The Originals « Leah Pipes Web | Your Leading Source for Leah Pipes!
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The brave bartender is back… sort of.

When The Originals released the first promo for its upcoming fourth season, there was one face fans were especially shocked to see: Cami O’Connell sitting next to Klaus. Now, just to clarify: Cami died during the show’s third season, and considering that Klaus has been imprisoned for five years when season 4 picks up, there’s a good chance he’s simply imagining her. But for fans of Klaus and Cami, does it really matter?

“It’s pretty clear that Cami was someone who had a massive impact on the entire show and our entire cast of characters but in particular, Klaus,” showrunner Michael Narducci tells EW. “I am positive that the words that she shared with him before she died were echoing in his mind as he went through that trial, as he was stabbed by Marcel, and while he has been tormented and incarcerated for the past five years.”

And even though the show picks up five years after Klaus’ sacrifice, fans can bet that the characters are still dealing with what happened during that time. As Narducci puts it, “[Klaus] felt every moment of that five years, in terms of the solitude and the pain and being ripped away, not only from his family, but his daughter. Coming out of that, he’s going to struggle a bit, and we will see some of that struggle. We’ll also get a sense of how he managed to endure and what was going on psychologically with him in his mind for all that time.”

There’s a good chance that Cami’s return has everything to do with “what was going on psychologically” with Klaus during those years. “It gets into the question of once someone comes into your life and influences you in that kind of way, are they ever really separate from you or are they always a part of you?” Narducci says. “I think the show definitely answers that question.”

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Spoilers for Season 4 of The Originals below.

There’s also a special surprise waiting at the 0:27 mark for fans of a certain “brave bartender.”

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Spoiler alert: This post contains plot points from the April 29 episode of The Originals.

After an hour of trying to find a way to save her life, The Originals lost its beloved Cami. For three seasons, Cami has been the human, psychologist, bartender, friend, love interest, new vampire, and more. And now, Klaus has lost the woman he loved.

It was an emotional hour for everyone involved, and EW spoke with Leah Pipes about Cami’s farewell, the last scene she filmed, and what’s next for her.

EW: When did you know that season 3 would be your last?

LP: I luckily have a really great open dialogue with both of the executive producers, but especially Michael Narducci, so at the very beginning of the season, he was very open with me about Cami’s storyline potentially ending in death, but he promised it would be a good death. Often times, it’s oddly better to die than stick around and do nothing on a television show, so to avoid me being stuck on a show and doing nothing, he gave me a really great storyline, a really great arc, and a really great death.

EW: When I spoke with Narducci, we both agreed that it really feels like Cami leaves a legacy on this show.

LP: Well, I hope so. I haven’t brought myself to read any of the scripts after Cami’s death, so I’m just going to watch them with the viewers.

EW: Were you pleased with how she went out? It’s not often a character gets such a lengthy goodbye on this show.

LP: Yeah it was definitely lengthy. I cried the entire table read kind of uncontrollably. [Laughs] I was trying to keep it under wraps but I really couldn’t. It was cathartic for me because I was also saying goodbye to Cami, who has been such a huge part of my life for three years, and I’ll never play her again. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it, but if I had a choice between leaving a legacy versus sticking around and being this forgotten character, I would choose obviously the former and I feel grateful that I got to have that.

EW: You got to do so much in this episode. Did you have a favorite part of her death in terms of what you got to play?

LP: My favorite part of that episode, interestingly enough, was closing my eyes and listening to everyone’s goodbye because they were my friends and it’s so rare that you just close your eyes and get to hear your fellow actors acting. My favorite goodbye was Phoebe’s [Tonkin]. I just remember closing my eyes and listening to her and just thinking, ‘Wow, what an amazing performance,’ and how lucky I’ve been to have such a dear friend and such a wonderful actress to work with for the last three years. It was hard for me to not start crying while being dead. [Laughs]

EW: Cami’s last major arc on the show was her becoming a vampire, so obviously the writers felt it was important for her to go through that before she died. What do you think being a vampire taught her?

LP: I think it taught her how to maybe not judge a book by its cover, for a lack of a better word. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology, but she expected so much from Klaus and she thought it was as easy for him as it was for her, but then after becoming a vampire, I think she saw the world from his eyes and realized how hard it is to rein in your darkness, especially when you turn into a creature of the night. When she became that, she could understand him in a way that she couldn’t before and hopefully, through her understanding him, he was allowed to understand himself, because that’s what the show is about, really, is Klaus understanding himself and maybe someday redeeming himself and maybe someday turning into a hero instead of a villain.

EW: Do you have a favorite Cami story from all three seasons?

LP: I loved so many of her stories. If I had to choose one, it would be her story with her uncle. I really liked working with Todd Stashwick and I miss Cami just being the ingenue human sometimes with her long hair and her flowy dresses and just really getting to play that wide-eyed, innocent girl. And then over the years, she became a little more tough and a little less ignorantly optimistic. I do miss her optimism in season 1.

EW: What was the last scene you filmed?

LP: The last scene I filmed was the scene where Lucien bites me, so it was with Andy Lees in her bedroom, which I thought was really fitting that I got to say goodbye to Cami’s bedroom, a place where I got to have my favorite scene in the whole series, the Marcel-Cami love scene. [Laughs] I only got it once! I kept pitching it again, but they only let me do it once.

EW: That’s the one where you got in trouble for thrusting, is it not?

LP: It is. It’s hard to not thrust upon Charles Michael Davis. I challenge any woman to resist. [Laughs]

EW: What’s next for you?

LP: Well, when God closes a door, hopefully he opens a window. And hopefully that window is like a Shonda Rhimes television show. [Laughs] Shonda, I’m unemployed and I’m waiting for you!

And thus, we say goodbye to our brave bartender. Thank you Leah, for all of the heart and soul and life you brought to the wonder that is Camille O’Connell. Screencaps from Leah’s final episodes of The Originals will be put up as soon as possible, please be patient with me, I too am mourning the loss of a favorite character.

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