Kayla Ewell went from playing good girl Caitlin on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL from 2004-’05 to sinking her teeth into troubled Vicki Donovan on The CW’s new smash hit, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES — and she’s loving every minute of it!
“Kevin Williamson (DAWSON’S CREEK, Scream) is such a brilliant writer; a lot happens in each episode,” shares Ewell. “People die, there will be new vampires, relationships start to form, others begin to fall apart. There will be so many scary moments and so many heartfelt moments every week. The writers have done a great job balancing the two.”
Ewell joined the toothsome teen drama in the usual way. “I auditioned for this role, like any other job,” notes the actress. “I went straight to a meeting with the producers. Then came the screen test at Warner Brothers (it was down to three girls), then the network test at The CW (down to two girls), and then I had to wait a couple of days — which felt like a couple of years — and then I got the call that I had booked it. I was so happy!”
Especially since Ewell could sense from the beginning that THE VAMPIRE DIARIES had a bright future. “When I first read the pilot [script], I thought, ‘Oh, wow, this pilot will definitely become a series,'” recounts Ewell. “I called my agents and said, ‘I want to audition for the role of Vicki; she is my favorite. And the rest is history.”
As for Ewell’s history with soaps, “Caitlin Ramirez on B&B was so much fun to play,” she beams. “I am, by nature, almost exactly like Caitlin. It was so much fun to learn so many things from all the wonderful veteran actors on the show. I miss them and still keep in contact with some [former co-stars], like Drew Tyler Bell (Thomas) — love him! I have met his new wife; at the time, she was still his girlfriend. They come over to my house for pumpkin-carving parties and fun things like that. John McCook (Eric) and his wife [Laurette] will e-mail me occasionally and let me know how they are doing, and what their daughter Molly is up to. I have talked to Sydney Penny (ex-Samantha) several times, but over the years, it becomes less and less. I will always love her and consider her a mentor. I see Winsor (Harmon, Thorne) at press events from time to time. I ran into Lorenzo Lamas (ex-Hector) at a Fourth of July beach party a couple of years ago, and each time I see any of these wonderful people, we pick up right where we left off! I miss them all and am so happy for their, and the show’s, success — especially winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series this year!” adds Ewell. “I will always remember loving every minute of being on the show and feeling so grateful to work with such wonderful people. We were a family, as I am sure they still are today.”
As for her new family at THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, it does include some fellow folks from daytime — Paul Wesley (Stefan; ex-Max, GUIDING LIGHT) and Zach Roerig (ex-Casey, AS THE WORLD TURNS), who plays Ewell’s onscreen brother, Matt. “Zach Roerig and I are best buds,” confides Ewell. “We were trying to figure out if we attended the Daytime Emmys at the same time; we still aren’t sure. Paul and Zach were on the same soap [Editor’s note: Roerig was briefly on GL before joining ATWT], and so the three of us were comparing the difference between New York soaps and Los Angeles soaps. It turns out it is actually pretty different. One example being that, in L.A., I drove myself to and from set — and they were picked up at their houses in NYC. Not fair!” laughs Ewell.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.