‘The Originals’: Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis Were Friends Long Before the Show

Klaus and Marcel had a complicated relationship in The Originals, but the real-life friendship between Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis couldn’t be more different. Long before they played the vampire kings of New Orleans, the two stars were good pals.

Joseph Morgan in a blue shirt and black suit and Charles Michael Davis in a pink shirt and tan suit smile for a picture at The CW's 2013 Upfront
Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Charles Michael Davis auditioned for ‘The Vampire Diaries’ 6 times

Both of the actors have The Vampire Diaries in common. Morgan played Klaus Mikaelson in several seasons of The CW hit series, which of course led to the spinoff. And Davis auditioned for the show six times. As he told Collider in 2013:

“It was this serendipitous thing that had been unfolding. I had auditioned for The Vampire Diaries many times. I’d say five or six times. The first time I went into the office, I hadn’t slept for awhile. I went in to meet the casting directors, and they were like, ‘How are you doing?’ I said, ‘Honestly, I haven’t slept. I’ve been watching YouTube videos, all night. In one of the videos, a guy was like, ‘If you wanna be successful, you’ve gotta not wanna sleep. Beyoncé didn’t sleep, one time, and didn’t eat.’ I was like, ‘Yeah!’ So, to tell you the truth, I’m doing OK.'”

He continued:

“A year passed by and I got hit up by the unit production manager on The Vampire Diaries, who worked on a pilot that I did five years ago. She said, ‘Hey, what are you up to?’ I said, ‘I’m about to work on Grey’s Anatomy.  What are you doing?’ And she said, ‘I’m working on The Vampire Diaries.’ I said, “That’s crazy! I used to audition for them.’ Three days later, I got the audition and, as soon as I read the first few lines of the character’s entrance, I just knew.  I called her back and I said, ‘I’ll see you soon!’

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1 scene in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ inspired ‘The Originals’

In the same interview with Collider, Morgan revealed how The Originals happened in the first place. And it’s all thanks to one scene from The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 14, “Dangerous Liaisons.” He said:

“We did The Originals ball in Season 3, and there’s a photo of all of The Original siblings, standing on this big, lavish staircase. Julie [Plec] sent that to Peter Roth saying, ‘The Originals,’ and three hours later, he said, ‘We need to do this.’ That’s where it started. Though, originally, it was going to be set in Chicago.”

The Ben-Hur alum also said he had no inkling his character had a chance of getting a spinoff.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I came on as a guest for four episodes. There was always the potential to be a regular, but there was also the potential that they would kill me off, if I didn’t do a good job after the four episodes. It’s been an amazing journey.”

Charles Michael Davis, Daniel Gillies, and Joseph Morgan of 'The Originals' stand in front of a black background
Charles Michael Davis, Daniel Gillies, and Joseph Morgan of ‘The Originals’ | Smallz+Raskind/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via Getty Images

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Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis played poker together before ‘The Originals’

In The Originals, Morgan and Davis’ Klaus and Marcel faced off frequently, but they were family. Estranged family at times, but family nonetheless. Klaus raised Marcel like a son when building the French Quarter of New Orleans hundreds of years before the events of The Vampire Diaries. But interpersonal turmoil between Klaus, Marcel, Rebekah Mikaelson, and the rest of the Mikaelson siblings put a massive strain on their bond.

The actors were buddies before they played adversaries, though. Davis told Collider that he and Morgan played in the same poker ring before ever being cast on The CW show.

“Joseph was playing Klaus, and we had played poker, years ago,” he told the outlet. “That audition was the first series regular role that I had auditioned for that pilot season. I auditioned for it in mid-January, and I booked it on February 1.”

I guess you could say Julie Plec called Davis’ bluff when it came to how many times he was willing to audition for her.