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Meet Enzo from The Vampire Diaries at Oz Comic Con Sydney
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I recently interviewed Michael Malarkey as he's currently out in Australia for Oz Comic Con. Michael has appeared on stage and screen, but he's best known for playing the role of Enzo on The Vampire Diaries. Here's what we spoke about:
Note: Responses may have been edited for length or clarity.
Q: Out of all the roles you've played, which did you find the most challenging?
A: "Playing Elvis in the London West End production, Million Dollar Quartet was challenging because with real-life, especially someone so famous as Elvis, you have a wealth of material like books, movies, and concert footage to draw from, so you're up against other peoples expectations. There is huge pressure with those expectations, whereas, when you're an actor playing a character, the only pre-conception usually, is the writer's ideas of what that character should be like. Before playing Elvis, I looked at what Joaquin Phoenix did with Walk the Line to instead, be that person, it really resonated with me, so I looked to that for inspiration."
Q: What drew you to the role of Enzo on The Vampire Diaries?
A: "Sometimes you don't choose the role, the role chooses you. I've always loved gothic storytelling; stories filled with darknesss, which comes across in my music and also the opportunity to play a vampire I thought was really cool."
Q: Is there a memorable episode or moment of Vampire Diaries that stands out to you?
A: "There's plenty but in season seven, there was a sword fighting scene. I trained in stage combat and I finished five disciplines of stage combat. We worked so quickly the first time, we had to re-shoot it and slow it down for the cameras; we didn't need the stunt doubles at all which was an awesome feeling, something I'm really proud of."
Q: Did you keep any mementoes from the set of anything you worked on?
A: "No, I like to finish the job and move onto my next project. For me it's like I'm packing everything in a box and packing it away. I'm very much looking forward to my next series, The oath, where I play a character named 'Sam Foster', it's set in Puerto Rico about crime gangs. I just had to evacuate Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria before coming to Oz Comic Con."
Q: Was that scary, flying during a hurricane?
A: "No, luckily we were one of three flights that got out before it hit proper, we were really lucky but I heard it was pretty bad."
Q: Matt Davis mentioned to me, that he's been talking about writing a Vampire Diaries movie, is this something you'd be keen to see happen?
A: "Is he pulling your leg? I'm going to call him up now and double check. As I said I like to finish off a character and move on, but If there was something different, and there was something new in it for the fans, then yes. Maybe vampires in a nursing home, that'd be funny."
Q: You've just released an album, Mongrels, with a European tour, do you have any plans to tour in Australia or maybe perform a side-gig whilst here with Oz Comic-Con?
A: "We were going to try to have some gigs, but my schedule has been crazy busy, I've made a lot of connections in Australia on this trip, so we'll be able to make it happen when I have a spare moment. Right now I have too much on, but I definitely want to bring the show here, and spend some time exploring Australia."
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Q: Did your acting experiences influence your music in any way or do you keep them totally separate?
A: "Both of them inform each other, I was a musician, before I was an actor. So both involve pulling inflexions and sounds from day to day life using my voice. People loved the voice of Enzo and it was my singing which helped create that."
Q: What's the one thing you really want to do whilst in Australia?
A: "I'm hoping to get out of the city and explore some wilderness. I love getting out in nature and just breathing clean air."
Q: Will you be taking your guitar to The Vampire Diaries dinner? Can fans expect a mini-impromptu concert?
A: "Not unless they [Oz Comic Con] provide an amp and speaker, hint-hint."
Q: What advice would you give aspiring actors or musicians?
A: "Right now people are made to think that if they go on shows like The X-Factor, and sing perfect renditions of someone like Adele, then they'll get noticed. But it's not about doing something perfectly, it's about doing it honestly. Do some soul searching, I always encourage people to live life, experience other places and people, be interested in other people so you have stories to tell."
Q: After getting a tattoo to celebrate the release of your album, Mongrels, would you consider getting another tattoo?
A: "My son's name is Marlon which means 'little hawke', so maybe a tattoo of a little hawke as a tribute to him."
You can meet Michael Malarkey at Oz Comic Con Sydney, ask him questions at The Vampire Diaries panel discussion, along with Matt Davis and get a photograph taken with him, or an autograph. Check the schedule for event times.