Hey, “Vampire Diaries” fans — did you know that our favorite busboy-next-door, Matt Donovan, is a trained ballroom dancer?
Well, sort of. We chatted with Zach Roerig last week and he revealed that to prepare for Thursday’s glamorous ball episode, the cast took formal dancing lessons.
When we ask him when Matt would’ve had time to brush up on his waltzing skills, Zach scoffs.
“Matt Donovan is a jack of many trades!” he laughs. “Do you know how many
books Matt reads? What else is he doing with his time? The only reason
Matt is so polite – he’s never had a father figure, no one to lead by
example – so the way I see it, Matt obviously has read Emily Post’s
Guide to Etiquette. He hangs out in the break room at the Grill and teaches himself to dance. Clearly.”
In last week’s episode, Klaus suggested that Elena’s ideal match might not be either of the Salvatores, but might instead be Matt. Don’t worry, Stelena and Delena shippers — Zach tells us that for now, Matt remains squarely in the Friend Zone.
“In the life of the show, I think Matt would have just as
good a chance as anyone, but right now, Matt isn’t a source of romantic
companionship to Elena,” he says. “Klaus is just trying to get under Damon’s skin
by making digs like that, especially because they did date in the past.”
That said, we can expect to see Matt and Elena spend more time together, particularly when she needs to step away from the chaos caused by the Original family’s return to Mystic Falls. “Nina and I were recently talking about how what we’re doing now with
Matt and Elena lines up with the pilot and the back story between the
two characters that was established then,” says Zach. “It’s something that hasn’t
necessarily been shown on screen, but it’s always been there.”
In previous seasons, Matt may have felt less essential to the show, but Zach says that these days, he feels more integral to the series and he’s not necessarily looking for Matt to get in on the vampire action. “The
question for me with Matt has been ‘Where does he fit in? What’s his
purpose?’ Right now, I feel really content as an actor. I finally
feel like I know what Matt’s purpose is. I know it sounds kind of
cheesy, but remaining the only pure human being in Mystic Falls is
important. I’m at a place where I really understand where he fits in with
everything. The amount of work has been consistent with what I’ve had
before, but I’ve had some really nice moments and I value that.”
As if the citizens of Mystic Falls didn’t have enough to deal with, the town has recently been rocked by the presence of a ruthless serial killer who is taking out members of the Council. You can cross Matt Donovan off your list of suspects, thank you very much.
“I would definitely say no!” Zach laughs. “I would be bummed about that, though who
knows — maybe Matt would survive killing all those people. I dig it
here, I dig Atlanta, I want to stick around!”
Last season, we saw Matt take issue with the vampires and team up with the Sheriff to take them down. Now that he’s settled down, he’s not interested in being part of the Council. “Matt doesn’t need to be on the Council, because the Council is full of people with their own agendas anyway,” Zach says. “Matt just is what he is. I basically think that’s what we can expect to see more of this season. Watching a guy be brave, with no motive behind it and no superpowers fueling it, it’s just what it is. I read a review that called Matt a human band-aid and I was like, ‘Yes!'”
That bravery is what could get Matt in trouble, though. We reminded Zach of a recent scene in which Tyler showed up to Caroline’s funeral-slash-birthday, and Matt stood up, playing the tough guy card — even though Tyler could easily break him in half. “I think Matt still has some feelings for Caroline, and Tyler’s his buddy,” Zach says. “I think in some situations, like that, Matt’s like, ‘Okay, if anyone is
going to kill me, let him do it. Right now.'”
Despite the lingering feelings for Caroline, Matt’s not pursuing her anymore — which is probably good for the general longevity of his life, given that Klaus has taken an interest. “I think Matt and Caroline will always remain close in their friendship. For Caroline, like with Elena, Matt is a tie to who she was and who she wants to remain, when she was a human. Matt’s a constant reminder to all these people of who they really are.”
Zach doesn’t expect Matt to have another love interest this season (though it should be said that they haven’t read all the scripts quite yet). “I feel like personally, yeah, it’d be fun to have a love interest, but Matt has his hands full with life right now. He prides himself on being available for Elena or whoever needs him. He takes pride in being relatable,” Zach says.
His buddy Jeremy recently hit the road and left town, but barring compulsion and/or death, Zach expects Matt to stick around Mystic Falls for the long run. “I think Matt takes a lot of pride in Mystic Falls being home, because he
doesn’t have anything else,” he says. “He feels a
loyalty to Elena, overall, because she’s a best friend, sister, and
first girlfriend all wrapped in one. Elena kind of is Mystic Falls to
Matt, and I don’t think he could leave either for long. I could see him
going in search of his mother at some point to find some closure there,
but not for long.”
Though he is invited to the ball by a “secret admirer” — and may have an unexpected vampire confrontation — us Matt fans should keep our fingers crossed that he stays far away from those Original vamps (even though Matt and Rebekah would totally be hot together).
“I think as soon as you see Matt involved in that circle, those Originals, it might be the last time you see him,” Zach laughs. “I want him to be involved, but I don’t want him to get overzealous. Last year I felt like he was safe because he didn’t know about the vampires, and now he’s like ‘I know about all this! Vampires, werewolves, all of it! I’m just walking around and no one’s killing me!’ I don’t want him to think that he’s got a right to try to be a hero when he doesn’t.”
Tune in Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST. (Not that we need to remind you, but there are tuxedos, you guys. This is not one to let linger on the DVR.)