Since becoming a vampire on The CW's "The Originals," Cami O'Connell's behavior has gotten wildly unpredictable.
She snapped Klaus Mikaelson's neck, knocking him out, compelled her poor human friend Detective Kinney to do her bidding, and insulted Jackson's grieving widow Hayley in just one episode of the drama.
"The darkness you're seeing is all of the darkness that Cami has been repressing inside of her," Leah Pipes said of the change since Cami became supernatural in the midseason premiere. "And it's revealing that she has been trying to fix Klaus because she has all of that stuff in her, and she feels like maybe fixing him will fix herself. So, you realize how they have a lot more in common than we initially thought."
In last week's episode, Cami, who had been a friend to the Mikaelsons (and more to Klaus), betrayed them by stealing the little horse figurine made out of the only substance that can kill an Original vampire. With that white oak-made toy in her possession though, Cami is in major danger. Leah spoke with Access Hollywood about Cami's decision to take the dangerous trinket, her character's current feelings regarding Klaus, and what it's like to get a lecture from the Mikaelson brothers.
AccessHollywood.com: If human Cami could meet vampire Cami, what do you think she would say to her? What would be her sort of professional analysis?
Leah Pipes: I think she'd want to save this girl the way she wanted to save Klaus. And also, she would probably be shaken by her because she's the mirror of all of the things that human Cami was repressing. Now, that's the direct mirror and it's all of her demons out and she's sort of proud of them and that's been Cami's biggest fear this whole time. And also, she saw that with her brother, which really scared her. And now, if she were to see that with herself, I think it would be similar to watching her twin slip into darkness.
Access: Is there any of the old Cami left? And the reason I ask that question is that scene Cami and Hayley had where Cami insulted Hayley about Jackson and then she apologized, and then, at the end of the episode, we saw that she was listening to Klaus in the other room the whole time. I'm kind of curious what, if any, of old Cami is left?
Leah: I think that there is a lot of old Cami, but the new Cami is going to get what she wants no matter what and she needs those dark objects [that Klaus took from her] because a baby vampire is not powerful in this world and she's so sick of feeling vulnerable and needing other people to protect her. She's determined to protect herself now and unfortunately, she had to be a major b***h to Hayley to get what she wanted. I don't think she's especially proud of that moment, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Access: And poor Hayley just had to deal with [the brutal loss of Jackson], and then Cami turned on her. That was so horrible.
Leah: I know. It's not a great moment for Cami. I think Cami had a lot of questionable moments, which I think is awesome. I love noble Cami, but I was starting to get a little bit, 'She's just so perfect and morally sound all the time. Can she just do something wrong? Can she make one mistake?' and this last episode was all of the mistakes (laughs).
Access: You mentioned being a baby vampire, but it made me wonder, knowing how strong older vampires are, why she would take such a big risk of getting the little horse made out of the white oak, because she's not strong enough to fight off other vampires. That just seemed like an interesting move.
Leah: I think she really believes that this is the only way she can get back these dark objects. She's so tired of Klaus manipulating her into doing exactly what he wants and she is going to play his game now. She's going to manipulate him into getting what she wants and needs to survive, and she knows that Klaus will never go after her, and Elijah will never go after her, and she makes it clear that she's not going to go after him with this, she's just using it as leverage. But you're right, it's a very dangerous, stupid move on her part. I agree.
Access: Does she have any interest in Klaus romantically, at this point?
Leah: The connection she has with Klaus goes very deep, and she's going through a hard time right now, but that connection can't go anywhere because it's so -- it's so deep within the fiber of her being. But I think it's not happy anymore, it's more complicated and frustrating.
Joseph Morgan as Klaus and Leah Pipes as Cami in 'The Originals' Season 3 (The CW)
Access: None of our poor characters on 'The Originals' are having any luck in love this season.
Leah: I know. No one is living happily ever after, it seems, on 'The Originals.' It's hard. Life's hard in New Orleans and it's just getting harder.
Access: If Klaus can't get through to Cami right now, can Vincent because of his past relationship with her, and the fact that he's super-duper powerful?
Leah: Yeah, and he's kind of one of the few people that she really, really deeply trusted as a human because he's genuine. He's one of the few genuine people and you will continue to see them be buds. But again, her relationship with him is complicated, just as all relationships she has now are complicated because she's so complicated within herself. I think you're going to see her slowly not be as confident with decisions as she was in the past episode, so you'll see the inner struggle more.
Access: With Cami having the little piece of white oak, the little horse, how in danger is she, because there are a lot of people that would really, really like that?
Leah: Yeah, she's in insane amounts of danger. She's probably in more danger now than she ever has been throughout the entire series for sure!
Access: So the secret is going to get out that she's got it then? That word is going to travel fast through this New Orleans community?
Leah: Well, you know, whether it does or not, it's a ticking time bomb. It's literally holding a ticking time bomb. ... When has something that big ever been kept a secret? But also, it's a really bad thing to have in your possession. It's kind of the worst thing you could have in your possession and that is -- I think that's going to dawn on her pretty soon.
Access: Does that mean we're going to get a pretty intense confrontation with one of the Mikaelsons and Cami in these next couple of episodes?
Leah: Yeah. Oh yeah! She's not going to get away with it scot-free. Are you kidding (laughs)? She's getting a lecture. She deserves it too.
Access: Who's the sterner lecturer – Klaus or Elijah?
Leah: They both have their different tactics. Klaus is more like how my mom used to lecture me – it's a lot of yelling, it's a lot of, 'You disobeyed me,' but then Elijah does 'disappointed dad' in a way that is heartbreaking and I think that 'disappointed dad,' for me, personally, does better when it comes to lecturing. I never want to get the 'disappointed dad' talk. The other person who's really good at the 'disappointed dad' lecture is our executive producer, Mike Narducci, and I think he incorporates [the] 'disappointed dad' into Elijah, so Elijah has a very clear voice in that.
"The Originals" continues Friday at 9/8c, after "The Vampire Diaries" on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash