All About Legacies' Vampire Diaries Musical and What Comes Next

Executive producer Julie Plec and star Kaylee Bryant go behind the scenes of Legacies' musical tribute to The Vampire Diaries

By Lauren Piester Feb 05, 2021 3:00 AMTags
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Well wasn't that just delightful?

Legacies just put on a rousing production of Salvatore: The Musical!, a very comprehensive show about the history of the Salvatore School that was really more like The Vampire Diaries: The Musical. Somehow it began with the events of the TVD pilot and made it all the way to the series finale in just one hilarious show, which also served as a bit of therapy for half its cast. 

The parody was plentiful, the songs were catchy, the drama was juicy and everybody learned a little something. Plus, a surprise voiceover cameo! What more could we have asked for? 

On the show, Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) was given the task of writing the musical by the guidance counselor, a man who was quickly revealed to both the audience and all the characters that he's the latest monster of the week. However, he's a trickster sprite, so all the characters quickly forgot he was the monster and believed they had all known him their entire lives. 

Only MG (Quincy Fouse) stuck with the monster investigation and was able to figure it out in the end, right before Alyssa (Olivia Liang) dragged him back to the Necromancer (Ben Geurens) for whatever plan he's got cooking.

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Luckily, this sprite was a relatively nice monster who was there to help everyone figure out their turmoil and work it out in the form of a musical with help from a few strategically broken limbs. Thanks to him, both Josie (Kaylee Bryant) and Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) had to play Elena Gilbert, and both of them walked away better for it. 

Hope realized that even if Landon is human and "forever" no longer means forever, and Josie, with a little help from Jade, realized maybe Salvatore School isn't exactly her calling any longer. 

Meanwhile, Lizzie took on the role of her mother Caroline with many fears that she wasn't up to the challenge, and Candice King actually provided the voiceover for a sweet letter to her daughter.   

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Everything we've seen so far this season, including the musical, is leading up to the next episode. Before production was shut down due to the pandemic, episode four would have served as the season two finale, and co-showrunner Julie Plec told E! News that the musical was the "crucible episode" that turns everyone onto the road they will travel in the would-be finale. 

"Next week's episode really takes all these journeys and delivers on them and puts all these characters on a new path by the end, so that when we get to [episode five], that's the beginning of a new chapter of the story. You're going to see an immediate cause and effect in the next episode." 

Plec also reminded us of the sphinx's prophecy that someone was going to die, and that's still happening.

"The fallout of that is really what the launchpoint of the next chapter is," she said. 

Episode five will pick up a few weeks after episode four, and Bryant teased to E! that characters will be rocking "different places in life, different looks, different hair, different everything."

While Josie reexamines her place at the school (and even explores a life at Mystic Falls High), Hope's reunion with Landon isn't necessarily going to be smooth sailing. 

"I can't say too much about where their relationship is going, but I will say it does take a pretty dramatic turn over the next couple of episodes," Plec said. "And it's something that she's really going to have to deal with." 

While we wait to see that drama unfold, scroll down to get a few more behind-the-scenes tidbits from Plec and Bryant about Salvatore: The Musical! Sing it with us now, "Doppelganger! Doppelganger! Doppelganger! Doppelganger!" 

The Origins of Salvatore: The Musical

On the show, Landon was asked to write the musical by the new, not-so-legit guidance counselor. In real life, the musical came about as the result of years of Plec wanting to do a musical in the Vampire Diaries universe. 

"A musical episode is something I've wanted to do since day one of The Vampire Diaries, especially once I realized that a lot of people in that cast were really talented," she told E! News. "It was something that I didn't think I would ever be able to execute, nor get some people's participation in, and so it was always a bit of a pipe dream. And then when we did the talent show for Legacies and realized how talented all those kids are, we realized that we could...create that kind of supernatural environment in which you could do a musical episode."

This time, the musical is a show the kids are putting on. Plec's next pipe dream is "a fully sung musical episode" before the end of the series. 

The episode was written by Thomas Brandon, but Plec credits writer Julie Cox with the idea of doing Salvatore: The Musical!. When she heard that plan, she was thrilled. 

"I fell out of my chair. I was so excited," Plec recalled. "I wish I could take credit for the idea." 

Unlike much of the show's writing staff, Brandon was not a writer on The Vampire Diaries or The Originals. That allowed him, Plec said, to approach the musical with the eyes of a fan. 

"I think that's what made it so special. He could kind of wink at things that the fanbase would be willing to laugh at in a way that those of us who were there could really do," she said. "It's so funny."

The Voice of Caroline

After more than two seasons of waiting, Candice King finally reprised her role as Caroline Forbes in the form of a voiceover. She magically sent a letter to Lizzie (Jenny Boyd), who was playing her mother in the musical but had reservations, fearing she wasn't good enough to play her incredible mother. The letter assured her that she was good enough and reflected on Caroline's own years of angst.

Co-showrunner Julie Plec explained how the voice cameo finally came about. 

"Candice said to me a long time ago, 'I am not ready to step back into Caroline's shoes,'" she said. "'I understand that there will be a time when I will be ready and I want it to be meaningful, but for right now, can you just let me live my life and play another character and raise my kids and wait on this? But any time you need a phone call, a text, a little voice something, all you gotta do is call and I'm happy to be there.' It was that easy." 

A Dream Come True

Kaylee Bryant, who plays Josie playing Elena, told E! News that she was a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and remembers it as the first show she ever binge-watched. 

"I watched the pilot episode and like genuinely could not stop," she said, and her binging really paid off. "I watched The Vampire Diaries so many times that it's ingrained in me. I did not need to go back and rewatch it because I already knew everything I needed to know." 

Her reaction to getting to play the one and only Elena Gilbert was extremely relatable. 

"Oh, I panicked at first. Number one, I panicked. Then number two, I got excited. Number three, I got nervous again. It's a huge honor," she said. "I mean, Elena Gilbert is who started this whole journey, so the fact that Josie gets to play her was a dream come true for me." 

Bryant confirmed she asked a lot of questions about all the middle scenes and tried to convince writer Brandon that it needs to be a full show.

"If anyone in the fandom wants to aggressively tell him to finish the show, I will very much back that." 

Josie's Elena-Related Breakthrough

Bryant didn't initially see the connection between her character Josie and Josie's musical character Elena Gilbert, but eventually she connected with Elena's struggle to choose "her family, her friends or herself." 

"The reality is choosing yourself isn't a selfish act," Bryant told E! News. "It's something that is really important for your mental health, and that's the kind of overarching story that Josie is telling for the entirety of season three." 

Since Josie just recovered from being evil and literally murdering her classmate, there was an extra layer to be dealt with while acting. 

"She was evil evil, and I was doing scenes with Ben Levin, who was playing Stefan, and we were trying to figure out the extra layer of, 'I'm not Kaylee playing Elena and you're not Ben playing Stefan. This is Kaylee playing Josie who plays Elena, so I know that I killed Alyssa Chang and I know that Jed had a huge crush on Alyssa Chang, so how does that affect Jed's performance with Josie?'" 

Talk about an acting challenge!

There Was No Audience

While the episode featured shadowy shots of Salvatore students watching the production, scenes were not actually performed with an audience present. 

"Since we filmed all of the theater and the actual production of it post-COVID, our performances were done to an empty audience, and just to our main camera crew," star Kaylee Bryant told E! News. "It definitely made it an interesting challenge." 

Hello, Brother

Plec was particularly thrilled with "Hello, Brother," the song sung by Damon (Kaleb/Chris Lee) and Stefan. She sent it to everyone she could think of when she heard it for the first time, including TVD stars Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev and Joseph Morgan and CW President Mark Pedowitz.

"Ian never emailed me back. Classic Ian!" Plec said with a laugh. "Paul texted back immediately and he's like, 'Yo, that's dope.' Then when Mark Pedowitz saw the first cut of the episode just recently, when we delivered it, he said, 'Sign me up to be an investor in the full stage musical of The Vampire Diaries: The Musical and I said, 'Same. I'm ready.'"

A Full Version?

If there were to be a real Vampire Diaries musical, Plec said it would not look exactly like this. 

"We were kind of attacking it from a two pronged approach. One is servicing the twins and what their role in the musical would be, and other was telling a story for hope, which of course meant servicing Klaus and The Originals. So, that didn't leave room for anything else," she said. "And I think if we were ever to do the full version of it, we would do it a lot differently." 

One More Song to Come

While there wasn't a lot of room for anything else from The Vampire Diaries to be included in this particular version of the musical, there is one more song that had to be cut for COVID and scheduling reasons. It's the song Klaus would have sang to Hope, and it will be available on the full soundtrack.

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