation like that popping up?

Roerig: I don’t see Matt killing himself any time soon. I think he learned his lesson from that one. I see Matt acting daring or rash; he doesn’t have a superpower or anything to act on but he still is that hero at heart. He just doesn’t have the ammunition the other guys [have]. I think he would still put his life in danger for those he loves.

THR: Will he get more power in coming weeks?

Roerig: No, I don’t think so. I’m not searching for that and I don’t think the writers are either. Matt is a nice piece of humble pie for Mystic Falls and that’s the important reason for him staying behind. I don’t think he can leave Elena for too long. She, in some aspects, really does need Matt in her life.

THR: Will there come a point when Matt says “I deserve better”?

Roerig: I definitely think Matt deserves more and deserves better, but that will all come in time. Everyone will get something better out of their lives in Mystic Falls.

THR: Can you describe a scene that you recently shot that stands out?

Roerig: I had a pretty interesting scene coming up in a closet with Matt and Elena, that's all I'll say. [Whether it's in the] past, present, future .. I'm not sure, that's all you get.

THR: Who haven't you had a chance to work with extensively in a scene?

Roerig: I really don't get to work with Ian [Somerhalder] that often. It'd be fun to work with Ian and actually have dialogue. If he knew Damon wasn't going to kill him, maybe speak his mind a little bit.

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