‘The Originals’ Q&A: Maisie Richardson-Sellers On Rebekah’s Witch Situation

Danielle Campbell as Davina and Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Rebekah in ‘The Originals’ (The CW)

On “The Originals,” Rebekah is about to face one of her greatest threats yet – the return of a witch.

The host body Rebekah Mikaelson is occupying is starting to wake up, and instead of being just an average witch, host Eva Sinclair is not only super-powerful, but also apparently a serial killer as viewers discovered in last week’s show.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers, who is playing Rebekah, hinted that there could be dire trouble for her character as Eva starts to make her presence known. In a new interview with Access Hollywood, the actress also dished on meeting Claire Holt, the original “Originals” Rebekah, and keeping secrets about her other project, “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.”

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AccessHollywood.com: There was a photo on Instagram [on ‘The Originals’ writer Carina MacKenzie’s account] showing you’ve met Claire Holt. What was that like?
Maisie Richardson-Sellers:
It was actually completely coincidental. I was having a drink with one of the writers and she just walked in and so it was lovely. A nice little spontaneous surprise. Yeah, we had a nice chat about it all and it was really nice to meet her. Obviously I’ve studied her quite a lot so it was fun.

Access: You had never chatted at all?
No, because she’d been off and I’d been in Atlanta and she’d been working in LA, so we hadn’t really crossed paths yet. But we got on really well.

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Access: I’m hoping they can get you guys on screen together at some point.
That would be really fun.

Access: How much of her stuff did you watch to try and nail [the role of] Rebekah Mikaelson?
I went all the way back to ‘Vampire Diaries,’ just to really get an idea of, but I sort of watched pretty much most of her stuff, because I think it’s so important, ’cause the relationships are so well formed when I came in already, so I really wanted to do that justice and to really understand sort of what’s going on with each of the characters that she’s interacting with. So I focused mainly on ‘The Originals’ and watching that again and again, just to really get a sense of her, and I think often with this whole body jumping thing, they don’t want you to completely replicate everything, because it is a new body, but it’s just kind of, ‘bring in her essence into who the character is already,’ sort of thing.

Access: Do you think you, personally, would be friends with Rebekah?
It’s tricky. She’d be such a good person to have on your side, like she’s loyal and so loving and so passionate about those she cares about, so I definitely would want to be friends with her, more than I’d want to be enemies with her. I think she’s so fiery and that can either be wonderful, if you’re on her side, or terrifying if you’re not.

Access: Mikael is back and on the loose. How bad is that right now?
It’s interesting because this is the first time we’ve seen him interact with Freya, so we’re now seeing this new side of him. I think it’s, you know, it’s never going to be good when Mikael’s around. We have a sort of pretty bad track record with that, but maybe having Freya there will enable us to see a new side of him, and we’ll see how the others react to their relationship.

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Access: Can you talk a little bit about your character’s mental status at this point in time?
So at the moment, Rebekah’s having these weird visions. She starts to have these visions and she starts to realize that Eva, whose body she’s in, is basically waking up and trying to take control again. So she’s in a very volatile position. I’d say it’s the first time ever she’s been in a mortal body, so not only is she dealing with this sort of double soul inside her, but she’s also in a body, which is extremely fragile. So at the moment, she’s pretty terrified and vulnerable. I think it’s quite interesting also with Marcel, because it’s the first time that she’s been the less powerful one, so that’s going to change their relationship a bit, and she’s just – she’s very lost at the moment, I would say.

Access: When did you find out that you were actually playing two characters?
It’s interesting because you have to remember when Rebekah was put into this body, it was inside a witch asylum, so clearly the body is in the asylum for a certain reason, so there’s always been that option. I always was aware of the fact, you know, who is she? We never find out really who she was, but I was hoping that would come up, because it’s fascinating and we know a bit about the other characters. They’ve got double names, whereas we never knew Rebekah’s body’s name. We only knew her as Rebekah, so it was always an option and I think it’s so exciting to really be able to discover that.

Access: Are we going to get to see a lot of Eva Sinclair in the coming episode or weeks? You had just a few lines of dialogue as her.
I think what happens is these flashes start to get more and more frequent and more and more vivid, so I think as that happens it shows that Eva’s becoming more powerful, so certainly there’s gonna be a development of that.

Access: How does Vincent feel about Rebekah because I know he’s going to be involved in this episode, but Freya did something to him in the last episode and said he’s not going to be a problem anymore.
Just in that moment, before he passed out and he says, ‘Who are you?’ to Freya… clearly it’s not Finn anymore inside the body, so in the next episode we also learn a bit more about who Vincent is, who his body is, and we know that he was quite a powerful witch from what Finn’s been doing, so maybe he can also tell us a bit more about who Eva is, who is another witch.

Access: Klaus owes your character quite a bit of debt for taking care of his child and protecting her and keeping her safe. Can we expect him to drop everything and come help her out once he figures out what’s going on?
Yeah, I mean, they have a very interesting relationship. They love each other so deeply, even though it’s also been very fraught, so I think when he realizes just how serious the situation is, he’s going to stop what he’s doing and sort of try and figure out how he can save her, because at the end of the day, if the body Rebekah’s in dies, then Rebekah dies with it because she’s stuck inside a mortal body. So it’s pretty serious at the moment.

Access: How high are the stakes with Eva involved because she’s obviously a power-stealer?
We’ve never seen a host body waking up before on the show, so clearly she’s a lot more powerful than we’ve dealt with before, and the fact that she was trapped in this asylum clearly shows that they have no other alternative but to try and get rid of her for good, but she’s a big force to be reckoned with, and I think the problem is, if you hurt the body, while Rebekah’s still in it, what happens to Rebekah? So they’re gonna have to try and face the issue without hurting Rebekah, who’s in the same body.

Access: You have another project as well. I want to know about keeping secrets. You do a ‘Star Wars’ movie [‘Star Wars: Episode VII’] and then you go to the set of another show. Actors have to ask you [about it]. How do you keep secrets?
It’s hard, it’s hard. I guess just because I’m so excited about it and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else, I’d rather wait until everyone can share it at the same time. So it’s sort of – it’s keeping a secret until I get the pleasure to reveal it, so it’s not as bad as having a secret forever.

Access: Who was most interested in trying to get information out of you – of ‘The Originals’ cast? Or were they pretty good?
They were all really good. A couple of the guys on the crew are sort of huge, huge ‘Star Wars’ fans, so that was quite funny. So they got a bit overexcited, but everyone in the cast understands it, so they were all pretty respectful of it.

“The Originals” continues Monday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash

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