‘The Vampire Diaries’: Michael Trevino Auditioned to Play This Character Before Landing the Role of Tyler Lockwood

The Vampire Diaries is a fantasy show about a group of friends grappling with supernatural occurrences that plague their small town. A cast of talented actors brought the characters to life, and it is difficult to imagine anyone else in their shoes. But The Vampire Diaries scene-stealer Michael Trevino confessed that he did not originally audition for the role he ultimately won.

Michael Trevino
Michael Trevino | Frederick M. Brown / Stringer via getty

Michael Trevino originally auditioned to play a vampire

The Vampire Diaries introduced the hotheaded jock Tyler Lockwood, played by Trevino, in season 1.  Tyler’s story took a surprising turn when the rich kid accidentally killed a girl, which triggered his hereditary werewolf curse and led to some very juicy drama.

Trevino brought a unique spark to Tyler, playing the character as strong yet vulnerable, which made him very easy to root for. It is tough to picture Trevino as a different character, but he initially auditioned for two other roles before landing the part that was destined for him.

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In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Trevino opened up about the audition process. He told the publication, “I remember going in for Damon. That didn’t work out so well. Then I went in for Stefan, and I got the no on that.”

The role of the unapologetic wildcard Damon Salvatore went to Ian Somerhalder. Playing the part of Damon’s tortured brother Stefan Salvatore was Paul Wesley. And the scene partners sizzled on screen for eight delicious seasons. But there was something else in the cards for Trevino.

The creator of the show encouraged Michael Trevino to audition for the role of Tyler

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Trevino recalled that after the two ill-fated auditions, The Vampire Diaries creator, Julie Plec, encouraged him to try out for the part of Tyler.

Julie Plec said, “Why don’t you do Tyler?” And I said, “Sure why not?” I auditioned for Tyler and in the process — one of the last moments until you book the job is you do your network test and then you do your studio test. Well, out of everybody that was doing the test — and I can remember seeing Kat Graham there, I remember seeing Zach Roerig –you’re allowed to get 5, maybe 10 minutes in with the director before you do the test. And for some reason, we ran out of time and I was the only one who wasn’t able to get a director session in before the test, so I remember freaking out about that.

Michael Trevino to Entertainment Weekly

Regardless of the timing snafu, Trevino apparently nailed the audition. He won the long-term gig, which amounted to a whopping 143 out of the 171 episodes. Trevino’s Tyler became a key player within The Vampire Diaries series-long narrative arc, and he even got to transform into supervillain Klaus’ first ever wolf-vampire hybrid. And that’s pretty cool.

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