Exclusive ‘The Originals’ Season 2 Interview: Sebastian Roché Delves Into The Heart of Mikael

After originating the role of the vengeful Mikael on The Vampire Diaries, Sebastian Roché has made a more permanent move to The Originals in season two reuniting Mikael with Klaus and Elijah. While Mikael is currently struggling with the witch Davina, New Orleans is filling up with his family members. In addition to his two sons, his wife has also returned to the fold making the family dynamics even more complicated than usual. Recently, TV Equals chatted with Roché about his extended stay on The Originals, the demands of playing Mikael and much more.

New episodes of The Originals season two airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.

TV Equals: How does it feel to be a more permanent part of The Originals this season?

Sebastian Roché: It’s really wonderful because this is a role that I have been with for quite a few years. I’m really glad for the chance to enrich the character. I think Mikael is a very rich character so I am extremely thankful to get to explore new avenues with Mikael, especially in relation to the family. It’s going to make for an interesting season.

TV Equals: Can you tell us anything about Mikael’s arc in season two?

Sebastian Roché: Without spilling too much, there is going to be a lot of epic confrontations this year. There are going to be things from the past…I don’t want to tell too much. All I can say is he is going to be quite the presence for pretty much the whole season.

TV Equals: What is it like for Mikael to be at the will of Davina?

Sebastian Roché: I don’t know how he feels about it. Mikael is one of the most powerful characters there is, so I think there is an immense amount of frustration to be subordinated by such a young woman. He knew she had quite a lot of power, but he never knew she had the will to actually to defy him.

I think there is frustration, and also maybe some admiration for her standing up to me. Who would dare to stand up to me?

TV Equals: You have played Mikael for some time now, how do you see his relationship with his children?

Sebastian Roché: It’s an extremely complicated relationship, but he feels he has been betrayed by his family. First and foremost betrayed by the one son who is actually not his son. His relationship has been deformed by the fact that a lie was created when Klaus basically accused his father of killing his mother (i.e. my wife). It basically set the whole family against me. So there is sort of a love/hate relationship with other members of the family because they support the one enemy I have.

It’s a very complex relationship. I think he has been dragging a thousand years of hatred and revenge and pain with him which makes for a complicated relationship with his family. We will see some interactions with his family this year that will make for some fireworks, I have to admit.

TV Equals: We spoke to Joseph Morgan last season and he spoke very highly of you. How have you two cultivated such natural chemistry?

Sebastian Roché: I think he is a wonderful actor and not only is he a wonderful actor, he is truly passionate about acting, passionate about the work and extremely attentive to his cast mates. He is a true joy to work with; so focused on what he does– he is a true professional. There are no words to describe how wonderful he is.

We do have this wonderful chemistry together. It is a wonderful thing when you come on set and you play a character who is pivotal to his character and realize we do have amazing chemistry. I really can’t explain it; from the first day we met we knew we would have a great relationship together. I think we knew that we both work the same way, we both have the same ideals, we’re both passionate about acting, hard workers and we both approach characters the same way. We are both very intense people, so I think we have a very intense energy. I think it is funny that the son who is an illegitimate son is actually the closest to me. Even physically, there is somewhat of a resemblance. As soon as we met each other it was if we had known each other for years.

TV Equals: You are obviously a lovely person, but onscreen, like in the season one dream sequences, you can be absolutely terrifying…

Sebastian Roché: I was even scared of myself in those scenes. When I saw it, I was like holy s***, I am terrifying.

I’ve been talking about how Mikael necessitates so much energy. To play the role, you need so much energy because I have to sort of bring with me this immense baggage of hatred and revenge and vengeance. He is like a volcano about to erupt. He really is like a nuclear reaction about to make a fusion. He is literally always on the verge of explosion and extreme violence.

He is brilliantly intelligent, and if he wasn’t motivated by rage, he would probably be a very funny individual. When he confronts his family pure rage comes out. It’s funny, he is actually an exhausting character to play. I love it, but it requires me to be so focused. It’s a wonderful character. If this were a character in a movie, he would be sort of a symbol, quite a mythical character in a superhero world, I think.

TV Equals: Do you think Mikael has any redeeming factors?
Sebastian Roché: I think he does, everything he does is motivated by pain. There is a lot of rage in the character, but there is a lot of pain and betrayal. There was love for his family, and the betrayal shows that he loves his family. I do think a part of him loves Klaus. He is closer to him than any other child. So I think he does have redeemable qualities. I think there is a heart enveloped by stone, a thousand years of stone, but there is still a heart within the man.

TV Equals: If you could guest star on any show, which show would it be and why?

Sebastian Roché: Game of Thrones. Because it truly is one of my favorite shows. Game of Thrones, House of Cards— these are really intelligent shows.

Game of Thrones because it is full of fantastical aspects and I think I would fit beautifully within the realm of Game of Thrones as a long lost Lannister. House of Cards because I love political dramas and I love the show. True Detective is a show that I thought was a remarkable show as well. The Good Wife is very good show, and I would love to play a lawyer, someone who is the antithesis of who I am. Of course Scandal, but I did it already! I would love to go back and stay a little longer.

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