Nathan Parsons Talks 'The Originals' Shocker

Tristan de Martel committed his most ruthless and brutal act on last Friday's midseason return of Season 3 of The CW's "The Originals."

(Spoiler alert! This story contains major plot details from "The Originals." If you aren't caught up yet, bookmark this link to come back to later.)

When "The Originals" returned for its first episode of the new year at the end of last week (after sister show "The Vampire Diaries"), it delivered a shocking and heart-wrenching twist. Tristan took Hayley and Jackson hostage, and after the couple was chained up and tortured with wolfsbane, the cruel vampire broke Hayley by tearing Jackson's heart from his body, killing him.

Nathan Parsons, who has played Jackson since the first season, knew before Season 3 even started filming that his character would meet his end. Saying goodbye though, was obviously still tough.

"We've been together for two years now doing three different seasons and you become – especially when you're out in Atlanta and you're on location – you become really close with the cast and crew, because those are the only people you see, and those are people you hang out with, so it was definitely tough to say goodbye to sort of the friendships that you make out there," Nathan told Access Hollywood, when we asked him how teary-eyed his last day was. "So much is shooting in Atlanta, I kind of choked [back the tears] and just said, 'I'm sure I'll be back, I'll be back in Atlanta at some point. Not for this, but for anything else. I'm sure I'll be back at some point,' and that's sort of how we left it." How do you think Jackson changed Hayley? Do you think he leaves her a different person than [she was] before their marriage and relationship?
Nathan Parsons: I believe so. Yes, absolutely. I think Hayley had never really known a whole bunch about her werewolf background, and being married to Jackson, being a part of the pack, and being sort of welcomed into that opened her eyes to a whole world outside of the Original family that she'd never really seen. And hopefully, going forward, that'll have some impact on her.

Access: Phoebe [delivered] a beautiful speech to you as you were there lifeless as Jackson. Was it hard to listen to [because it was so emotional]?
Nathan: Yeah. That entire day was really intense, and Phoebe did an incredible job of staying with it, staying in it -- and hearing her talk and I could tell she was -- I couldn't see her, but I could tell she was crying. [The speech] was beautiful to listen to and every now and then I would sneak a little glance over if I didn't think they were looking at me, just because I mean, she's incredible. I think she killed it in that scene.

Access: Do you know anything about what happens to the curse now that Jackson has died? 
Nathan: I can only speculate because I don't know, I haven't seen any scripts, obviously, after this episode.

Access: But let's face it, you're an expert.
Nathan: (laughs) I would say it wasn't like the marriage officially ended because they were still married when Jackson died. So, I believe that it will stay fixed – that the werewolves will still be able to go back and forth as they please -- because Jackson [died while they were still] a married couple and I think that bond sort of lasts.

Access: Since you've played a vampire [on 'True Blood'] and a werewolf [on 'The Originals'], is there one that's more fun than the other, or is there one that's harder for you as an actor? I don't know if you made observations on that. I am curious since you got to explore both worlds.
Nathan: Yeah, I did. I preferred being a werewolf, to be honest with you, just because I've always strongly identified with wolves, specifically with that sort of animalistic side of human nature. I find it fascinating. I have a couple of dogs and when I started playing Jackson, I would study my dogs and see how they would interact with things and there's a side of human nature that is still very based on instinct, which I believe werewolves are more attune to because they sort of have one foot in both worlds. They're part animal, part human. Vampires – they're technically undead. …  I feel like the human nature, the instinct that we have, dies when you become a vampire and you just become – I don't know, it's just different. I found it fascinating, especially when I was doing both simultaneously, because in one city -- in LA -- I would be a vampire, and there's an agelessness to them, a timelessness, there's a sort of otherworldly quality, whereas with a werewolf, it's very grounded and when I would go to Atlanta, then I would become this whole different beast, become very grounded and very attuned to nature and what was going on around in my environment. 

Access: Now we just have to get you on one of the DC shows and then I can ask you about [vampire, werewolf and superhero.
Nathan: (laughs) Let's do it!

"The Originals" continues Fridays at 9/8c on The CW.

-- Jolie Lash

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