Taylor Kinney plays Mason Lockwood, the sexy werewolf who has stolen some of the Salvatore brothers thunder on ‘Vampire Diaries.’ In the most recent episode, viewers learned that Mason is in collusion– and in lust — with Katherine, Elena’s evil vampire doppleganger who is wreaking havoc on Mystic Falls this season. Kinney discussed the moonstone, the Lockwood curse, and why he and Ian Somerhalder enjoy playing with guns.
Is Katherine compelling Mason or does he really love her?
It’s a good question. I don’t know if it gets altogether answered. We saw last week that they’ve known each other for at least a year. She can compel humans and other vampires, but the full weight of her powers we don’t know. So [I'm not sure] if she’s compelling werewolves or compelling Mason. But they’re really into each other. I can tell you that.
Why does Katherine want the moonstone?
You have to watch. I can tell you that it has a lot of power. It can do a lot of things. It’s evolved since we started, since talking with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec about storyline and where things are going to go. I can’t say for sure what it does, but I can tell you it can do a lot.
The promos show the Salvatore brothers plotting to kill Katherine. How will Mason be involved?
It’s been such a huge boxing match between Mason and the Salvatore brothers, where once he gets involved in anything that pertains to those two there’s opposition and there’s tension, and that will escalate. So anything that they have going on, especially now, Mason’s going to side with Katherine because he’s into her. He’s not so naive where he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on with Katherine. He’s just going to be another notch on the bedpost of people she is working over.
When did Mason find out about the Lockwood curse? Neither Tyler nor his father seemed aware of it.
Being a Lockwood, there’s things in the family history, like coming of age, where you hear about these things, because the brothers knew. Tyler didn’t know and that has something to do with why [Mason] came back. Mason being the black sheep, he left town. He came back to pay his respects and make sure that Tyler was prepared and knew what he had inside of him, that the things he was feeling and the rage that he had and the temper that he had sometimes wasn’t just him being an overzealous teenager, that he actually had something inside of him that if it goes unrestrained and let loose can be really harmful, which is what happened to Mason. So you don’t know from childbirth that this happens, but it’s passed down through generations. Mason’s not a bad guy. He might do bad things sometimes but he knows prior when [the transformation is] going to happen and how it’s going to happen. He goes out of his way to get to places where he can restrain himself so he’s not on the loose killing innocent people.
When is Tyler going to kill a human and activate the curse?
I don’t know. But I can feel it coming.
In the season premiere it was mentioned that a lot of the Lockwoods’ wealth was stolen from people that were killed by vampires. How does Mason feel about that?
That’s part of the reason he left. He comes back now because he’s one of the last remaining Lockwoods. It’s time to man up and take care of family stuff. It’s never been high on his priority list, even since he has transformed. It’s not like he’s come back to go on a killing spree and rid the world of vampires or else he wouldn’t chain himself up. He’d go to the town square on every full moon and let it rip if that was the case.
There is one mystery of Mystic Falls that has never been addressed on the show: why is every single man in town gorgeous?
Why wouldn’t they be? Are you kidding me? Because it’s Mystic Falls. You’re not allowed in there if you don’t meet that criteria.
How has your life changed since you joined the cast? Have you had to deal with any fans?
The fans, you never know. You have a really young crowd like 10, 15, then you’ll have grown men come up to me and say, ‘Dude, I like that show.’ I’m like, ‘Wow. Really?’ My cousin is in her early thirties with kids and it’s her favorite show. Across the board, the fans of this show never cease to amaze me. People love it.
How did you shoot the scenes where Mason transforms into a wolf?
It is a real wolf. The only thing they use in terms of CGI is, I think, they do a little thing to the eyes. We’ve had wolves on set and the handlers come in. These are awesome creatures. They’re maybe a foot or two bigger than any dog. They’re always pacing. They’re always looking. When we did the one reveal where he’s in the woods and he’s confronted by Tyler and he says, ‘Yeah, that was me,’ that was me covered in dirt and wearing a Speedo. That was pretty hilarious just to be working and shooting in front of 70 people and trying to be serious.
Who are your closest friends in the cast?
You’d be surprised how tight knit everybody is. On other jobs, especially when you work out of town, a lot of people stick to themselves. Everybody pretty much gets together on a Friday night just to shoot the breeze and rehash the week, [and] have a nice meal. I’ve gone to a couple baseball games with Michael Trevino. I’ve gone skeet shooting with Ian [Somerhalder]. [I've] had burgers and watched a couple games with Paul Wesley.
Tell me about skeet shooting with Ian.
In 1996 they had the summer Olympics in Atlanta. They built a big shooting range. It’s still there and they do a lot of skeet shooting. I grew up in the country hunting and clay pigeon shooting, so when I heard about it I was like,’How far away is it?’ Ian is a good old boy, he’s a country boy, so we went out. It’s competition style where you get maybe thirty clay birds, and you get your shot gun and you yell, ‘Pull,’ and each station will shoot out one or two. It’s almost like a three-point line on a basketball court. I think the first time we went shooting I won up on Ian and then the next couple times he beat me by two or three. He’s good. We get pretty competitive with it. It’s a good stress reliever.